Excerpts: Creigh Deeds Takes Post Readers' Questions
Governor's race Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds stopped by washingtonpost.com today to answer some readers' questions and discuss his campaigns and policies. Excerpts are below.
Roanoke, Va.: Mr. Deeds, how do you plan to pay for the estimated $1 billion per year needed for new roads' construction in Virginia?
Creigh Deeds: That's an excellent question, and one that has befuddled Governors and the General Assembly for years. I'm not running for dictator, I'm running for Governor. I intend to bring people from all parts of the state and from both political parties to build consensus around a transportation solution. There is not a more central issue related to getting our economy moving again than finding a statewide solution to transportation.
Alexandria, Va.: Who are you backing for Lt. Governor?
Creigh Deeds: Both Jody Wagner and Mike Signer are good friends of mine and either would do an excellent job as Lieutenant Governor.
Arlington, Va.: Hi Creigh -- Long time fan and transplant from the political scene in Richmond. If you had to pick, what are the one or two key differences between your and Del. Moran's and Mr. McAuliffe's campaign platforms? What makes you confident you can win next week, and in November? Best of luck to you!
Creigh Deeds: My platform is pragmatic and Virginia-focused. On issues of policy, there are not many major differences between us. But on the issue of experience there is -- I have been an effective legislator for 18 years. I know how state government works and I know how to get things done. I'm the only candidate in this race who has run statewide, although I lost by 360 votes, I proved I can win statewide. I'm the only candidate in this race who has had to reach out to get Independent and Republican votes. I'm the only Democrat with a track record of winning tough elections.
Virginia: The first time I met you I asked about redistricting. I was pleasantly surprised to hear your record on that. But it seems like it is still just a side issue. What can you do as a candidate and perhaps later as governor to bring this issue the attention it deserves?
Creigh Deeds: People should choose their representatives, not the other way around. That's why I have been a leader in the State Senate on reforming the redistricting process in Virginia. I know as Governor this is an issue I can address. The redistricting plan has to be signed by the Governor, and is subject to amendment or veto, like any other bill. I know I can fix this process for 10 years, but my goal is to fix it for the next 100 years, and it will continue to be a priority for me as Governor.
Fairfax, Va.: The Dillon Rule takes a lot of the blame for NOVA counties' budget and policy concerns. At the same time, it has certain benefits (local politicians would much rather blame problems and taxes on the states). Would you be in favor of trying to restructure how counties can generate and diversify revenue?
Creigh Deeds: The Dillon Rule is important from an economic development standpoint. Out-of-state prospects can look at one source, the Code of Virginia, and find out what range of regulations and taxes they will face in any corner of Virginia. There are important aspects of the Dillon Rule. But I think we ought to be constantly about the process of reinventing ourselves, including revisiting our tax structure, and I would be open to ideas about how we can more efficiently and fairly generate revenue for the operation of local government.
Crystal City, Va.: Hello Sen. Deeds! What do you like to do in your spare time?
Creigh Deeds: Spare time is an interesting concept. When I used to have spare time, I would go fishing or coach soccer and t-ball. I'm on the road seven days a week. My iPod keeps me company on long trips across Virginia. When I get a rare moment to myself I read.
Christopher Dean Hopkins
May 29, 2009; 2:03 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds
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