Governor's Debate Tonight Will Be Broadcast Live by WVTF

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm glad to see that WVTF radio will be broadcasting tonight's Sorensen Institute gubernatorial debate in Danville live, from 7 to 9 pm. I'll definitely be listening. How about you?

McAuliffe opening statement: Job creation focus. Need to invest more in education in down economy, build job force for future. Jump start economy. Don't raise taxes in down economy. Create jobs, I've done it. Pre-K, smaller class sizes, lower college tuition, put money into transportation. Not all good ideas come out of Richmond, they come from all over Virginia.

Deeds opening statement: Noone better prepared than me to be governor. Severe unemployment problems. Bob McDonnell just doesn't get it. We've got a lot of work to do. Broke my heart to hear people's struggles in this economy. I'm proud to have stood with Tim Kaine and President Obama. I have a plan to move Virginia forward.

Moran opening statement: Serious times. This is about the 300,000 Virginians who have lost their jobs, 200,000 kids without health care, etc. We need a leader to fight for people. Grew up in family of 7 kids that struggled to pay mortgage. Fighting to raise min. wage, create green jobs. With so many corporate disasters today, from Enron to AIG to Global Crossing...we need a governor who will put people first. Less rhetoric and more record. Bold progressive vision. Fighter in the governor's office.

Deeds: Governor's opportunity fund is an underutilized tool.
McAuliffe: I agree with Creigh, need to bring more jobs. Our governor's opportunity fund is pitiful, the House of Delegates has not put the funds into it. I have to compete with other governors. We can't win deals unless we're on the playing field.
Moran: We need to bring opportunity to all areas of this great Commonwealth. I went to India on my own expense.

McAuliffe: We need to cover autism. Health care is a big issue.
Moran: I would agree. Autism needs to be covered. Also need to cover dental care.
Deeds: Autism is an epidemic. The marketplace will eventually respond to this, but until it does, we need to mandate that autistic children are covered.

Deeds asks Terry about NAFTA, job creation: I wouldn't say NAFTA was a good deal, the implementation was wrong. Bill Clinton was a huge economic success, created jobs, etc. I want to create jobs, I have done it. Green jobs, alternative energy. Take better care of our people here in Virginia - health care, education. I'm about job creation. I supported Bill Clinton as president.

Moran: I know Terry promises jobs, but I truly have a record.
Deeds: I respect what Terry said about NAFTA and free trade can be a good thing. You didn't say anything about implementation in your book.
McAuliffe: Clinton was a great president.

Terry to Brian about frustrations over Richmond, records that don't match rhetoric, you voted to open up the Wise County coal plant but now claim to be anti-coal, as a legislator you voted to open up offshore drilling but now say you're against it, as a legislator you voted for payday lending now you say you're against it, etc.

Brian: I have a long record fighting against corporate interests. I said no to offshore drilling. We can reject the false choice between growing economy and protecting environment. I'm only candidate who opposes Surry coal-fired power plant. I have a proven record. We should increase minimum wages. I have taken on corporate interests time and again.

Creigh: Each one of us is a work in progress, hopefully we get better every day.

Terry: I've consistently said I'm not for the Surry coal plant, I said wait for enviro impact studies, just as you did Brian. Bottom line - you voted for natural gas drilling offshore and they didn't even need your vote!

Brian to Terry on corporate bonuses, Global Crossing: Terry says, if you had the facts correct...I never worked for Global Crossing. I created thousands of jobs, met payrolls, people have gotten jobs by what I've done, I'm a self-made guy. I paid people well, gave them benefits. These attacks didn't work for the Republicans, they're not going to work for you. People are tired of the negative campaigns being run. I'm running a positive campaign, big bold ideas. I haven't been part of partisan infighting. I'm not from the legislature, I have a business background, proud of my job creation record.

Brian: I'm still searching for those Virginia jobs you say you created. I've been to India, brought back jobs. Been to Israel. We have done that, best managed state in nation. Some good ideas have come from Richmond.

Creigh: Who's best prepared to lead Virginia forward? You can listen to these guys argue if you want.

Question to Brian on stimulus funding and energy: I've put forth green jobs plan. Gov't can play positive role in people's lives. We need windmills off coast off Virginia Beach not drilling. Seniors are struggling, we should weatherize their homes. Smart grid technology, I'm the only one who calls for it in my energy plan.

