Saturday, July 25, 2009

Live-blogging the Homestead debate ... #6

McD to Deeds: 98% rating with national unions; 52% rating with small business. What is your pledge about taxes to Virginians.

Deeds: "Again the politics of got ya." That's his catch phrase when he's caught. Again emphasized transportation as his first focus if elected gov. (Hands are gesturing) Repeating comments from earlier in debate.

McD: Sat with Wolfe and Davis to talk about comprehensive funding issues. You have a wish list but no plan; will it include tax increases? You won't say. Can make the tough decisions in this tough economy. just handed them questions from online:

Question: Would you raise taxes for transportation?

McD: 7.2% unemployment; tough financial times; people of VA cannot sustain another tax increase. Cannot tax and still recruit large companies to the Commonwealth. Put together transportation plan ( with funding included. Set out specific plan for funding, privitize ABC, let NoVa keep 3/10s% of sales tax to fund transportation ... read it on I will lead on transprtation and make funding a priority.

Deeds: Voted on bill at Gov's urging; held nose to vote for it. While we're talking, NoVa people sit in traffic.

Question to Deeds: Do you support full support for gay-lesbian rights including marriage?

Deeds: Marrige is between man and woman. Marriage and civil unions are not on the table in VA. Support nondiscrimination laws, benefits, focus not on those things that divide us but on what can move us forward.

McD: As AG, I had a plicy that we don't discriminate if you are qualified for the job. Asked about issues related to merit. Republicans and Democrats both praised his office of AG. No test other than merit should be in place. Support Marriage Amendment passed 57% of VA; that is the law in VA.

Question: Do you plan to make these issues central to your campaigns?

Deeds: As gov of VA there's only 4 years to advance agenda. Concentrate on prosperity for VA. Social agenda has never been much to his campaign. Will focus on economy, etc.

McD: Have said that creating jobs and opportunities is the top goal for Virginians. Concentrate on education and jobs and will focus on those. Needs to see if we can strengthen families.

Question: (from members of yesterday's audience at conference that discussed Virginia Tech's tragedy last year) - this is from 11-year-old boy: What is your view on the role of guns in our society and ways to control violence?

Deeds: Supports NRA. Virginia Tech tragedy changed many things. Gun loophole - worked with Kaine and others to craft amendments to the gun loophole amendment. Is convinced this should pass.

McD: I'll never April 16 and the VA Tech tragedy. Had two nephews at VA Tech and wanted to get in touch with them. Kaine was in Japan; he went to VaTech and hospital to visit with family members. Kaine's finest moments came during his handling of that tragedy. Does not agree with loophole legislation but closed mental health loophole.

Question: Relationship between national and state policies: I am concerned about federal govt taking over more and more state areas. How will you supprot VA to keep makes its own decisions?

McD: Agree that state should not be micromanaged by federal govt. Bad for VA and bad for America -- will stand up to say it's wrong. Have spent too much money and not gotten fixes in past. Past six months of card check, cap-and-trade, energy tax, socialized medicine, new intrusions into free enterprise system - concerned at what federal govt is doing. Hurts businesses and families.

Deeds: Agree that DC should not trample on state rights.

Closing statements are now going on with Deeds going first and McDonnell following.

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