Home 2013 races University of Richmond Forum: Live Blog

University of Richmond Forum: Live Blog


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.

  • Dan Sullivan

    Yes, that was his plan to help collect hospital bills. Hospital bills many of which would be for those not covered by health insurance.

  • Dan Sullivan

    Natural gas is driving the cost of producing energy below the point that justifies bringing new coal fired plants on line. Coal is simply a fuel of the past that will continue to be marginalized as alternate sources of energy are developed.  

  • Dan Sullivan

    His people have taken a risk here or aren’t keeping up.

  • Dan Sullivan

    was much more substantive than Cuccinelli’s. He has taken the practical tact of integrating Virginia into the reality of the Health Care Act and providing health care to all Virginians.  

  • Dan Sullivan

    His answers demonstrate an integrated approach to the issues that are being raised. Each answer anticipates related issues that are called out in subsequent questions.  

  • Dan Sullivan

    What 21st century scientist is going to come to a state where he might get sued for doing his job?

  • From American Bridge:

    Tonight at the University of Richmond, a flailing Ken Cuccinelli once again attempted to deceive voters about his extreme social views. During the forum, Cuccinelli claimed to have supported public funding of abortions “in the case of rape, incest or life of the mother.”

    That’s simply not true. In fact, regardless of whether publicly funded or not, Cuccinelli has opposed any abortion in all instances — including rape, incest and health of the mother — that “are not for the purpose of saving the mother’s life.”

    Don’t take my word for it, though. Look at the 2002 version of Cuccinelli.com:


    From his 2002 website:


    Over the course of the last generation, our society’s respect for human life has declined dramatically. We need to attack this problem on many fronts. On the most basic level, Ken believes that human life begins at conception, and that human beings should be respected and protected from conception to natural death. Examples of Ken’s positions on current topics in this area include: Ken opposes partial birth abortion; Ken supports requiring parental notification and consent for minor’s abortions; Ken supports the application of ordinary medical regulations to abortion procedures and facilities; and Ken would seek to require sonograms to be part of a 24-hour waiting period with an informed consent requirement. Ken opposes abortions that are not for the purpose of saving the mother’s life.

  • From the McAuliffe campaign:

    Ken Cuccinelli has spent his career trying to drive his extreme ideological agenda of “making abortion disappear in America” but today he made a desperate attempt to whitewash that claim, stating that he would support Medicaid funding for abortion in the case of rape and incest.

    “Ken Cuccinelli blatantly lied today and tried to cover up his career-long goal of ‘making abortion disappear in America,'” stated McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin. “Virginians won’t fall for Ken Cuccinelli’s efforts to cover up his long record of driving extreme legislation that would restrict women’s access to preventive care and his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest.”


    Cuccinelli Touted Himself as “Most Aggressive Pro-Life Leader” in the Senate

    In March 2010, the New York Times reported, “As a lawmaker from one of the state’s most liberal regions, Mr. Cuccinelli proudly described himself as ‘the most aggressive pro-life leader in the Virginia Senate.’ He favored legislation granting legal rights to fetuses at conception and voted against a bill stating that contraception is not abortion. He also sponsored bills requiring regulations so strict they would have put most abortion clinics out of business.” [New York Times, 3/25/10]

    Cuccinelli Opposed Abortion “Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest”

    In August 2002, the Washington Post reported that Cuccinelli “imbued the campaign with his antiabortion message. Cuccinelli opposes the procedure even in cases of rape or incest.” [Washington Post, 8/7/02]

    Cuccinelli Pushed for Passage of HB 1 Personhood Legislation, Said “The Fight For Life Is Going To Last For All Of Our Lives”

    In 2012, National Journal Hotline quoted Cuccinelli at rally for HB 1 personhood legislation, saying “It’s hard to believe we actually have to come and advocate for something as basic as life, but we’ve had to do it for decades and we’re going to have to do it for the rest of our lives. The fight for life is going to last for all of our lives.'” [National Journal Hotline, 2/16/12; CBS 6 WTVR, 2/15/12, Video]

    AP: Personhood Bill “Would Effectively Outlaw All Virginia Abortions”

    In February 2012, the AP reported: “Del. Bob Marshall’s House Bill 1 would effectively outlaw all Virginia abortions by declaring that the rights of persons apply from the moment sperm and egg unite.” [AP,2/14/12]

