Two weeks after he was sworn in as Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II went to court one last time as a private-practice lawyer. ... Cuccinelli’s office didn’t say so then, but the client was Ron M. Grignol Jr., a former House of Delegates candidate embroiled in a custody dispute with his ex-wife.
Grignol is also the former leader of Fathers for Virginia, which seeks to “empower divorced fathers as equal partners in parenting,” and of a second group that contends that men are frequently victimized by false allegations of domestic abuse. Grignol did not respond to requests for comment about the groups, which some women’s rights organizations have accused of distorting the facts about domestic violence.
Cuccinelli’s legal work for Grignol, whom he also knew from Virginia political circles, is one facet of his relationship with the fathers’ rights movement, a loose national network of activists who think the legal system is stacked against men in divorce and custody cases. As a state senator, Cuccinelli introduced legislation on divorce law backed by national fathers’ rights groups, which have urged members to get out the vote for him.
Cuccinelli’s support for aspects of the groups’ agenda illustrates how his personal and religious views have helped shape his political career and continue to affect it as he runs for governor against businessman Terry McAuliffe (D).