The three Congressional candidates in Virginia’s 2nd CD – Rep. Glenn Nye (D), Kenny Golden (I), and Scott Rigell (R) – debate this evening in Virginia Beach. Right now (7:30 pm), there are only 10 people watching this on the live feed, so apparently there’s not a lot of interest (or it wasn’t well publicized, or both), at least online.
UPDATE 7:33 pm: Glenn Nye just said we should extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including the wealthiest. And he wonders why progressives aren’t excited about him? Blech.
UPDATE 7:45 pm: The Shad Plank reports, “All three of the campaigns blanketed Virginia Beach Boulevard with yard signs just in case there was any doubt about the extra traffic in central Virginia Beach – and there’s a serious crowd filing into the auditorium at Princess Anne High School.” Also, “attendance is very solid for and August debate – but then again this district has been a target for Republicans since the day that Nye beat Thelma Drake in 2008 – so it’s no surprise to see a healthy turnout.”
UPDATE 7:50 pm: Of course, the other two candidates are total wingnuts, at least from what we’re seeing at the debate tonight. Right now, Kenny Golden is talking about repealing health care reform and how wonderful Ken Kook-inelli’s lawsuit is. Next up, Scott Rigell talks about how health care reform will destroy America, how he will vote to “defund it,” blah blah blah. Glenn Nye brags about how he “listened to my district” and “stood up to my leadership” on health care reform. Blech. Vivian Paige tweets, “I’m one of your constituents @GlennNye and you did not vote the way I wanted on healthcare.” Amen!
UPDATE 7:59 pm: The candidates compete over who can be a stronger advocate for veterans. And the ustream feed dies…we’ll see if it ever comes back.
UPDATE 8:00 pm: Crew of 42 tweets, “Scott Rigell plays offense on Rep Nye all night. Nye appears to be on defense and a tad too reliant on set boilerplate often repeated lines.”
UPDATE 8:02 pm: OK, the feed is back, Nye talking about his visits to Afghanistan. “This is a fight we have to win.” “Our men and women are doing great work, the morale is good…” Golden says “there’s more at stake than just Afghanistan,” also Pakistan. Golden adds, “The heart of darkness in that area is the Taliban.” “That country is on the verge of something important…we need to stay there.” Rigell says if a country attacks the United States, “we should have declared war” and “used overwhelming force.” “The same is true in Iraq.” Rigell mentions meeting with Shimon Peres in Israel recently. Victory=continuous disruption of Al Qaeda’s ability to harm Americans.
UPDATE 8:10 pm: Golden says we’re the “Saudi Arabia of coal.” “Clean coal is a reality.” We need to continue using coal. Believes we should have a moratorium on offshore oil drilling until we can guarantee it can be done safely. Rigell says, “unquestionably, we need to move towards energy independence.” Need a 5, 10, 15-year horizon. We need to learn what happened in the Gulf, we can’t afford for that to happen again, but we need to “drill with confidence” as quickly as possible. “I support the use of fossil fuels.” Nye says he was in Iraq before he went to Congress, understands the dangers of dependence on foreign oil – it’s a national security question. We have to make use of a broad range of energy resources here in the U.S., including “all the ones you’ve listed.” Offshore drilling “should be part of the mix.” Do it “in the most safe way possible.” Concerned about Navy training area off the coast. Also nuclear, solar, wind power…Virginia should be a leader not a follower.
UPDATE 8:16 pm: Closing remarks. Golden says it’s the American way for people to have debate. “It’s important that we have that.” It’s also important to have someone with a view that’s different. “The clear lens is the best lens for us…independent thinkers.” “I’ve led from the front at the point of the spear, let me go up to Congress…I’ll always do the right thing for you.” Push the “I believe button.” “Never miss a golden opportunity.”
Rigell says “this truly is a defining moment in our American journey.” “There are two tracks before us.” “We really must get it right.” The folks in power now are well intentioned but “wrong.” “Leadership matters.” National debt increased $150 million during the debate tonight. “I know that’s not sustainable.” “I am waving the red flag…of warning.” Debt is no respecter of political party, gender, etc. Rigell attacks Nye for sending out a mailing. (huh?) Loud cheers – Rigell definitely has the loudest supporters there tonight.
Nye says he volunteered to go overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan, opportunity to work with men and women in uniform. “That is the ultimate nonpartisan environment.” “What we were concerned about was, ‘does it work.'” That’s what’s important to me now. I said I’d be independent, I stood up to my party on health care bill. I’m focused on issues important to the people of Hampton Roads. I don’t get wrapped up in that partisan nonsense up in Washington. “I delivered a small business tax cut.” Worked for military veterans and families. Protected veterans health care. Demonstrated record of success. The way to solve problems is to form bipartisan teams and “just get things done.”