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Gubernatorial Debate Open Thread

By Greg L | 25 July 2009 | Virginia Politics | 21 Comments

Bob McDonnell seemed to do very well in this debate and really got his points across well, and Creigh Deeds didn’t seem to do too bad.  If you missed the live stream of the debate, replay is available at virginiatalks.com.

Your impressions of the debate?

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  1. Greg L said on 25 Jul 2009 at 12:14 pm:
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    From RPV:

    Deeds: Tax Hikes Are On the Table

    - Again Refuses to Rule Out Tax Increase for Roads -

    HOT SPRINGS – Creigh Deeds today refused once again to take tax increases off the table to pay for roads. During the Virginia Bar Association debate, Deeds was asked how he would fund his amorphous transportation wish list and declined once again to answer. McDonnell highlighted the vague goals stated in Deeds’ plan and the Democrat’s admission that he has no idea how to pay for it other than increasing taxes.

    “I’ll tell you what I’m not going to do,” Deeds said during the debate. “A lot of options are going to be on the table. I’m not going to presume what will and won’t pass the General Assembly.”

    No Plan and No Way to Pay for It

    “During his first year in office, Creigh will make it his top priority to find a workable, creative transportation solution,” Deeds wrote in his economic development plan.

    “I’m not going to tie myself to any specific plan to fund transportation,” Deeds said (Virginian-Pilot, July 20, 2009).

  2. Greg L said on 25 Jul 2009 at 12:15 pm:
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    Again, from RPV:

    Deeds Turns Back on Virginia Workers

    - Declines to Join McDonnell in Opposing Cap-and-Trade -

    - Applauds Rick Boucher on Cap-and-Trade; Stands up for Card Check -

    RICHMOND – Creigh Deeds today refused once again to take a position on the job-killing Cap-and-Trade legislation currently before Congress, despite Bob McDonnell’s invitation to co-sign a letter to Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb urging the defeat of the measure. Simultaneously, Deeds praised Rep. Rick Boucher’s efforts to pass the job-killing environmental boondoggle. Additionally, Deeds defended the job stifling “Card Check” legislation.

    Card Check – Creigh Defends

    “It’s not going to do anything to impugn Virginia’s integrity as a business-friendly state,” Deeds said in the Virginia Bar Association debate.

    Deeds has previously avoided taking a public position on legislation that would force workers to publicly state whether they favor forming a union, which will place undue pressure and scrutiny on workers who resist the strong arm of big labor. Given his dependence on big labor money, it is safe to assume that Deeds supports this job-stifling measure.

    Cap-and-Trade – Creigh Hides

    Deceptively called the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES Act, H.R. 2454), the bill proposes a “Cap and Trade” scheme in which entities that exceed a government-imposed emission limit would be forced to buy “credits” from entities which emit amounts under the limits. Many analysts and employers have concluded that the idea would increase costs to consumers and severely limit the ability of private companies to create jobs. The bill narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate.

    “A Deeds spokesman, Jared Leopold … said Deeds doesn’t have a position on the cap-and-trade bill.” (”Independents Edge Away from Obama,” Politico, July 9, 2009)

    Deeds implicitly supports the bill by his silence and his dependence on national Democrats for campaign cash, despite strong evidence that the plan will kill MeadWestvaco, a major paper products company with 1,500 employees in Covington, Virginia - located in the heart of Deeds’ own Senate District.

    “If the ACES Act passes Congress, MeadWestvaco’s Covington mill operations, which provide 1,500 jobs in the Alleghany Highlands, will definitely be one of the losers. The economic future for our area will be severely impacted,” MeanWestvaco Vice President Mark George wrote (”Kill the Climate Bill: Legislation Ignores Critical Factors…,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 25, 2009).

  3. Greg L said on 25 Jul 2009 at 12:16 pm:
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    And once more:

    Deeds on Charter Schools: No to Creation, No to Expansion

    - VEA-Backed Deeds Would Cost Virginia Federal Aid -

    RICHMOND – Creigh Deeds would cost the state millions of dollars in federal aid because of his opposition to charter schools and teacher performance pay. The Washington Post has reported that President Barack Obama is offering more than $4 billion for public schools and threatens to withhold it from states that block charter schools and performance pay. Deeds also has a record of opposing the creation and expansion of charter schools.

    “It’s too bad that Creigh Deeds is standing in the way of charter school expansion and paying better teachers more based on their excellence,” RPV Chairman Pat Mullins said. “Isn’t it time that Creigh take a moment and think about the children?”

    Republican candidate for governor Bob McDonnell is a strong proponent of charter schools and rewarding good teachers. Deeds is unable to express support for these encouraging approaches because of his dependency on big labor unions, particularly the Virginia Education Association, which has endorsed his candidacy. Deeds also voted against a bill co-patroned by McDonnell that would have created charter schools (HB543, 1998).

