Saturday, July 25, 2009

Live-blogging the Homestead debate ... #4

Deeds is now giving his opening statement. He agrees with cap-and-trade, lined up with Mark Warner, touting work force, education, economic opportunities of future -- says Virginia needs to be a natural leader in renewable energy, stem-cell research, cannot go back to "failed economic policies of the past."

McDonnell: How to finance education: All my children have gone to public schools in Virginia. Here today because of great education he received; children have graduated from public universities. It's not all about money; think outside the box. More money in classroom and less in administration. Agrees with Obama with charter schools; performance pay for teachers who achieve more. Noted Obama's incentive money to go to education announced yesterday. Needs discipline and character education and more focus on those traditional things that have been in our schools for so long. Focus on results and accountability. Community colleges focus on work force development will be part of that.

Deeds: No better investment than our children. Four children public school system and public higher education. He's where he is today because of college education. Higher education needs to be more affordable but how to pay for it? Transportation will be his main concern, put people back to work, create jobs. Charter schools - seemed to be for that.

Rebuttal McDonnell: Encouraged by his dad to get a good education. Did that through GI bill. Will do everything to promote higher education.

Question to Deeds: What are specific plans for attracting economic growth to VA? How to reconcile with environment and energy?

Deeds: Job of next gov is to restore confidence in economy. First, address transportation throughout the state. Create jobs, revenue, wealth. Focus on education; said McDonnell will pit school children against transportation. Wants VA to be capital of alternative energy through creation virtual research triangle that involves all 14 higher education schools. ET - energy technology.

McD: Southside cities unemployment in double digits. Small business should be encouraged with help; tourism (film production); increase of gov opportunity fund to attract business; comprehensive energy plan - need to use all resources - coal, natural gas, nuclear reactors, offshore drilling - many many jobs from that. Use that money for transportation and other issues. Opponent said get me elected and then I'll tell you what I'll do. Needs to be on the table now. 91% Deeds stands with AFL-CIO; small business needs to be encouraged.

Rebuttal: Accused Bob of playing politics of division; said he will work with everyone. Give tax break for every job created. Started attacks on Bob McDonnell ... this is getting interesting.... Lots of hand action from Deeds; hit his microphone gesturing with his hand.

Question: Wedge or culture war issues (social issues): Do you consider any of these issues center to your political identity, will you isolate any of them, and are any of them central to the policies that you would pursue?

Deeds: Raises stark division between two candidates. Believes in abortion.

McD: Raised in Catholic family. Tradition family values - in this society with all the division issues we have we can do things that promote families and religious institutions to do their good work. Less reliance on government. On abortion - broad difference of views between people. They have different points of view on this issue. Ban on partial birth abortion - worked on that in legislature. Deeds voted against those issues. Protect traditional marriage; supported Marriage Amendment. Deeds voted against it. Campaign is based on jobs and opportunity.

Deeds: Personal views by each; thinks some views are "out of the mainstream." Bipartisanship approach?

Question: What role should ideology and politics play in selection of judges in VA? How would you use your powers as gov to influence?

McD: Strong supporter of independence of judiciary. We need to have honest and fair judges in VA. Started process of judicial review process to find a way to have judges, retired judges objectively evaluate judges. Their ability to do the job well, legal ability, great judicial system in VA. Will appoint people according to those criteria.

Deeds: Independent judiciary - believes in. Needs experience, intellect, curiosity to sit at bench.

Be sure to catch the debate live at

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