Live Streaming of Virginia Tech/Blogger Debate

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A live stream of tonight's debate is scheduled to go live at 7pm, with the debate itself beginning at 7:30pm. I just got off the phone with AP reporter Bob Lewis, and we talked about how this debate - the first statewide debate of, by and for the netroots - marks another milestone in the history of the "netroots rising." Should be a fascinating evening.

There are about 260 viewers on the live stream as of 7:18 pm...340 viewers at 7:28 pm. [490 viewers at 8:44 pm] Del. Jim Shuler, DPVA Chair Dick Cranwell and Democratic AG nominee Steve Shannon have spoken so far.

The video was funny, but who was that Republican talking x-rated? Weird.

Opening statements: About the same as last night, Brian brings up fundraising again, Terry emphasizes that we need someone who's got not been in the legislature for years and that we need bold new ideas, Creigh says he put public service ahead of this campaign by not resigning from the General Assembly.

Question on gun show loophole. Creigh refers to Virginia Tech massacre, says it had a dramatic effect on his life. Worked hard to close gun show loophole. It will take someone like me to get gun show loophole closed. Terry says he was here for the memorial the other day, it was an experience like I've never had in my life. Need to close gun show loophole. We need to win House of Delegates. Brian says he's voted to close the gun show loophole not just shrink it. Need background check. I disagree with Sen. Deeds on this. I support 2nd amendment but don't believe in expanding gun rights now; Creigh voted for guns in bars. I was a bartender, guns and alcohol don't mix, big difference between Creigh and I. Creigh says Brian's NRA rating went from an F to an A to an F, what kind of principles lets that happen? Brian says Kaine vetoed that legislation, Creigh voted to overturn Kaine's veto, we have a difference on this. Creigh says the amendments wouldn't have compromised public safety, they were just commonsense. Politics is the art of the possible, not the perfect. Terry says we all agree on closing the gun show loophole.

Question on policy differences with Gov. Kaine. Terry says he differs on repealing the estate tax. Brian says the death penalty, he has record in support of death penalty. Creigh differs on estate tax, death penalty, on-farm agricultural sales. Tim and I ran on the same ticket 4 years ago, I consider him a good friend..

Question on collective bargaining rights for public safety figures. Moran says he has supported collective bargaining for public employees. Creigh says protecting the public is governor's most important job, can't be cheap on crime, there's nothing wrong with giving people the right to meet and confer, organize. Terry says we're all in agreement up here, I have tremendous from unions, endorsed by firefighters, I would definitely support collective bargaining. We need to win House of Delegates, grow our economy so we can keep our public safety the best.

Question on student voting rights. Terry says we ought to make it easy for people to vote, we're the greatest democracy in the world, I founded Voting Rights Institute at DNC after 2000 debacle. I'll make sure we have best machines and that everyone has access to those machines. I had issue with Mike Huckabee and Bob McDonnell, they think voting rights are a joke, there's nothing funny about keeping people away from the polls. Brian agrees with that. Nobody's worked harder than I have to win back the House of Delegates, we are now within striking distance. You know Terry, you yourself said you should be judged by how many races you won, well under your chairmanship, our Dem. Party lost the presidency, seats in the House and Senate, we don't need you to pick up those 6 seats, I WILL pick up those 6 seats. Terry says Brian continues his tradition of running a negative campaign, that he rebuilt the Democratic Party, that he handed chairmanship over to Gov. Dean in good shape, that he gave single biggest gift in history of DNC to Tim Kaine. Chairman of DNC is not responsible for winning or losing. Creigh says the first time he met Terry, he and Dick Cranwell asked him for money and he said no, "you didn't help then." We need to make voting as easy and accessible as possible. Terry says this is what happens when you're ahead in the most recent poll. Under my chairmanship, we gave millions to legislative races.

Question on pay gap between men and women in Virginia. Brian says education is key, raise teacher salaries to national average, make sure we have best teachers in classroom, reduce class sizes. Creigh looks forward to seeing the study, knows there is a gap, it's historic, we need to create opportunities for all Virginians. We have to find out why there's a pay gap, focus on creating opportunities, higher education is the key. Terry says we have to look forward, create jobs, Lily Ledbetter, will insist on equal pay, jobs open to everyone. Education is key, got to have the best teachers and keep them in Virginia. Scholars for service program. Green jobs, high-speed rail, male or female should be paid the same.

