Tonight’s gubernatorial “forum” (not a “debate”) at the University of Richmond is being live streamed here. I’ll live blog anything interesting.
UPDATE 8:12 pm: I’d say Terry did very well – knowledgeable, informed, detailed, focused, authoritative, gubernatorial, answered the questions (unlike Cuccinelli), bipartisan, get things done, focus on growing the economy, making sure Virginia is open and welcoming to everyone, etc. As for Cuccinelli? Kind of all over the place – dodged the questions, denied/glossed over a lot of what he’s stood for his entire life, outright lied, personally attacked Terry…just don’t really get this guy, but I guess the word is “flailing.” Or #FAIL, as we say on Twitter.
UPDATE 8:08 pm: Have to move Virginia forward in a mainstream, bipartisan way. Endorsements have been extraordinary – Will Sessoms, first time ever has endorsed a Dem for governor. Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. The credit unions. Etc, etc. We are facing major challenges – sequestration, shutdown – and cannot let this rigid ideological agenda hurt our economy. How is paying people to sit at home a productive economy? Want to bring broadband to rural areas, necessary to bring business there. Exciting challenges ahead, but also tremendous opportunities. There are real differences in this race.
UPDATE 8:04 pm: Question #7, on social issues. We’ve become a laughing stock on late night TV due to what’s been proposed in Richmond. Executive Order #1 – no discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation. Cuccinelli referred to LGBT people as “self destructive and soulless human beings.” We need to have a DREAM Act in Virginia, would do that very early in a McAuliffe administration. It’s bipartisan legislation. “I trust women” to make their own health care decisions, legislators shouldn’t be doing that. Cuccinelli sponsored “personhood” legislation, would make the pill illegal in Virginia – I’d veto that. Women are 50% of the workforce. Women’s health centers being closed, that needs to stop. Put more teeth into equal pay laws. If you work the same job, you should get the same pay. Make Virginia open to everyone. Would be a brick wall against anything that would take away a woman’s right to choose.
UPDATE 7:59 pm: Question #6, on renewable energy and reducing Virginia’s carbon footprint. We need an “all of the above approach.” Huge opportunity to create 21st century energy jobs, we can be a global leader on this. Could power 700,000 homes with offshore wind energy. We should make rotors, blades, etc. in Virginia. We need a mandatory renewable energy standard like other surrounding states. Need to be on cutting edge of 21st century technologies. Meanwhile, Cuccinelli went on a “witch hunt” against climate scientist Michael Mann and UVA. The broader cost is what 21st century innovator would come to a state where your Attorney General is suing scientists? We need to be open and welcoming, bring scientists here from around the globe.
UPDATE 7:56 pm: Question #5, on education affordability. Education is an investment not an expense, need to make sure everyone who wants an education can get it. Financial aid is so critical, need more of it. Always should look at any efficiencies in education. We have spectacular colleges and universities, helps us lure businesses from all over the globe.
UPDATE 7:50 pm: Question #4, on health care coverage. Notes that Cuccinelli does not support Medicaid expansion, while he does (as do Bill Bolling, the Chamber of Commerce, etc, etc.). Morally, socially it’s the right thing to do. We will get it done. It’s our money. It’s the law of the land. Very conservative governors in America have agreed to expect Medicaid expansion. Why would we pay our money IN to the federal government so other states can use it, but not us? Medicaid expansion is a tremendous opportunity for Virginia. If we don’t accept Medicaid expansion, there’s a cost to us. Federal DSH payments will be ending, rural hospitals can’t afford that, say Medicaid expansion money is absolutely critical. Virginia’s one of the wealthiest states, we should never be 50th in any category – need to recruit best STEM teachers to Virginia, invest in teachers and community colleges. Notes that Cuccinelli has proposed $1.4 billion tax cut without any way to pay for it.
UPDATE 7:49 pm: Question #3, on civil liberties and surveillance. Terry says “it’s always a balance.” Work with Congressional delegation to make sure legislation is reasonable and balanced. Bring all stakeholders together, including law enforcement and civil liberties folks, to come up with approach that works for everybody.
UPDATE 7:45 pm: Question #2, on jobs. Talks about growing, diversifying. Need a transportation system that works to move people and goods around, for quality of life. We need to bring big Panamax ships to Virginia. Commercialize great research we have at our colleges and universities. Double angel investor tax credit. Virginia should become global leader on new, 21st century technologies. Invest in education, including early education (pre-K) and STEM, reform SOLs. Also need a great healthcare delivery system, for Medicaid expansion.
UPDATE 7:42 pm: Question #1, on bipartisan compromise. “Bipartisanship is key.” Says sequestration, the government shutdown are examples of what happens when the Tea Party, Sen. Ted Cruz (close Cuccinelli ally) pushes an ideological agenda. “I wouldn’t have even been in the same room as Ted Cruz with the damage he’s done” to Virginia families. “I wish Ken Cuccinelli had stood up and told [Ted Cruz] that.” We have to work in a bipartisan way, we’ve done it in Virginia (e.g., with the transportation bill, which Cuccinelli strongly opposed).