Creigh: Energy independence is matter of national security. Create green energy jobs in Virginia using stimulus jobs. Biofuels, wind farm off Virginia Beach.

Terry: We're all in agreement. I have an energy bill that talks about smart grid. Brian isn't reading my plan. I won't take a check from Dominion Power. We need mandatory RPS.

Creigh on cause or issue you care about outside of jobs, education, transportation: Retool community colleges, change the way we draw district lines, more focus on solving problems. Redistricting reform is my cause celebre.

Terry: Gang violence needs to be tackled.

Brian: Health care to all Virginians.

Question to Terry on public private partnership: Job creation, job growth. I'm a big believer that you need to invest money to bring jobs in. Top-to-bottom review of every agency. We need to go after megaprojects.

Brian: I went to India to see who we are competing against. We need to produce graduates in engineering fields.

Creigh: You have to constantly be about the process of reinventing government. Nothing more important than creating jobs, best social engineering we can do.

Brian on restoring voting rights of ex-felons: Take it beyond any governor in Virginia's history. Voting is a fundamental right. We must reform process for those who have a felony on their records to regain their right to vote. We conducted a study, found terrible numbers. I worked to make process easier, we have made progress, but this is where I want to be bold and progressive. Eliminate 3-year waiting period for non-violent felons. Automatic restoration.

Creigh: Clear path for felon to be restored to civil society once they've done their time. It's all controlled by governor. My record is broader than Brian's, actually voting to change constitution.

Terry: Voting rights are very important to me. Founding voting rights institute at national party. Automatic restoration of voting rights for non-violent offenders. Governor shouldn't have to review. Let people back in society.

Question to Creigh on megaprojects: We are in competition with neighboring states, rest of world. I'll do whatever I can from state perspective.

Terry: Yes, I support it. I have very specific details. We have lost jobs to other southern states. We're not even bidding on these big projects. Let's at least get at the table.

Brian: I sat across table from foreign CEOs. Pro-business climate, workforce ready to work the jobs, invest in education, transportation system that functions. Expand governor's economic opportunity fund.

Question to Terry on uranium mining: There's a study being done by the Academy of Sciences. First and foremost, we have to protect public safety and environment. Could be 40 years worth of jobs. Let's wait for study to be done, get all information, then make decision. If there are public safety issues, I'd be against it.

Moran: There's a water source close by, public welfare is paramount. The only study that will give me info I need is one that's independent and objective. We cannot get this one wrong.

Creigh: No option can be taken off the table with respect to energy. I look forward to the study. Serious concerns over water supply, this is a major public safety issue.

Question to Brian on regional cooperation: You're only as strong as your region. Regionalism is important for economic development. Broadband. Rt. 58 widening. Educational infrastructure. Roads don't end at the county border.

Creigh: In Bath County, if we didn't do things on a regional basis, we wouldn't get anything done.

Terry: I'm all for working with the region, new Democratic governor in NC, Gov. O'Malley, Mayor Fenty. My #1 priority is create jobs here in Virginia, I'm in competition w/other governors. We need jobs here. I'm going to help people.

Question to Creigh on immigration: Immigration policy is preempted by the federal constitution. Only a limited amount state can do. We are better because of our diversity, we are all immigrants at some level. Need to assimilate new cultures into our economy. We're stronger because we're diverse. Welcome people with open arms. This country is melting pot of the world.

Terry: We want to encourage people to come to Virginia, country. People need to follow rules. It's a federal issues, but there are issues we deal with here.

Brian: We are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. I have an immigrants story, my grandfather coming from Ireland to Boston. Assimilate diversity. Need a balance.

Question to Terry on enterprise zone grants: One of great initiatives under President Clinton. Start jobs council in each region of Commonwealth. Having grants out there that aren't funded or that people can't access does nobody any good. We need to access federal enterprise zone money. $100 million green energy fund, leverage that 8 times. Think outside box. High-speed rail, $9.3 billion available today. We've got to think big bold, new energy for new jobs.

Brian: Need a fighter to fight for unemployed. I am running to bring opportunity to all Virginians. Business one stop legislation was my legislation.

Creigh: Restore confidence in economy is job #1. Enterprise zones need to have reliable set of criteria, applied evenly across the state. Money is not the answer to everything, but we haven't put enough money into enterprise zones in past.

Question to Brian on trimming government: Innovation agenda. Apply good ideas from private sector. We've done a pretty good job, AAA bond rating, best managed state, etc. Federal stimulus watchdog.

