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O’Brien/Barker and Lingamfelter/Day Debate

By Greg L | 14 September 2007 | 39th VA Senate, 31st HOD District | 14 Comments

Tonight the Prince William County Committee of 100 held a debate between Senator Jay O’Brien and George Barker, and Delegate Scott Lingamfelter and William Day.  As far as debates go, this was somewhat sub-par, with some goofy questions and not a whole lot of focus on the issues that are really at the top of voter’s concerns.  It still had it’s moments, though.

In the first debate, Jay O’Brien was calm and relaxed, and George Barker looked like he had popped a few too many uppers speaking so fast he started tripping over his own words.  Barker had sent out a mailing recently which outlined his immigration policies which was pretty amusing since about half of his platform was nothing more than an endorsement of Jay O’Brien’s positions that he had announced before, one was plainly unconstitutional, and another was pretty much a “do nothing” solution.  I’m not sure how Barker would be able to deny bail to illegal aliens when he doesn’t want police to identify who the illegal aliens are unless they’re charged with a felony, but the debate didn’t provide an opportunity to get into that.  Only one question on illegal immigration was asked of these candidates, which gave short shrift to the number one topic of discussion in this district.

The second debate was more interesting.  William Day whined about Virginia not having an energy policy, only to have Delegate Scott Lingamfelter hand Day a copy of the 180 page energy policy that the Kaine administration had come up with as a result of a bill in the House of Delegates last session directing the administration to do so.  Ouch.  Day told the audience that the solution to crime is to increase the amount of affordable housing.  While we were wondering what in the heck this could be about, he explained that because many police officers live outside the jurisdictions they serve, response times for calls is negatively impacted, and more affordable housing closer to the jurisdictions they serve would help.  Apparently Bill Day doesn’t understand that while on call, officers are actually in their patrol cars and working their areas of responsibility.  And Lingamfelter brought up that Day’s mailer, which had arrived in the district that day, had a 20-point legislative plan and immigration wasn’t on it at all.

Day got creamed.  The guy has the same tone and tenor of a John Kerry, without the polish, and clearly is out of his league.  It’s stunning that a major portion of his talk tonight was complaining that something hadn’t been done that the Kaine administration had actually done.  Don’t these folks talk to each other from time to time?

Next up in the Committee of 100 debates will be Jeff Frederick and Chris Brown in the 52nd House District, and Chris Royse, Frank Principi and Steve Keen who are vying for the Woodbridge Supervisor’s seat.  That will happen next Thursday, September 20th.  For more information, go to www.pwc100.org.

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  1. freedom said on 14 Sep 2007 at 5:21 am:
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    A very good account, Greg….and I couldn’t agree with you more about the “sub-par” bit.

    While the efforts of the “Committee of 100″ are to be commended, cramming two “debates” into one evening didn’t give any of the candidates an opportunity to express themselves on any issue. The moderator posed a question to a candidate who was allowed a two minute response. Then, the opposing candidate was allowed a one minute rebuttal. Then, on to the next question. Hardly sufficient time for a candidate to explain their position.

    Further, the questions asked (which were apparently developed by the “questions committee”) were very general. As a result, the responses were equally general. If the audience didn’t already know the candidates’ positions on weighty issues, the debate did little to help them see the differences.

  2. Harry said on 14 Sep 2007 at 7:15 am:
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    These “debates” are meaningless, I’m certain not one person in that room was swayed by the debate and since these are no longer televised it’s a lot of wasted effort on the candidates part as well as the Committee of 100.

  3. James Young said on 14 Sep 2007 at 9:15 am:
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    As a member of the Committee, and a former Board member, I would disagree that these events are “meaningless” or “wasted.” These are the marquee events of the year for the Committee, and they provide one of the few fora available for voters to see and to hear the candidates together, and compare and contrast their qualifications.

    As for the questions, I hope that people will find those next week more satisfactory. I’ll certainly do my best to make sure that they are. The problem may well be the questions submitted. The “questions committee” can only work with what they’re given.

  4. Turn PW Blue said on 14 Sep 2007 at 10:48 am:
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    Oh, and while immigration may be the “number one topic of discussion” and this board and in your social circles, I can tell you that traffic and education seem to come up as higher priorities with the people I talk to. Don’t get me wrong, immigration is indeed a concern. But it is only one of many and doesn’t always top the list (especially when you talk to someone who spends a few hours a day stuck in traffic on 66 or staring at the “It’s not iver ’til it’s under” signs in Tysons.

  5. Batson D. Belfrey said on 14 Sep 2007 at 11:39 am:
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    I have to agree with James Young, 100% on this. Sine the MJM and Potomac News do such a piss–poor job of covering local elections, the “Fora” are one of the few oppotunities that voters who care, have to get educated about the candidates. I have attended Committee of 100 events in the past, and have always come away with a better understanding of the candidates themselves. Since the MJM’s coverage is two-dimensional AND superficial, I would reccomend attending any “Fora” that you can.

    Also, I’d like to thank James for the word-of-the-day. While “Forums” is an accepted plural of “Forum” according to dictionary.com, “Fora” just sounds cooler.

