No shrinking violet when it comes to pursuing what his critics see as his politically motivated and ideological initiatives, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, like the Eveready rabbit in the batteries commercial, is still going. And going and going.

Undaunted by a stiff rebuke by a Virginia county judge in his efforts to investigate former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael E. Mann, now at Penn State, Cuccinelli has filed a new 30-page subpoena seeking Mann’s communications while he was teaching at UVa in Charlottesville (see Yale Forum article). The new Cuccinelli request narrows the scope of his investigation, eliminating the federally funded grants and zeroing-in on one remaining grant. But the new inquiry does not narrow the trove of documents — e-mails and more — involving Mann and 39 other named scientists. The university, immediately after Cuccinelli filed the new subpoena, said it will continue to fight it on grounds of academic freedom and academic research.

Labeling the Cuccinelli efforts a “farce” that it said would “embarrass Virginia,” The Washington Post editorial page October 6 opined that “The damage to Virginia’s reputation, and to its universities’ ability to attract and retain top-notch faculty and students, will not be easily undone.” The newspaper two days later gave Mann space on its op-ed page to express his own views.

But it’s not the liberal Post editorial pages whose support Cuccinelli could expect or likely might be interested in. At the same time it was editorializing against him, Post news pages reported that Cuccinelli “emerged as a clear favorite of the first Virginia Tea Party Convention” meeting in the state’s capital over that weekend.