RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In a story Feb. 27 about an anti-abortion organization pledging $1.5 million to Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial race, The Associated Press reported erroneously the amount of campaign funds Cuccinelli and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe had on hand. Cuccinelli's cash balance as of Jan. 1 was nearly $1.2 million, not nearly $2 million. McAuliffe's was a little more than $1 milllion, not $8.9 million. The $8.9 million was the total amount McAuliffe had raised since 2009.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Anti-abortion group pledges $1.5M for Cuccinelli
Susan B. Anthony List, national abortion opponent, pledges $1.5 million to Cuccinelli 2013 bid
By BOB LEWIS
AP Political Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Susan B. Anthony List, a national organization that opposes abortion, will announce Thursday that it is pledging at least $1.5 million to the Republican gubernatorial campaign of Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia.
"It's an easy call," Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Washington-based group, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. "This is hands-down the most important election in the country right now."
Cuccinelli, a conservative with a record of advocating abortion restrictions during more than three years as Virginia's attorney general, is unopposed for the GOP nomination at the party's statewide convention in May.
Last year, he forced the State Board of Health to back away from drafting regulations that would have exempted existing Virginia abortion clinics from a new law that subjects the clinics to the same architectural standards as new hospitals.
In a January interview with a conservative Iowa talk show host, Cuccinelli said he recommends civil disobedience to the point of jail time as an effective way for employers to protest a federal mandate to include coverage for contraceptives in their workers' health insurance plans.
"We don't find people like this very often," Dannenfelser said.
"He has an ideal track record for someone who is the pro-woman candidate. Of course, that will be obscured by NOW (National Organization for Women) and Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats. It's about protecting the vulnerable, making sure women are protected from violence and exploitation, and that's what abortion is," Dannenfelser said.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the presumed Democratic nominee, is unopposed in a statewide Democratic primary scheduled for June.
"Cuccinelli and this extreme group share a dangerous agenda that would make abortion illegal even in cases of rape, incest and when a woman's health is threatened," said state Democratic Party spokesman Brian Coy. "Virginians should be deeply concerned about their extreme agenda to make abortion illegal even in cases of rape, incest and when a woman's health is threatened."
Bill Bolling, the state's Republican lieutenant governor who dropped his gubernatorial nomination bid in November after concluding he could not defeat Cuccinelli in a convention packed with conservatives, plans to announce March 14 whether he will run for governor as an independent.
Dannenfelser said $1.5 million is just for starters, "an initial budget" to aid Cuccinelli, and that more would be there if he needs it.
"We're trying to fight our way back from electoral oblivion last year," she said, referring Democratic President Barack Obama's re-election and a strengthened Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, including Tim Kaine's victory in Virginia.
Virginia and New Jersey are the only states in the nation that elect governors this year.
Cuccinelli and McAuliffe began 2013 about even financially. Cuccinelli reported $1.178 on hand as of Dec. 31 while McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who was a confidant and master fundraiser for the presidential campaigns of Bill and Hillary Clinton, reported $1.039 million in the bank.