  6. Dave B. said on 14 Sep 2007 at 12:05 pm:
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    Turn PW Blue: The reason people spend 2 hours a day in traffic is because of the influx of hundred of thousands of illegals in this area. Why do you think we are so up in arms about this issue? There are SOOO many consequences to this single issue. Lack of educational dollar due to wasting them on ESOL programs, drastic increases in traffic due to all the work vans and ‘89 sentras that they drive, many of which are no doubt uninsured, et al. Please think of the bigger picture here. Do you honestly believe that we love picking on these people because we are sadistic? We are enraged over it due to the very issues that you mentioned in your post.

  7. Bryanna said on 14 Sep 2007 at 1:12 pm:
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    To make sure issues are covered that are on the tops of voters minds, we rely on our dinner guests to submit questions by handwriting them on 3×5 index cards offered to them when they arrive at 6:30 p.m. Questions are accepted until the Committee is sequestered for the review and selection process then handed to the moderator moments before the debate begins.

    Questions may be submitted on line at http://www.pwc100.org/ and will be provided to the Questions Committee at the forum IF additional questions are needed. Priority is given to those who make a paid reservation and arrive in time for dinner.

    As a member of the Program Committee, we know the quality of the questions are a critical success factor in the debate. We encourage you to arrive at 6:30 p.m. to allow more time to meet and speak directly to the candidates.

    As Greg mentioned the next debate is Thursday, September 20th, followed by September 26th (Thursday) and will feature the House 51st race with Faisal Gill and Paul Nichols following a limited forum in the county wide race for Sheriff.

    Reservations can be made at the link above. Thanks to all of you who attended and for supporting the Prince William Committee of 100 efforts in hosting these important public debates.

  8. Turn PW Blue said on 14 Sep 2007 at 2:47 pm:
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    Dave B.:

    While I agree that illegal immigration is an important issue, I don’t subscribe to the theory that all of our woes would disappear if only those darn aliens were deported. I don’t believe for an instant that my traffic woes would improve that dramatically if there were no illegal immigrants around (I don’t recall seeing too many ‘89 Sentras on my way into the office this morning–it was mostly high-dollar SUVs and minivans). And, all I said in my post is that the “hot topic” of conversation when I’ve been at dinner parties, church gatherings, etc., has not been what to do about the immigration issue but rather about abusive driver fees, construction woes on 66, and the number of trailers (or lack thereof) at the local elementary school. While there are indeed a myriad of effects the illegal immigration has on our community, I don’t believe that one single issue is so dominant as to be the crux of any election cycle.

  9. Bryanna said on 14 Sep 2007 at 4:10 pm:
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    The bigger issue is how to get local, state and federal government working smart and together.

    Federal Government needs to give more authority and money back to the states, the states need to give money and authority to the locality and together we will enforce the law. Local goverments must be given the tools they need to get things done. Whether it’s enforcement of Immigration law, or counterterrorism efforts.

    Federal government is the source of the problem. They take the bulk of our money, then don’t get the job done, and the state and local government is expected to clean things up.

    Dem’s say people have to pay for what they ask for, I am paying, we’re all paying, and when they ask us to pay again we better have people in state government that have a back bone like Del. Jeff Frederick and Sen. Jay O’Brien. No FLIP FLOPPERS ALLOWED in the Commonwealth.

    Then we need to get control of the out-of- control spending of our Congress and use that money for BORDERS!

  10. CONVA said on 14 Sep 2007 at 10:05 pm:
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    For those that think the committee of 100 is wasting it’s time on these dabates, or that the questions are too general, may I suggest they get off their collective asses and join the committee and steer it to their liking. Or maybe they shouldn’t waste their time and not go to any debate and vote a strickly party line and to hell with principles. If you think putting these together is a walk in the park, join up and get involved.

  11. Anonymous said on 14 Sep 2007 at 11:22 pm:
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    The questions at last nights debate did indeed need some work but I thought the O’Brien-Barker debate was generally dull and boring with the exception of Barkers last question that seemed to come out of the blue.

    The Day-Lingamfelter debate was a bit more interesting. Both candidates started out well but Day was clearly out-classed as the night wore on. Day seemed to have read his material in a prepared fashion and had no answer on how he would pay for anything and basically gave long winded remarks on his political philosophy with no number to back anything up. Lingamfelter really hit Day on the hybrid and pre-k stuff and Day had absolutely no answer on how he could pay for anything but the best part of this debate was when Lingamfelter pulled out one of Day’s mailers on his plan for Virginia and plainly illustrated that it showed nothing about illegal immigration right after Day said this was one of the most important issues in the district. Lingamfelter seemed to be familiar with specifics on what he had done and Day seemed to wax eloquently on philosphy with nothing to back it up numbers wise. I think he got flustered after a few questions in which he started off decently and never really recovered.

  12. freedom said on 15 Sep 2007 at 8:09 am:
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    Whoa, CONVA….where did THAT vitriol come from?

    I fully understand that these things (fora) don’t “just happen,” and as I said earlier, the efforts of the “Committee of 100″ are to be commended; my intent was merely to offer an opinion as constructive suggestion — not to be offensive.

  13. Darkmage said on 17 Sep 2007 at 9:58 am:
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    Is there a transcript of the Day-Lingamfelter debate available?

  14. James Young said on 21 Sep 2007 at 1:06 am:
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    Inevitable product of a liberal arts education.

    I aim to please, Bryanna. ;-)

Comments are closed.

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