Question on swine flu, Smithfield Foods. Creigh says there's no higher duty of governor than to protect public safety. We are on the verge of pandemic. I don't know if I've taken money from Smithfield Foods. I served on Agriculture Committee, dealt with issues in the past dealing with lagoons... Terry says he hasn't received any checks. This raise the issue of agricultural waste. We've got to get serious about this. At Virginia Tech, a professor designed technology to convert waste to energy, great technology we could sell all over the world. Get waste out of Chesapeake, be leader on renewable power, won't take check from Dominion, we need to have a mandatory RPS. Brian says he was appointed to panel on natural and man-made disasters. We worked with public health agencies to such a crisis. Chesapeake Bay cleanup is important to me. I'm the only one who opposes offshore drilling, who opposes Surry coal-fired power plant (within Chesapeake Bay watershed). Can't say you're for cleaning up the Bay but support Surry plant.

Followup: Creigh says there's more we could have done. Balance between economy and environment. I'm not certain what the governor could have done about Smithfield and swine flu. Terry says we need to enforce regulations, laws on the books today. Brian says Smithfield Foods giving history leans to Republicans. I have a history of standing up to big corporate interests. Balance business and enviro. concerns.

Question on bipartisan redistricting. Brian says "absolutely." We've lost races because the districts were drawn by Republicans. Legislators shouldn't draw districts. I'm tired of this partisanship. Process matters. Nonpartisan or bipartisan redistricting. Creigh says the people should choose their politicians, not the other way around, this is a crusade for me, I've introduced this legislation, I can work with people on both sides of the aisle. Districts should be compact, contiguous, nonpartisan. I can fix this problem as governor. This is an organic issue, will change calculus of government forever. It will help Virginia. Terry says we all agree on bipartisan commission. I believe in competition, races where people are constantly challenged. Competition is good. I'm open to talking about term limits as well. Bring new people with new ideas into politics.

Question on Surry coal-fired plant. Creigh says we need a comprehensive approach to our energy needs. Coal provides more than 50% of our electric power, it won't go away overnight. Opportunity for clean coal technology. Surry plant is a ways off, not sure what it will look like, I'm not ready to say "yes" or "no" to that plant today. Invest in energy-based research triangle. Creigh talks chicken waste. Terry says he's been clear about it, has lots of concerns, they have applied for 1 permit they have 61 to go. I want to move past coal, we should be figuring out new technology. I've got lots of concerns about Surry plant on environment, public safety. We need mandatory RPS, incentives for renewable energy, get serious with Dominion, I never want another coal plant built. Brian says this is an important distinction, there's sufficient information to make a decision, I oppose Surry plant, pandering is not leadership, it's not green if you're developing a coal-fired power plant is Chesapeake watershed. You can't be for clean energy and support coal-fired power plant. Governor has to take leadership, I will stand up to Dominion.

Followup - is there something called clean coal. Creigh says right now, no. Terry says no, it's being researched. Brian - no.

Question on gay civil rights, Marshall-Newman. Terry said to change it we have to change General Assembly. I'm for full contractual rights, civil unions. Nobody should be discriminated against for any reason. Brian says this is yet another big difference between me and my opponents, the governor makes time, passage of Marshall-Newman was a dark day. I did everything I could to defeat that. Creigh voted for it, Terry says he won't have time, I will find time to repeal that legislation. Creigh believes marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. Brian, you voted for it and against it within 60 days, that's a game of gotcha. I voted to put it on the ballot. Each one of us is a work in progress. The state has no role in marriage, that has to be decided by individual, I support equal rights. Brian says this is an honest difference, it shouldn't have been on the ballot. Constitution is there to protect rights of minorities, don't put discriminatory language in there.

Followup: Does our constitutional amendment violate interstate commerce clause? Brian says "I'd have to look at it." Terry says the Supreme Court will look at this. We're all in agreement that we shouldn't discriminate against anyone. I have always supported civil unions, full contractual rights. Creigh doesn't think it violates interstate commerce clause, it violates full faith and credit clause. Brian voted for and against gay marriage ban.

Question on arts and humanities. Creigh says there's no more investment than in young people's education. Son plays banjo, right side of brain needs attention too. In our mad rush on standards-based education, we have shortchanged humanities. Terry says we need to fund all levels, we cannot keep teaching our children to take tests, they need to be creative and imaginative. It takes money, thank goodness for stimulus package. We need to be investing more. Invest early in arts, humanities, music and avoid future prison population. We need to think big, bold, bring in new jobs to bring in new revenues. Brian absolutely supports well-rounded education. Museums, history, traditions, battlefields, country music, Crooked Road trail...I want to promote Virginia economically and culturally. My 3rd grader just won poetry contest. There will be no better friend to education system than me.

