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Former UVa. professor Michael Mann critical of Mark Obenshain on climate change

Republican attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain is trying to change his story on gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli’s crusade against former UVa. professor Michael Mann’s climate-change research.

“Following Cuccinelli launching his witch hunt against me, Mark Herring stood up and said what Cuccinelli was doing was wrong,” Mann said Monday.

Obenshain, a Harrisonburg state senator, denies supporting efforts made by Cuccinelli as attorney general to attack Mann’s climate-change research. Mann and Democratic state senators Donald McEachin and Chap Petersen dispute the Obenshain about-face, pointing out that Obenshain was the only state senator to stand up on the Senate floor and speak out against a bill to limit Cuccinelli’s powers.

The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support. Obenshain voted against it.

Democratic attorney general nominee Mark Herring voted for the legislation.

“Following Cuccinelli launching his witch hunt against me, Mark Herring stood up and said what Cuccinelli was doing was wrong,” Mann said. “Then Sens. McEachin and Petersen and others introduced legislation that would have prevented the attorney general from pursuing a similar path of attacking scientists and academic research just because they didn’t agree with them.

“It was clear then that this bill was aimed at preventing someone like Ken Cuccinelli from injecting their own politics into the Office of Attorney General. This was a vote about whether you thought the Office of Attorney General should be hyper-partisan. The one person who stood up to oppose the bill was Mark Obenshain. I think that speaks volumes about the type of person he is. Clearly Mark Obenshain will say or do anything to get elected, just like Ken Cuccinelli,” Mann said.

“It was clear through debate and through media accounts that we were voting on whether you supported what Ken Cuccinelli did to Professor Mann or whether you thought what he did was wrong,” said Sen. Petersen. “Democrats and Republicans both stood up to fight against Cuccinelli, while Mark Obenshain was the only person to get up and speak on Ken Cuccinelli’s behalf.”

“Mark Obenshain’s revisionist history just doesn’t add up. He is not telling the truth about where he really stood when Ken Cuccinelli led this witch hunt,” said Sen. McEachin.  “Mark Obenshain and Ken Cuccinelli are peas in a pod. And Mark Obenshain has been one of his most adamant backers. Just like Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Obenshain will say anything to get elected, including trying to hide his extreme record.”

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