Capitalizing on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) already tenuous relationship with women voters, the progressive super PAC American Bridge released a new ad on Thursday tying the gubernatorial candidate to the controversial fathers' rights movement.

The ad features video of Stephen Baskerville, former president of the American Coalition of Fathers and Children, speaking out against child support and women being granted custody of their children after divorce. "Child support effectively acts as a kind of subsidy on divorce," Baskerville says in the footage. "It enables and even encourages mothers to simply walk away, take the children with them and basically plunder the father for everything he has."



The fathers' rights movement also contends that men are frequently the victims of false domestic violence accusations, and its activists have lobbied against no-fault divorce, which allows a woman to divorce her spouse without having to prove adultery or physical abuse. Cuccinelli offered two bills as a state senator in line with the movement's objectives: one that would have prevented a parent from obtaining a no-fault divorce if the other parent objects, and another that would have encouraged judges to penalize a woman who asked for a no-fault divorce in custody and visitation battles. Baskerville wrote a 2005 op-ed praising Cuccinelli for "countering the 'no-fault' divorce epidemic."

No-fault divorce has otherwise been considered an important milestone for women's rights -- it significantly decreased the rates of suicide and domestic violence against women in states that adopted it in the 1970s. Cuccinelli's Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, released an ad earlier this week hitting Cuccinelli on his opposition to no-fault divorce.

A recent Washington Post article further explored Cuccinelli's ties to the fathers' rights movement and its leaders. As a lawyer, Cuccinelli counted as one of his clients Ron M. Grignol Jr., the former leader of the group Fathers for Virginia, which works for "fathers and their children." And, according to the Post article, fathers' rights groups have campaigned for Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli's campaign did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment. But his campaign spokeswoman, Anna Nix, told The Washington Post this week that Cuccinelli "will not apologize" for his record on fathers' rights issues.

“Ken Cuccinelli believes that children are best served having both their mother and father in their lives and he will not apologize for his efforts to encourage strong Virginia families," Nix said.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Gov. Maggie Hassan (D)

    Governor of New Hampshire (2013-Present) <strong>Other offices:</strong> Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate (2008-2010) State Senator (2005-2010)

  • Gov. Nikki Haley (R)

    Governor of South Carolina (2011-Present) First woman to serve as Governor of South Carolina. First female Indian-American and Asian-American governor. Currently the youngest governor serving. <strong>Other offices:</strong> State Representative (2005-2010)

  • Gov. Mary Fallin (R)

    Governor of Oklahoma (2011-Present) First woman to serve as Governor of Oklahoma. Oklahoma's first female Lieutenant Governor. Third woman to become Chairman of the National Governors Association. Defeated Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in 2010. <strong>Other offices:</strong> U.S. Representative (2007-2011) Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma (1995-2007) State Representative (1990-1995)

  • Gov. Susana Martinez (R)

    Governor of New Mexico (2011-Present) First woman to serve as Governor of New Mexico. First female Hispanic-American governor outside Puerto Rico. Defeated Lt. Gov. Diana Denish in 2010. <strong>Other offices:</strong> New Mexico District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District (1996-2010) Assistant District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District (1986-1992)

  • Gov. Jan Brewer (R)

    Governor of Arizona (2009-Present) Third consecutive woman to serve as Governor of Arizona. As Secretary of State, Brewer succeeded Gov. Janet Napolitano when she resigned. Fourth female Arizona Governor overall. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Arizona Secretary of State (2003-2009) Maricopa Board of Supervisors Chairwoman (1998-2002) Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Member (1996-2002) State Senator (1987-1997) State Representative (1983-1987)

  • Beverly Perdue (D)

    Governor of North Carolina (2009-2013) First woman to serve as Governor of North Carolina. Perdue was North Carolina's first female Lieutenant Governor. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina (2001-2009) State Senator (1991-2001)

  • Sarah Palin (R)

    Governor of Alaska (2006-2009) First woman to serve as Governor of Alaska. Alaska's youngest governor. First female governor to appear on a major party presidential ticket (2008). Second woman to give birth as governor. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Chairperson of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (2003-2004) Mayor of Wasilla (1996-2002) Wasilla City Council Member (1992-1996)

  • Christine Gregoire (D)

    Governor of Washington (2005-2013) First woman Attorney General in Washington state (1993-2005). Second woman Chairperson of the National Governors Association (2010-2011). <strong>Other offices:</strong> Washington Attorney General (1993-2005)

  • M. Jodi Rell (R)

