Statement of Governor Timothy M. Kaine on the House Rejection of Cabinet Nominee Danny LeBlanc

Date: March 7, 2006
Location: Richmond, VA

Statement of Governor Timothy M. Kaine on the House Rejection of Cabinet Nominee Danny LeBlanc

Governor Timothy M. Kaine issued the following statement following today's vote by the Republican-led House of Delegates to reject the nomination of Secretary of the Commonwealth-designate Daniel LeBlanc, a former AFL-CIO leader:

"I am saddened that the House leadership has chosen the Washington style path of partisanship by rejecting a good and capable man. This action turns its back on Virginia tradition. Virginians deserve better.

"I have clearly and repeatedly demonstrated my willingness to appoint outstanding individuals on a bipartisan basis to serve in my administration. Never before has the Legislature - regardless of which party is in the majority, and regardless of which party controls the Governor's office - ever denied a Governor his prerogative to make Cabinet-level appointments.

"I have known and trusted Danny LeBlanc for 25 years, and I have admired his spirited efforts to improve health and retirement benefits for working people across this state. He is a decent, honorable man, well-qualified to assist me as Secretary of the Commonwealth - a role in which he would verify the background of potential appointees and advise me on appointments to various boards and commissions.

"The Secretary of the Commonwealth has no - I repeat, no - role in the enforcement of Virginia's right-to-work law, a law I strongly support. Likewise, while the Secretary of the Commonwealth compiles information on requests for restoration of voting rights, the actual analysis and decisions are made by the Governor. The House leadership is fully aware of these facts, but facts had no bearing on today's exercise in partisan excess.

"It is a sad day when the House Republican majority enforces a rigid, party-line vote to reject a qualified Cabinet-level appointee. I thank Danny for his willingness to serve and express my appreciation to those who supported his nomination, especially the Democrats in the House and Republicans and Democrats in the Virginia Senate who unanimously voted 40-0 to confirm Danny LeBlanc."