Cuccinelli ditches censored lapel pins, blames the media for making them a ‘distraction.’

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has been widely ridiculed since the Virginian-Pilot reported that he had censored the clothing of the Roman goddess Virtus on lapel pins depicting the Virginia seal he handed out to his staff. Staffers noted that Cuccinelli joked that they convert “a risqué image into a PG one.” His decision was reminiscent of when then-U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft “spent $8,000 on blue drapes” to cover two nude statues at the Justice Department. Cuccinelli has now announced that he will now longer be using the lapel pins, blaming the “distraction” on a “media-made issue.” From his statement:

The image on my office lapel pin is similar to that of a large antique state flag that hangs in the Virginia Capitol. That is where I got the idea for my pin. I liked this particular image and thought it would be something unique for my employees. I cannot believe that joking with my staff about Virtue being a little more “virtuous” in this antique version has become news. This is simply a media-made issue that has become distracting to the work of my office. I am going to end this distraction by discontinuing future use of the pin. I think we all do the citizens a service by getting back to talking about things that are more important to them, including my office’s work last week to get four sexually violent predators committed to mental health treatment, the collection of $225,000 in back debt owed to the commonwealth, and assisting local law enforcement in an investigation that resulted in a drug kingpin being sentenced to life without parole.