    Governor of Connecticut (2004-2011) As Lieutenant Governor, Rell succeeded Gov. John G. Rowland when he resigned. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (1995-2004) State Representative (1985-1995)

  • Kathleen Blanco (D)

    Governor of Louisiana (2004-2008) First woman to serve as Governor of Louisiana. Served as governor during Hurricane Katrina. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana (1996-2004) Louisiana Public Service Commissioner (1989-1996)

  • Kathleen Sebelius (D)

    Governor of Kansas (2003-2009) Resigned to become Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration. Daughter of Gov. John Gilligan, making them the first father/daughter pair to become governors. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Insurance Commissioner of Kansas (1995-2003) State Representative (1986-1994)

  • Janet Napolitano (D)

    Governor of Arizona (2003-2009) First woman elected Arizona Governor twice. First woman to immediately succeed another woman governor. First woman Chairperson of the National Governors Association (2006-2007). Resigned to become the Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama Administration. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Arizona Attorney General (1999-2003) U.S. Attorney for District of Arizona (1993-1999)

  • Jennifer Granholm (D)

    Governor of Michigan (2003-2011) First woman to serve as Governor of Michigan. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Michigan Attorney General (1999-2003)

  • Olene Walker (R)

    Governor of Utah (2003-2005) First woman to serve as Governor of Utah. As Lieutenant Governor, Walker succeeded Gov. Mike Leavitt after he was nominated to lead the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Utah (1993-2003)

  • Linda Lingle (R)

    Governor of Hawaii (2002-2010) First woman to sere as Governor of Hawaii. Lingle defeated Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono in the second governor race between two women. In 2012, Hirono defeated Lingle for U.S. Senate. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party (1999-2002) Mayor of Maui (1991-1999)

  • Ruth Ann Minner (D)

    Governor of Delaware (2001-2009) First woman to serve as Governor of Delaware. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Delaware (1993-2001) State Representative (1975-1982)

  • Judy Martz (R)

    Governor of Montana (2001-2005) First woman to serve as Governor of Montana. Martz was an Olympic speed skater in 1964. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Montana (1997-2001)

  • Jane Swift (R)

    Governor of Massachusetts (2001-2003) First governor to give birth in office (to twins). Took office at age 36, making her the youngest female governor in U.S. history at the time. Swift succeeded Gov. Paul Cellucci after he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada in 2001. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (1999-2003) Secretary of Consumer Affairs of Massachusetts (1997-1998) State Senator (1991-1997)

  • Nancy Hollister (R)

    Governor of Ohio (1998-1999) First woman to serve as Governor of Ohio. Succeeded Gov. George Voinovich for a one-week term when Voinovich resigned to become a U.S. senator. Hollister became a state representative after leaving the governor's mansion. <strong>Other offices:</strong> State Representative (1999-2004) Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1995-1998) Mayor of Marietta (1984-1991)

  • Jeanne Shaheen (D)

    Governor of New Hampshire (1997-2003) First elected woman to serve as Governor of New Hampshire. First woman to be a governor and a U.S. senator. <strong>Other offices:</strong> U.S. Senator (2009-Present) State Senator (1992-1996)

  • Jane Dee Hull (R)

    Governor of Arizona (1997-2003) First Republican woman to serve as Governor of Arizona. Hull succeeded Gov. Fife Symington, who resigned due to a felony conviction. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Arizona Secretary of State (1995-1997) Speaker pro tempore of the Arizona House (1992-1993) Speaker of the Arizona House (1989-1992) State Representative (1979-1993)

  • Christine Todd Whitman (R)

    Governor of New Jersey (1994-2001) First woman to serve as Governor of New Jersey. Whitman later became EPA Administrator (2001-2003). Granddaughter-in-law of former New York Gov. Charles Whitman (R) (1915-1919) <strong>Other offices:</strong> Founder of the Committee for Responsible Government (1993) President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (1988-1990) Somerset County Freeholder (1983-1988)

  • Barbara Roberts (D)

    Governor of Oregon (1991-1995) First woman to serve as Governor of Oregon. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Oregon Secretary of State (1985-1991) State Representative (1981-1985)

  • Ann Richards (D)

    Governor of Texas (1991-1995) First female Governor of Texas who was not a wife of a previous governor. Richards delivered the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. <strong>Other offices:</strong> State Treasurer (1983-1991) Travis County Commissioner (1977-1983)

  • Joan Finney (D)

    Governor of Kansas (1991-1995) First woman to serve as Governor of Kansas. First woman to defeat an incumbent governor in a general election. <strong>Other offices:</strong> State Treasurer (1975-1991)