UPDATE 7:40 pm: Terry McAuliffe now taking the stage. Talks about economic challenges facing Virginia, becoming a leader in cybersecurity, nanotechnology, etc. Working in a bipartisan way, bringing people together. Mentions Doug Wilder endorsement.
UPDATE 7:39 pm: Cuccinelli is done, thank god. This forum sucks, by the way – no followups means that the candidate can talk about whatever he wants, with nobody challenging him. In Cuccinelli’s case, that’s a huge problem, as he just lies and lies…
UPDATE 7:29 pm: Question #7, on social policy. Cooch claims he’s not running on that, hasn’t put out a social policy, even though he’s spent his entire career obsessed with abortion, contraception, homosexuality, etc. Basically dodging the question (as he’s dodged every question tonight), talking about gangs, human trafficking…claims he’s “pro happiness” (hahahaha, right – except if you’re a woman, gay, poor, middle class, or believe in science). Ramble, ramble…now attacking Terry again. Weird. Claims he wouldn’t do anything to ‘step in on contraception,” yet he strongly supported a “personhood” amendment which would…wait for it…ban many forms of contraception. Can we say BIG LIE? Now goes into the “Terry rented out the Lincoln Bedroom”/Global Crossing/Greentech spiel. Uh Ken? It ain’t working. Now he’s getting warmed up, says “Democrat prosecutor,” “he was investing in people dying,” etc. NASTY (also ridiculous, puerile, you name it).
UPDATE 7:25 pm: Question #6, on making higher education more affordable. Of course, Cuccinelli’s massive tax and budget cuts would devastate public education, as would his plan to siphon resources OUT of public education and INTO private education. Cooch now talking about “crushing” student debt, but provides no real suggestions on what to do about that. Cooch is emphasizing “STEM” education, even as he personally denies science. Irony, anyone? Now he’s touting Liberty University, one of the worst schools in America, the creation of right-wing theocrat Jerry Falwell. Ugh.
UPDATE 7:21 pm: Question #5, on renewable energy and reducing carbon footprint. How on earth is a climate science denier and fossil fuel shill going to answer THAT one?!? By rambling about producing biodiesel, apparently. Now he’s talking about offshore wind energy, which he claims he’s supported. Well, alrighty. OK, now he’s back to normal, falsely bashing clean energy and talking about how the “war on coal is a war on our poor,” which is TOTALLY backwards. In fact, research has found that areas of Appalachia with intensive coal production are WORSE OFF in every way than neighboring areas without intensive coal production.
UPDATE 7:16 pm: Question #4, on health care coverage, Medicaid expansion. Claims he wants everyone to have health care coverage, which is utterly laughable. Goes to standard GOP talking point about buying health insurance across state lines, somehow manages to drop the name of Ronald Reagan. Basically he’s dodging the question, yet again, as he’s done all evening. Why? Clearly, because he has nothing constructive to say. Now he’s talking about adjusting to the Affordable Care Act, which is interesting, because it seems like an implicit acknowledgment that what he usually calls “Obamacare” isn’t going anywhere. Hmmmm.
UPDATE 7:14 pm: Question #3, on civil liberties and security. Not sure why this particularly relevant to Virginia, isn’t this 99% a federal issue? Anyway, Cooch is rambling about being for law enforcement but also supposedly being a “civil libertarian” (except when he’s mandating government to perform invasive medical tests on women, to tell you what you can and can’t do in your bedroom, etc.).
UPDATE 7:10 pm: Question #2, on improving the job market. Cooch claims this has been the focus of the race, which really isn’t true. Now, let me guess…yep, tax cuts! (shot?) Claims we should follow the example of North Carolina (where Teapublicans are destroying the state) on taxes – brilliant! Says Terry McAuliffe “personally” drove jobs out of Virginia. With a pitchfork or what? Who knows, the guy’s nuts.
UPDATE 7:08 pm: Question #1, on the government shutdown and bipartisan compromise. Cuccinelli laughably claims he’s worked across the aisle. The first Big Lie of the evening, and it’s only a few minutes old! Heh. Now he’s doing the false equivalence/”both sides” thing for the shutdown, segueing into attacking Terry McAuliffe. Same ol’ same ol’, in other words.
UPDATE 7:07 pm: Cuccinelli giving his usual intro. “Won’t need on the job training,” blah blah blah.
UPDATE 7:04 pm: Moderator explaining now why Robert Sarvis wasn’t invited to the “forum,” but will appear on campus at a later date to answer the same questions. Ken Cuccinelli welcomed to the stage first.