Creigh: Constantly reinvent government. We've reduced size of VDOT. We can continue to use technology to provide services that used to require people.

Terry: Look at everything. Top to bottom review. 21st century global economy. Reconfigure priorities.

Question to Creigh on lower cost energy: Develop energy based research triangle. Renewable sources of energy. Invest in clean coal technology. Weatherization. Incentivize energy efficiency for hot water heating. Invest in wind energy - Tazewell/Buchanan, off Virginia Beach. Energy technology, the next big thing.

Terry: Offshore wind. Efficiency, feed-in tariffs, net metering. Technology (export clean coal technology to China).

Brian: Mandatory RPS (25%). Wind and solar. Energy efficiency. I'm only one who calls for decoupling. Empower energy users with more information. Oppose Surry, offshore drilling.

Question to Terry on affirmative action: We just received an F on college affordability. Incentives for teachers to go into areas of high need. Teacher loan program. Every child in Virginia gets a quality education. Scholars for service program.

Brian: We need to promote that better. Minority and women owned businesses, contract dollars, I want to double those figures. I do believe in affirmative action, ensure a level playing field for all, that's the state's responsibility.

Creigh: The more education one has, the more money you'll make in lifetime. Affirmative action has worked well, we're not done with it yet. We've got dramatic problems in our higher education system...lots of work to do.

[I'm taking a break, fingers tired...]

Terry says we've got to be leaders not followers on climate change. Everyone seems to agree it's a big issue.

Brian says you've got to say no to some things. You can't say move away from fossil fuels but also say you support offshore drilling. Brian says Terry, stand up and take a position. Terry says, you're attacking me for legislation YOU voted for. Terry says he supports Kaine's bipartisan legislation which Brian voted for, look at Brian's own voting record.

Creigh quotes Genesis in making point that we have to protect the environment and grow economy. Terry said they go together, move away from fossil fuels towards renewables, they're no mutually exclusive.

On campaign financing, Creigh says we need to restore public trust in the system. The system hasn't gotten any better since 1991. People always find a loophole, but there has to be a mechanism there. Constitution needs to be changed, Supreme Court said campaign finance rules are covered by first amendment. Other than that, full disclosure is best system.

Terry worked before and after McCain-Feingold. I won't take contributions from TARP companies, Dominion Power. Called for ethics reform.

Brian agrees with much of what has been said. I proposed legislation that would ban out-of-state entities creating PACs here in Virginia. Need to restore trust in legislative process.

Brian: Faith plays tremendous role in my life. Golden rule.
Creigh: You can believe whatever you want or nothing at all. Religion plays enormous role in my life, in church every Sunday
Terry: Been a strong Catholic my whole life. Jesuit training. I'm a strong Catholic, regular church goer. I get out of bed every day feeling like I'm the luckiest guy in the world, want everyone to have the same opportunities. God's looking down on me every day pushing me to work hard for other people.

Closing statements. Creigh emphasizes need for governor who stands with Virginia, who's best prepared to create opportunity for working Virginians, attacks free trade, attacks Terry for taking money from outside state, attacks Brian from taking money from lobbyists under FBI investigation. Create prosperity and hope.

Terry thanks Brian and Creigh, both great legislators, only going to run positive campaign, stay positive, specific detail in business plan with specific detail. I'm going to save my criticisms for Bob McDonnell, he's stood in way of Kaine and Warner, said no to taking your own tax dollars, said President Obama shouldn't get honorary degree from Notre Dame. Shouldn't divide people. I haven't been part of partisan bickering in Richmond. Big, bold business plan. President Obama needs a partner here in Virginia, I will be that partner. Please read my business plan.

Brian says these are tough times, Virginia families struggling. We need proven fighter in governor's office. Stakes too high to get it wrong. Proven record of fighting for people, bold progressive vision. Need leader who's been there, who will stand up for values and ideals that Virginians hold dear. Raise min. wage, fight for equality for every Virginian, care more about family dinner table than corporate boardroom. Virginia needs a leader with experience to get things done, vision to get the right things. Fighting spirit, proven leadership.

Lowell's comment: Long, overall interesting debate, lots of detail and local questions, a few aggressive exchanges. Meanwhile, in the most important news of the evening (just kidding), it's 1-1 Caps-Rangers in the 3rd period. Go Caps! :)