  • Rose Perica Mofford (D)

    Governor of Arizona (1988-1991) First woman to serve as Governor of Arizona. Mofford, then Secretary of State, became acting governor after Gov. Evan Mecham was impeached in 1988. Mofford was sworn in two months later, after Mecham was removed from office following his impeachment trial. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Arizona Secretary of State (1977-1988) Tax Commission Executive Secretary (1947-1960)

  • Kay A. Orr (R)

    Governor of Nebraska (1987-1991) First Republican woman elected governor. First woman to serve as Governor of Nebraska. First woman elected governor over another female major-party candidate, former Lincoln Mayor Helen Boosalis. <strong>Other offices:</strong> State Treasurer (1981-1986)

  • Madeleine M. Kunin (D)

    Governor of Vermont (1985-1991) First female Jewish governor of any state. First woman to serve as Governor of Vermont. First woman elected to three terms as governor. Kunin was later U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Vermont (1979-1983) State Representative (1972-1978)

  • Martha Layne Collins (D)

    Governor of Kentucky (1983-1987) First woman to serve as Governor of Kentucky. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (1979-1983) Clerk of the Kentucky Court of Appeals (1975-1979)

  • Vesta M. Roy (R)

    Governor of New Hampshire (1982-1983) First woman Republican governor. First woman governor of New Hampshire. Roy acted as governor for one week and was never sworn in. <strong>Other offices:</strong> President of the State Senate (1983-1986) State Senator (1978-1986) Campaign adviser to Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush

  • Dixy Lee Ray (D)

    Governor of Washington (1977-1981) First woman to serve as Governor of Washington. <strong>Other offices:</strong> Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (January 1975-June 1975) Atomic Energy Commission Chairwoman (1973-1975)

  • Ella T. Grasso (D)

    Governor of Connecticut (1975-1980) First female governor who was not a wife or widow of a previous governor. First woman to serve as Governor of Connecticut. First woman governor to be elected to two consecutive terms. First woman governor to resign. <strong>Other offices:</strong> U.S. Representative (1971-1975) Connecticut Secretary of State (1959-1971)

  • Lurleen Wallace (D)

    First woman to serve as Governor of Alabama (1967-1968). First Lady of Alabama (1963-1967) First female governor to die in office. First wife of Gov. George Wallace (1963–1967, 1971–1979, and 1983-1987). Because George Wallace could not seek reelection in 1966, his wife ran for governor with the clear understanding that he would act as governor behind the scenes. George Wallace eventually got term limits repealed and served three more terms.

  • Miriam A. Ferguson (D)

    Governor of Texas (1925-1927, 1933-1935). First woman to serve as Governor of Texas. First Lady of Texas (1915-1917), wife of Gov. James E. Ferguson. After her husband was impeached, convicted and removed from governorship, Miriam ran for office, telling voters they would get "two governors for the price of one."

  • Nellie Tayloe Ross (D)

    Governor of Wyoming (1925-1927). First woman to serve as Governor of Wyoming. First elected female governor in U.S. (sworn in 15 days before Miriam Ferguson). Widow of Governor William B. Ross (1923-1924). <strong>Other offices:</strong> Director of U.S. Mint (1933-1953) <em>Correction: a previous version of this slide stated that Ross was sworn in 12 days before Ferguson.</em>

  • Soledad Chávez Chacón (D)

    First woman to <a href="http://www.abqjournal.com/elex/2010generalelection/2010governorrace/2403252010governorrace10-24-10.htm" target="_blank">carry out the duties</a> of Governor of New Mexico (1924 for two weeks). In May 1924, Lt. Gov. Jose Baca died and Gov. James F. Hinkle traveled to New York for the Democratic National Convention. As Secretary of State, Soledad Chávez Chacón served as the acting governor. <strong>Other offices:</strong> New Mexico Secretary of State (1923-1926)

  • Carolyn B. Shelton

    First woman <a href="http://www.offbeatoregon.com/o1103e-carolyn-shelton-first-female-governor-in-us-for-two-days.html" target="_blank">"Acting Governor of Oregon"</a> (1909 for one weekend). Outgoing Gov. George Chamberlain was elected to the U.S. Senate. He resigned as governor and left two days early so he would not be sworn in late, which would have given all other freshman senators seniority over him. Chamberlain's successor, Frank Benson, was too sick to take office early so Chamberlain's "chief of staff," Carolyn Shelton, was left in charge as "Acting Governor." Benson was feeling better and was sworn in at the end of the weekend.