    “I think Barack Obama has the right idea about these improvements to public education,” Mullins said. “It’s a shame that Creigh Deeds is unable to join us in this agreement.”

    “Mr. Deeds’s education stance is less defined. His Web site promises that he will make college more accessible and affordable, expand pre-kindergarten opportunities, and provide more money for teachers,” wrote the Washington Post. “Mr. Deeds says that he supports charter schools but, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted, he is less enthusiastic than Mr. McDonnell is. Mr. Deeds did vote for a bill during this year’s legislative session to remove limitations on the number of charter schools a school board may approve. Sadly, though, he doesn’t want to deny local school boards the power to control the start-up of charters in the misguided belief that it would drain money from public education; never mind that charters are public schools.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/04/AR2009070402022.html).

  4. Groveton said on 26 Jul 2009 at 12:06 pm:
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    I thought McDonnell won by a mile. He presented better, he stood up to the issues better, he was more in command. I see McDonnell as the winner on both fact and appearance, in both substance and style.

    After a bumpy start, VirginiaTalks got the technology working well. In addition to the live AV feed they also provided a comment entry window (where everybody could see the comments). Finally, they provided a “hash code” into Twitter. The hash code was #vagov. Entering this on any Twitter message let that message be seen by anybody viewing the debate. It was great to read the commentary as the debate unfolded. It was even better to read the comments once the debate ended. People said either one of two things:

    1. McDonnell won or …
    2. Debates don’t matter

    Even the Deeds-a-holics didn’t claim victory.

  5. Bob Wills said on 27 Jul 2009 at 12:14 am:
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    Greg L said on 25 Jul 2009 at 12:14 pm: Flag comment

    From RPV:

    Deeds: Tax Hikes Are On the Table

    - Again Refuses to Rule Out Tax Increase for Roads -

    Greg you do make me laugh.

    The Profer system is a 30 year failure and Profers are a TAX. What in your mind make you think that if your government charges someone something it is not a TAX. Fees are TAXES. Every cost to the public is a TAX for TAXING is the only thing that Government does to raise money.

    You and your do nothing like minded will never do anything to solve the Capital Improvments needs in Virginia.

  6. Logical Thinker said on 27 Jul 2009 at 8:18 am:
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    Actually, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch, http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/state_regional/state_regional_govtpolitics/article/DEBA26_20090725-222605/282231/ , Deeds helped write the Charter School bill that removed the caps on Charter schools (4th para form the end). Only problem is as far as I can tell that the patron or author of this legislation HB 1844 was Delegate Scott Lingamfelter from Prince William and it was co-patroned by Delegates Athey and Cole, not Deeds http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=091&typ=bil&val=hb1844. Deeds did nothing I am told to write a single word of it. In fact, Democrats have been very hostile to Charter Schools and opposed efforts to make it easier to get Charter application through the system because the Virginia Education Association hates competition and Deeds sucks up to them.

    For example, I see that 2004 when Lingamfelter had HB 380 that I am told reformed the Charter School law in Virginia to make it easier to get a Charter School application considered (this passed and was signed into law too) Deeds was one of 7 liberal senators http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?041+vot+SV0807HB0380+HB0380 who voted “no”. Just the facts…

  7. I'm just asking... said on 27 Jul 2009 at 11:59 am:
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    I was struck by the fact that Bob McDonnell is more interested in what’s going on in Washington than discussing our problems here in Virginia. I’m voting for a Governor, not a Senator. If McDonnell wants to work on the issues he discussed, he should run against Webb or Warner in the future.

    Deeds appropriately focused on Virginia and the things that we care about. All politics are local… and Virginia is my neighborhood… not Washington.

  8. Logical Thinker said on 27 Jul 2009 at 12:42 pm:
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    I’m just asking,

    So you don’t want your governor to be in a place to affect policy at the national level that will hurt all Virginans if it passes? You just want the Governor to let the Fed ride over us? If so, you’re pretty unwise….but then again, you’re supporting Deeds…

  9. Groveton said on 27 Jul 2009 at 5:43 pm:
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    I’m just asking …

    I can’t agree. Deeds went on and on about abortion (or, a woman’s right to choose). Abortion is settled law (whether people like it or not). Card check is pending legislation. McDonnell wants card check voted down. I don’t know what Deeds wants with regard to abortion. The Supreme Court made his perspective on a woman’s right to choose the law of the land back when young Creigh was just 15 years old.