    Cuccinelli Cosponsored Personhood Bill In 2007

    In February 2007, Sen. Cuccinelli cosponsored legislation introduced by Del. Bob Marshall that would prove that “the right to enjoyment of life” guaranteed by Article 1, § 1 of the Constitution of Virginia applies to “preborn human beings from the moment of fertilization.”  The bill failed in the House. [HB 2797, 2/5/07]


    Personhood Bill Could Have “Effectively Banned All Abortions in Virginia”

    In February 2007, the AP reported, “The measure would have given constitutional rights at fertilization. A bill that could have effectively banned all abortions in Virginia died on the House floor Monday. Del. Robert G. Marshall’s bill would have granted constitutional protections at the moment of fertilization. The measure failed to advance on a 43-53 vote. Such bills rarely die in the conservative House, and are killed by the more moderate Senate.” [AP, 2/6/07]

    AP: Abortion of “All Types Would Become Illegal”

    In February 2007, the AP reported, “By giving embryos the constitutional protection of personhood from the instant of fertilization, abortions of all types would become illegal.” [AP, 2/6/07]

    Virginians For Life: Cuccinelli’s Bill Would “Dismantle The Tragic Roe V. Wade Decision”

    In February 2007, the Petersburg Progress-Index published a letter to the editor from Bob Kline, a member of Virginians for Life. The letter praised the Virginia Life at Conception Act, sponsored by Ken Cuccinelli, saying that it “would dismantle the Tragic Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the murder of innocent children on demand.” [Petersburg Progress-Index, letter to the editor, 2/6/07]

    Cuccinelli “Threatened” Board Of Health That He Could Deny Them Legal Counsel If They Disregarded His Advice On Abortion Clinics

    In September 2012, the Virginian-Pilot reported: “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has threatened Board of Health members that they could be denied state legal counsel and have to pay for their own defense if they again disregard his advice about relaxing controversial abortion clinic rules and litigation ensues. That warning is spelled out in a memo Wednesday from the Attorney General’s Office – the lawyer for state agencies and boards – obtained by The Virginian-Pilot days before a board meeting to reconsider regulations for the licensure of clinics.” [Virginian-Pilot, 9/13/12]

    Cuccinelli on TRAP Regulations: “The Ultimate Goal Which is to Make Abortion Disappear in America”

    In a May 2012 interview with Peter Shinn, president of Pro-Life Unity and director of Cherish Life Ministries, Cuccinelli said “You know, we want to show them the respect and love they need at a very difficult time all while keeping in mind the ultimate goal which is to make abortion disappear in America and make people want it that way.” [Interview with Peter Shinn, 5/7/12]

  • Ken Cuccinelli Attempts to Mislead Voters About His Long-Held Opposition to Safe and Legal Abortion at University of Richmond Candidate Forum

    “When I first heard about Ken Cuccinelli’s record on women’s health, I was appalled,” said Gigi DeJoy, student.

    RICHMOND, VA – At tonight’s gubernatorial forum at the University of Richmond, Ken Cuccinelli doubled down on his attempts to mislead voters about his long-held opposition to safe and legal abortion, even in the cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s health is in danger.

    Outside the forum, Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC supporters and volunteers rallied, in spite of the rain, with student groups to remind attendees of Cuccinelli’s outdated views on birth control and safe and legal abortion.

    Last week, Planned Parenthood Votes announced a million-dollar ad buy on Virginia TV and radio. You can read the press release and watch the TV ad here. You can learn more about the Keep Ken Out campaign here: http://keepkenout.org/

    “Virginia women aren’t fooled by Ken Cuccinelli’s attempts to hide from his extreme positions on women’s health. Tonight he once again demonstrated that he’ll say anything to get elected. The truth is, Ken Cuccinelli is a staunch opponent of safe and legal abortion even in the cases of rape and incest and he wants to make birth control – the very thing that can prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place – less affordable and accessible to women in the Commonwealth. That’s a dangerous and backwards agenda and it is out of touch with the majority of Virginians. That’s why we’re working double-time to educate voters, at the doors and on the phones, about his true record. We know that the more women learn about Ken Cuccinelli, the more they want to keep him out of the governor’s mansion,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC.

    “When I first heard about Ken Cuccinelli’s record on women’s health, I was appalled. I can’t believe that someone so extreme is running for governor and I want to do everything in my power to help educate and mobilize my peers in advance of November’s election. That’s why I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC’s campaign to help keep Ken out. We will continue to organize and educate on campus to spread the word on why young Virginians should be engaged this November,” said Gigi DeJoy, a junior sociology major at the University of Richmond.