It was Creigh Deeds’ event, but guest Terry McAuliffe ran with it, ringing out the first and in the second year as Virginia’s 72nd Governor. McAuliffe made his first campaign stop of 2015 supporting his former gubernatorial rival and using the opportunity to tune up on this year’s legislative agenda.
A year after taking office, the Governor took the opportunity to climb on the soapbox to emphasize the issues he ran on and report progress. He enumerated a number of issues, but jobs and healthcare were the bookends claiming substantial progress on one and frustration with the other. On jobs, he pointed out that the state faced strong headwinds, losing nine billion dollars in defense contacts the last three years; more than any other state in the country. So, he has set out re-purposing Virginia’s economy to make it less reliant on the federal government. That is what he thinks about every single day.
Additional issues addressed:
- Women’s rights
- Marriage equality
- Responsible gun ownership
- Mental/behavioral health
- Reformed Standards of learning
- Daycare centers
- Restoration of rights
- Building broadband
McAuliffe announced that there would be a booklet published today, the first anniversary of his inauguration, outlining accomplishments during his first year in office. Highlighting successes on jobs, he said his whole emphasis is on how to build that new economy. And in that effort he has become the most travelled governor in our nation’s history. The results so far include 265 economic deals and $5.4 billion in direct investment; double what any governor has ever done on job creation.
You all know I say sleep when you’re dead. I go seven days a week.
He closed with a discussion of Medicaid expansion and the lack of success moving the General Assembly toward doing the right thing. Every single Virginian, he says, should have access to quality healthcare. Asking how many in the room have been to the RAM clinic in Wise, he used that event to explain why he’s so passionate about the issue. For those who have not been there, he hopes they will go this year to watch doctors, dentists, and nurses give a weekend of their lives bringing thousands of Virginians one day of healthcare each year.
You can dislike the President; you can dislike the law. We have paid for it. We ship $2.5 billion a year out of our pockets to Washington, DC every year. We have the right to bring every one of those dollars back to Virginia…We pay for their healthcare. People are dying because of our inaction…Folks, we are talking Virginia is a disgrace. And I’m going to fight to my last breath to fix it.
Notable omissions from the discussion: ethics and the environment.