    In fact, Deeds wants to use McDonnell’s personal oppostion to abortion as a wedge issue. And McDonnell wants to use Deeds’ large campaign contributions from unions as a wedge issue. In my mind card check is a a bigger practical question (not moral but practical). The Supreme Court isn’t going to overturn Roe v. Wade during the next gubenatorial term regardless of what various state politicians say and do. But Congress will vote on card check and the governor can use the “bully pulpit” to emphasize the issue with Virginia voters - who will decide on which politicians return to Congress and which don’t. I think both points were overblown in the debate.

    My biggest problem with Deeds is that he just doesn’t have a transportation plan. He says he won’t fund transportation on the back of education. Nice words. However, he doesn’t have a plan on what he would do. And, of equal importance, his “education” talk is code for “keep soaking NoVA”. This has become a tried and true policy of Virginia Democratic governors and candidates. It all started with Mark “if I am talking I am lying” Warner. Remember his “tax hike for education”? You know, push ever more of the overall tax burden on NoVA for state-wide education. For the sake of the kids. Funny thing happened. The added taxes did raise the amount of money paid as the state portion of the education bill. But a bunch of localities took the opportunity to lower their local taxes so they ended up paying less of their own education costs. Their kids got about the same but now more of it came from NoVa. It didn’t put new books on the desk but it did put more beer in the fridge. When Gilmore raised taxes for education he put a special provision in the law that prevented localities from lowering their own contribution to their own education. So, the money really did go to the kids. But not Warner. Nope, he knew just what he was doing. Buy votes downstate with money taken under false pretense in NoVa.

    Pretty good con - huh? A little education funding formula sleight of hand. Now Deedsy doesn’t want to “fund transportation on the back of education”. Translation? My mentor Mark Warner conned you idiots in NoVa out of yet more tax money and I’m not giving any of it back for your stinkin’ roads.

    What’s that old saying? Fool us once - shame on you. Fool us twice - shame on us. Let’s not fall for Deeds.

  10. Groveton said on 27 Jul 2009 at 7:09 pm:
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    Oh yeah, I almost forgot … I thought McDonnell won the debate but he had some issues. For example - defending Bush’s economic policy? Bobby?!? What are you thinking here? Sky high deficits, a financial meltdown, various corporate scandals. Let Bush defend himself (or let Cheney do it for him).

    McDonnell said he grew up in a Catholic neighborhood in NoVa. Did he spend a few years in Belfast and get confused? I grew up within a few miles and a few years of McDonnell (also sometimes known as Pope Robert I). I’ve been a Catholic all my life. Where, exactly, was this Catholic neighborhood? Maybe I’ll go back and hoist a stout while singing “Johhny We Hardly Knew Ye” sometime this weekend. The only Catholic neighborhood I ever saw was in the pews of St Louis Church (and then only for a few hours on Sunday).

  11. I'm just asking... said on 27 Jul 2009 at 9:22 pm:
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    I’m a Conservative who tended to vote Republican (voted for Bush once, didn’t get fooled twice) at the National level (but vote for the man in all cases vice the Party). I’m a little “burned out” on Republicans these days and have my eye out for Conservative (”Blue Dog”) Democrats. Deeds fills the bill for me.

    Logical Thinker,

    If learning from past experience not to trust Republicans (and to look past party labels) when looking for Conservative values makes me unwise, so be it. Obama’s taking a lot of heat for correcting eight years of inept leadership, lack of regulation of financial markets, the largest deficits in American History (need I mention what Clinton left in that regard) lies to the American people, and (least we forget) a couple of wars. I’ll make my decision re how Obama is doing in a year or two.

    I think I am not alone.

  12. Groveton said on 28 Jul 2009 at 7:08 am:
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    I’m just asking…

    I hear you. I support Democrats like Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) who fit the “Blue Dog” model you describe. I just don’t thing Deeds does. He’s a funded by unions, anti-business, professional politician populist. Kind of a Jimmy Carter. I also agree with you on Obama. Six months is too short a time for assessing his performance. Sometimes he does something that makes me crazy but, overall, he is basically doing what he said he’d do.

  13. I'm just asking... said on 28 Jul 2009 at 7:29 am:
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    Groveton, well said. I haven’t made up my mind re who I’m voting for (Deeds or McDonnel) yet. When I make up my mind, I tend to write a check. It’s just too early in the race.

  14. Logical Thinker said on 28 Jul 2009 at 9:31 am:
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    I’m just asking…

    Here’s the point. Governors necessarily need to comment and work on federal issues. Your criticism of this is off the mark. Your point might be true of local races, but not a person running for Governor. Fed policies most definitely affect how a Governor does his job. Absolutely true.

