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Excerpts: Brian Moran Takes Post Readers' Questions

Governor's race Democratic candidate Brian Moran stopped by washingtonpost.com today to answer some readers' questions and discuss his campaigns and policies. Excerpts are below.

His opponents, Terry McAuliffe and Creigh Deeds, also will be doing washingtonpost.com discussions -- McAuliffe today at 3 p.m. (submit questions) and Deeds on May 29.

Excerpts:

Fairfax County, Va.: I worked all last year on the Obama campaign as a volunteer in northern Virginia. I am still angry that Terry McAuliffe pointedly left Denver before President Obama's acceptance speech. But even before he entered the race, I was torn between you and Creigh Deeds on electability. Creigh seems like a more Jim-Webb-style, middle of the road, centrist candidate who people from other parts of the state can identify with. Why do you feel a northern Virginian with progressive views, such as yourself, can defeat McDonnell? I would love to be convinced you can -- please tell me.

Brian Moran: Thanks for that question. You're not the first person who I've heard that criticism about my opponent from. That's why I thought it was unfortunate he ran misleading radio ads claiming credit for electing President Obama.

To your question, I believe Creigh Deeds is a good man. But I believe he and I have a different philosophy on some issues important to Virginia Democrats. On the question of electability, Creigh ran last time and was unsuccessful. Since than, Bob McDonnell has raised his profile even more.

I've spent the last 8 years traveling across Virginia coordinating campaigns that win in tough Republican-leaning distircts from Loudoun to Lynchburg to Virginia Beach. I know how to win in suburban and rural communities and a I have a strong base here in Northern Virginia. Mark Warner won comming from Alexandria and Northern Virginia was key to Tim Kaine and Jim Webb's victory. Beyond that, I can go toe-to-toe with Bob McDonnell on the issues. Having been a prosecutor for 7 years, I will not let him make Democrats seem "soft" on safety issues and can win the debate on the major policy issues of the day.

It's worth noting that the major public polls on the general election have shown me as the strongest Democratic candidate against McDonnell in November.

I can, and will, beat Bob McDonnell ... like a drum.

Midlothian, Va.: Mr. McAuliffe has talked a lot about making Virginia hospitable for businesses. While this kind of rhetoric makes me a little concerned (I think of all of the concessions at the expense of workers, citizens and the environment that have often been made in the name of attracting businesses), Mr. McAuliffe seems to believe he can attract business in other ways. He discusses for instance, the need for a renewable energy standard. As of now, I feel pretty satisfied with this plan. Should I be? Also, if you disagree with him, what do you think is the best way to attract businesses while still protecting the rights of citizens and workers and the environment?

Brian Moran: I believe we can create thousands of green jobs here in Virginia with a commitment to alternative and renewable energy. As a matter of fact, I was the first candidate in this race to call for 25% of our energy to come from alternative and renewable energy but was pleased when Mr. McAuliffe followed my lead. In order to meet this goal, we can't support offshore drilling and a new coal plant like my opponents do.

He and I do have a differing philosophy on how to grow the economy. I believe we build this economy from the bottom up, not the top down. Our goal must be to keep the doors of the stores on main street open, not just wall street. That means providing a tax credit for job creation in our small businesses and increasing the minimum wage to put money back into the pockets of hard working families. Fighting for them will be my priority.

You should take a look at my Economic Stimulus and Recovery plan that I announced on February 20th. It's on my website at www.BrianMoran.com. The plan lays out in detial the measures we can take to grow our economy and make workers our priority.

Alexandria, Va.: Can a potential governor of Virginia really have a Boston accent? Tell me at least that you're not a Red Sox fan.

Brian Moran: Of the last four Governors, only one was born in Virginia --- Jim Gilmore. That didn't work out so well.

In addition to being a Red Sox fan, I am a Nats fan. But that is getting tougher and tougher each day.

Spotsylvania, Va.: Brian, I used to be a supporter of yours, but I have changed because of your negative attacks upon your fellow Democrats, to wit, your recent ads in primarily African-American areas? Clearly you were trying to race bait and suppress votes in the primary. You FAILED to endorse a presidential candidate until after the primary. Your own Chair was a Hillary supporter to the end, and yet you attack McAuliffe for working hard in the primary and will not acknowledge his hard work for Obama in the general. My question to you is why have you failed to highlight your own record and decided to focus almost completely on the negative attacks? After all the time you spent in the House of Delegates, are you running FROM your record?

Brian Moran: First, I'm very proud of my record. I am running not only on my record of fighting for Virginians for 20 years but also on a bold progressive vision.

I would be pleased to have a campaign about our records but it has to be a truthful and honest discussion. That's why I've begun airing a radio ad that sets the record straight. My opponent aired ads claiming credit for the election of President Barack Obama and the Washington Post even called it into quesiton given his history of opposing President Obama.

If we can have an honest, truthful discussion about our records, then I am confident I will win. But I won't let my opponent re-write history. I have nothing against who he supported in the primary, my concern is his efforts to change his record.

I know who elected President Obama and it was grassroots leaders and local volunteers in small towns and big cities all across Virginia. They're the ones who get to claim credit and I'll do all I can to set the record straight.

This is the hypocricy that people have shown they're tired of in Washington-style politics. We've been better than that in Virginia. My opponent taking credit for electing President Barack Obama is like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise.

Richmond, Va.: I believe that fixing transportation is central to Virginia progressing and growing. I don't just mean fixing the roads but promoting public transit, especially rail. What would you do as governor to promote transit? How would you succeed where so many other have failed?

Brian Moran: As one who has raised a family and created jobs here in Northern Virginia, I share the frustration of many Washington Post readers who are stuck in traffic every day. We must make a major investment in transportation that relieves congrestion, gets business moving and gets families home to the dinner table at night. There is no one in Virginia who has fought harder and worked harder to get this done.

I am the only candidate for Governor to stand with Governor Kaine and supported his proposal for the largest investment in mass transit and rail in Virginia history.

My priority will be expanding the transdominion express, freight rail along I-81, completing rail to Dulles and creating high speed rail from Northern Virginia to Richmond to Hampton Roads.

We need a Governor that people can trust will fight for a transportation solution and someone that knows transit and rail have to be a top priority. We need only look at the results of transit oriented development in Arlington County to see the many benefits - reduced traffic, new jobs, lower taxes, and environmental preservation.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  May 20, 2009; 12:38 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Terry McAuliffe  
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