Question on latest poll, why are you all trailing Bob McDonnell? Terry says we're in a primary, that's what happens in primaries, in the end we'll come together, once people focus on general election. McDonnell has worked against Tim Kaine, turned down $125 million in your tax dollars. I look forward to standing on a stage debating Bob McDonnnell. That's why I'm building the campaign I'm building, 3,000 volunteers, grassroots support, offices all over Virginia. Bob McDonnell will take us back to Jim Gilmore days. Brian says Daily Kos poll had me doing best with McDonnell. He will be a formidable opponent, we won't beat him without someone with a bold progressive vision for Virginia's future. I am that person who will beat Bob McDonnell. Brian says Terry's campaign ran 3am ad against Barack Obama. Terry says he didn't design the ads, you don't have to look at your notes, read your talking points from your staff. Brian says Terry has taken polls testing negative attacks against me. I'm a big boy, I can take that. I can take your negative campaigning against me, I can't take your sanctimonious rhetoric. Creigh says this is the central question, who can win this election. I discount polls in primaries because we don't know who will turn out and vote. I'm the only person on this stage who's run statewide campaign. I'm the only one on this stage who's ever run a competitive campaign against anybody. This election is about who can go up against Bob McDonnell. I'm a team guy. Terry says he hasn't said one negative word about you or Creigh and am not going to. I'm running on big ideas. I've never attacked another Democrat. Brian says I can take it, I've got a record, I will beat Bob McDonnell like a drum.

Question about using Web 2.0 to communicate with Virginians. Brian says we need to use those tools, absolutely. We have Organize Virginia. I have a record of doing this, Business One Stop. We must interact with our citizenry. Creigh says we need to be innovative. Reinventing Government. We need broadband internet everywhere in state. Terry says we've got to make sure everyone's connected to internet if we're going to bring in new jobs. Telecommuting. Transparency in government, make it easy/simple. Find out how government money is being spent. It's your money.

Question about Twitter feed response. All say they'd respond to questions Tweeted to them.

Question about higher education, in state residency quota system. Creigh says North Carolina has quota system but spends twice as much per student than what we spend. The key to economic growth is education. Make higher education more accessible, more affordable. Terry says we need out-of-state students because they pay more tuition. It's a monetary issue, also diversity is great. It's a global economy. We shouldn't have quotas. Virginia received an F the other day on college affordability, that should never happen, we have to do a better job. Scholars for service. Commercialize patents from universities. Brian says we don't disagree. It's a matter of access and affordability. We need to do more financial aid. If a student here has good grades, they need to have access to Virginia college/university.

Question about specifics on Brian's and Creigh's jobs plans, wonders whether can trust promises Terry makes. Terry says absolutely, you always try to be #1. I'm going to beat those other 49 governors every day of the week, we need resources to fix education, transportation. Brian says he believes in building economy from bottom up, I'm a small business person, believe in investing in people, increasing minimum wage, earned income tax credit. Creigh says first thing he will deal with is transportation. #2 I'll invest in green energy economy. I'll build smarter workforce.

Question about stimulus bill, Eric Cantor. Brian says he has a lot of names for Eric Cantor, "overdog." That stimulus package was exactly what we need. We now have a president fighting for us. Creigh says we called Eric Cantor the overdog because he didn't stand up for little guy, so typical of politicians. Terry says President Obama gets full credit for high-speed rail, that's my top priority along with wind farms.

Closing statements. Creigh says Bob McDonnell has wrong agenda for Virginia's future. No abortion even in cases of rape or incest? McDonnell is proud he stood against Warner and Kaine. This primary is about who's best prepared to stand up for hard working Virginians. We don't want a nominee who supported NAFTA and takes money from Donald Trump or who takes money from lobbyists under FBI investigation. I understand middle class challenges. I will stand by you every day as your governor.

Terry says Brian and Creigh have been great legislators, that's why I'm running positive campaign. Looking for a different approach like Mark Warner, big bold ideas. We all would be better than Bob McDonnell. I won't have that positive attitude about McDonnell. I raised more money in Virginia than my two opponents. I want to stand on that podium with Bob McDonnell, he worked against Warner and Kaine, turned back $125 million in stimulus money. That's wrong. I will never turn back one cent of stimulus money, I want more than my fair share, I will fight for you every single day, we can do great things, I'm building a grassroots campaign.

Brian says facts need to be clarified. Terry claims he's running a positive campaign but he ran 3 am ad. Creigh and I could learn something about negative campaigning from Terry. He tried to wash his hands of Global Crossing. You can't have it both ways. He claims he can raise enough money, but whoever Dem. nominee is will raise enough money. While he was at DNC, Dem's lost races, presidency to George W. Bush. Terry, it's time to be honest with the voters. These times demand serious leaders. I have been there, you know what I'll do as your next governor, I'll fight for you each and every day.