    And if you are a true conservative, you could not vote for Deeds. He isn’t, not by a long shot…

  15. I'm just asking... said on 28 Jul 2009 at 12:44 pm:
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    Logical Thinker,

    I’m not sure what a true conservative is these days; however, I’m impressed that you claim the right to approve membership (which is perhaps why it’s such a small group… and shrinking). I may belong to a different “group” than you; however, I consider myself a Conservative (and consider the label “true” a bit superfluous.)

    To be specific, I’m a fiscal conservative in the Libertarian (classic Libertarian) tradition. That translates into small Government, few rules, free markets, and social tolerance. We also tend to be Federalists (in the Jeffersonian model) who love the 10th amendment, support strong state rights, and would just as soon the Federal Government leaves us alone. Simply put, we believe in the minimum rule set necessary to make sure humanity doesn’t hurt one another, take each other’s stuff. And mind its own business and that these rule sets should be implemented and enforced at the lowest level of Government possible (preferably State and/or County/City). We don’t like others telling us what to do.

    The Republican Party I grew up with espoused these values. I no longer recognize what passes for the Republican Party today (do I need to revisit the record of the last eight years or the platform McCain/Palin ran on)? We (Conservatives in the Libertarian Tradition) tend to hang out at the Cato Institute protecting the constitution. You may remember the work Mr. Levy, the Cato Chairman of the Board, just did winning the District of Columbia vs. Heller case (representing Heller before the court). Defense of the Constitution as written remains a Cato top priority.

    I guess I’ll just have to hang out with folks who are less than “true Conservatives” since I appear to not be welcome in your club. Frankly, I’m guessing our Christmas party is a lot more more fun than yours.

  16. Logical Thinker said on 28 Jul 2009 at 4:23 pm:
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    I’m just asking…

    Well all I can say after your long response is this. If you are seriously contemplating voting for Deeds, and you claim to be a true conservative in your meaning of the word, then you must feel that being that true conservative also means raising taxes and growing the size and scope of government, because that is exactly what Deeds has done for years and has already hinted to at the debate with Bob (keeping higher taxes “on the table”)

    Note: I am not including the social issues which you have set aside. I can only assume that you do not think these are attributes of true conservatives. You would be in a minority on this, but that’s fine for this discussion.

    Point is no conservative I know who wants lower taxes or smaller government would be supporting Deeds, unless they wanted to vote for the very object of their disgust. Chew on that a while…

  17. I'm just asking... said on 29 Jul 2009 at 7:02 am:
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    Logical Thinker,

    I neither said that I am supporting Deeds nor voting for Deeds. I did say in an earlier post that I haven’t made my mind up about who to support. I merely made an observation regarding the debate. I mentioned that we Conservatives don’t like being told what to do. I should have added, we also don’t like being told what to think or believe.

    Methinks you’re not approaching this (ironically) logically.

  18. Jer1957 said on 29 Jul 2009 at 9:20 am:
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    I am not a ‘true conservative’ or a ‘true liberal’ since both labels are so much media-defined clap-trap.

    I have been called a Reagan Democrat, and a LaRouche Democrat, you name it. I am both more conservative and more progressive–than most of you. And I’ll take Creigh Deeds any day.

    McDonnell is politically smart to try to link Deeds to the mentally unstable egotist Obama–the choice of the still handsomely bailed-out Goldman Sachs investment house in Election 2008.

    Creigh needs to distance himself from Emperor NerObama.

    However, Bob, also endorses the record of the mentally ill W Bush and the intell community’s favorite con-man Pat Robertson.

    Bob is genuinely close to his party’s mental cases–Creigh is not.

  19. Logical Thinker said on 29 Jul 2009 at 1:11 pm:
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    I’m just asking…

    Methinks you are NOT a conservative simply because you haven’t made up your mind. Miles of difference between McDonnell and Deeds and you know it. Shouldn’t be hard, for any conservative, regardless of “how” conservative.

    What, after all bucko, are your alternatives if you profess to be a conservative? Sit at home and suck your thumb maybe because you have a proble with some of McDonnell’s views?

    Actually, I think you’re a “moderate”.

    Here’s a self-test for you.

    Do you favor ending the Bush tax cuts?
    Do you want cap and trade?
    Do you support card check?
    Do you want to increase the size and scope of government?
    Do you want your taxes hiked?

    If you answer “yes” to any of these, vote for Deeds. He will agree with you.

  20. I'm just asking... said on 29 Jul 2009 at 5:12 pm:
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    Logical Thinker,

    If I really cared whether or not you considered me a conservative, I would answer your questions. Since I don’t, I won’t.

  21. Logical Thinker said on 29 Jul 2009 at 5:30 pm:
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    I’m just asking…

    I won my internal bet…I knew you wouldn’t answer…maybe the questions were too hard?

Comments are closed.

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