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Live Blog: The Washington Post Debate

Greetings from the Ernst Community Cultural Center on the lovely Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Our moderators for this afternoon's shindig are Chris Cillizza and News Channel 8's Bruce DePuyt. On my left, is Anita Kumar, on my right Amy Gardner. Just call us the Angels of Washington Post Virginia coverage. (Hello Charlie -- I do mean you, editor Matt Mosk.)

I'll be live blogging this debate beginning at 2 p.m. Hit refresh frequently starting then to get the latest.

1:58: Okay, we're about to begin. The candidates have taken the stage. We've got Moran on the left, Deeds in the middle (seems to always happen at these debates) and McAuliffe on our far right. Let's get ready to rumble.

2:00 p.m. We're going right to questions. No opening statements at this baby. First question, posed by Chris Cillizza: What would you do differently to get sustained transportation solution?

2:03: Deeds says there's a reason Sens. Whipple, Howell, Saslaw are supporting him. They're all in the senate together? No, that's not it. It's that they know he'll get a sustained transportation solution in 2010.

2:05: McAuliffe frets about the state's ability to get federal matching funds for roads and ptiches high speed rail.

2:06 p.m.: Cilizza is following up with Moran--what would you do differently than Kaine? He's going to his record. Bingo, first hit of a major candidate campaign theme. Moran's gonna want to talk about his long time in the Assembly as much as possible.

2:07: Chris now at McAuliffe -- is it reasonable to think you can change Richmond without experience there. McAuliffe's answer: Yes.

2:08 p.m.: Next question: Are there Virginia companies too big to fail and, if so, should the state ensure they don't falter.

2:09 p.m.: An interesting answer from McAuliffe -- he says he doesn't ascribe to the notion that some companies are too big to fail. Of course, the federal government as come to a different conclusion. On the other hand, the feds are dealing with huge, multinational corporations.

2:10 p.m.: Okay, 10 minutes in and we're getting our first Moran push back to McAuliffe. To McAuliffe's claims that he's created 100,000s of new jobs: "C'mon, Terry."

2:11 p.m..: Deeds says there are no businesses too big to fail but we should do what we can to help.

2:12 p.m.: Next question--what makes Virginia's best cheerleader in chief. (I'm getting some strange images here.) Deeds notes how well he knows the state--here he gets his good rural roots in.

2:14 p.m.: My colleague Amy Gardner has posted our first fact check. You can find it here.

2:15 p.m: Rebellion by our candidates. They can't see the timekeeper because of the lights. Says Terry: He needs to move. Timekeeper making his way to the stage.

2:17 p.m.: Now we're talking financial literacy. McAuliffe talked to a woman named Tara who didn't understand the pay day lending documents she was signing. Tara? Are you out there? We'd be interested in hearing your story.

2:19 p.m.: Appropriate -- we're asking how community colleges can help folks retool for a modern work force.

2:20: Moran really respects our community college students. Really respects them. Is taking his time up respecting them. But now he's moving to how an Ikea plant worked with a local community college to train workers. He's still talking on that until his time ends.

2:21 p.m.: A touchy question -- should Virginia allow gay adoption? Deeds first. A little vague -- he seems to say he has no problem with it but there's no consensus in the assembly.

2:23 p.m.: Moran says he will not rest until the constitutional amendment banning contractual relationships between gay couples is repealed. That's his strongest language to date. He says that's needed first before we talk about adoption.

2:24 p.m.: Once again McAuliffe says he favors civil unions but says other things need to be addressed next. Now he's talking transportation.

2:25 p.m.: Moran takes it to McAuliffe: How can you say you support civil unions but then say you don't have time to repeal the amendment? McAuliffe says this is not what Virginians ask him about every day. He gets some support from Deeds who notes Virginia guvs only gets four years. That's not a lot of time.

2:26 p.m.: Chris and Bruce are being tough on the times, cutting off the candidates, zip. All three have struggled with it a touch.

2:27 p.m.: Deeds is taking to McAuliffe's frequent claim that he takes no money from Dominion. That doesn't stop McAuliffe from having a fundraiser at a Dominion's executive's home. That one gets the audience making some noise.

2:29 p.m.: McAuliffe says the individuals who work for Dominion who donate to his campaign have to hear him slam their company every day. Will Virginians accept that explanation? Time will time. This question, by the way, is about rate increases.

2:31 p.m. Deeds goes back to the issue of the executive campaign event. "In fairness, he didn't write a check. It was at his house," says McAuliffe. Splitting hairs? We'll see.

2:33 p.m.: More fact checks from Amy here and here

2:35 p.m.: We're getting some consensus on immigration. The state should be a welcoming place. Immigration is a big problem but a federal problem.

2:37 p.m. Sorry for the confusion -- I'm going to start posting newest items first in a new posting.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 19, 2009; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Rosalind Helderman , Terry McAuliffe  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McAuliffe: No to Dominion Money?
Next: Live Blog: From the Washington Post Debate, Part II


Hi i have a question for Brian Moran what would would you do as governor to prevent crimes in our area from happening???

Posted by: tarsala | May 19, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi my next question is for mcaulife as governor what can you do to better education costs for those who cant afford it even if they have good grades in high school???

Posted by: tarsala | May 19, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Deeds is only the second Democrat I have ever voted for. I have known Creigh Deeds for 22 years. However, I did not know him as a politician. I knew him as a servant. He began his public service at a summer camp for underprivileged children run by a Richmond outfit, but help in his home county (Bath).
He is a man who has put his money where his mouth is. Unlike Bob McDonnel, Creigh looks out for those he serves. McDonnel capiatlised on this by taking advantage of a little known child abuse case Creig refused to "retry" based on the family's request now to put thier child through any more trauma. McDonnel used this as political fodder stating Deeds was weak on crime, despite Deeds "wanting" to retry the case.
McCauliffe is a typical oportunistic Demcrat who coudl care less about Virginians. Deeds is a man of impeccable honour and integrity who has served his commonwealth with grace and dignity and deserves our support.
I am honoured to vote for him, and encourage you all to do the same.

Posted by: mwilliam1 | May 19, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Lord, Terry McAuliffe's got more whoppers than the Burger King.

Posted by: jeffersonian1 | May 19, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for all of the candiates what would you do as governor to fix the ecomomy so those who got laid off and cant afford to pay their bills can get jobs again????

Posted by: tarsala | May 19, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

This was a really interesting live blog until the abrupt posting "sorry for the confusion" when there wasn't any confusion I could see.

Now I can't find the rest of the blog so it seems you cut off your live commentary completely halfway through this event. What a huge shame. Please come back here and finish what you started, it was easy to read.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | May 19, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The biggest financial, Energy, and Environmental issue before Virginia voters right now is the Surry and Wise County Coal plants and other potentialy new coal plants instead of creating more Jobs through off shore wind, solar, geothermal, greater efficiency, and other investments that Virginia in particular has failed to invest in. I'm sorry that Terry McAuliffe has a stand closer to the Republicans, than that of Brian Moran, and is on the wrong side in fighting against GHG and greater Job growth in Virginia through non fossil fuel means.

Here's a link regarding this critical issue:

and tonight there's a presentation in Old Town Alexandria on Virginia's Off-Shore wind potential....


Virginia’s lead researcher on ocean renewable energy, George Hagerman, will give a public presentation on what commercial development of offshore wind power can mean for those of us who live and work in northern Virginia.

This event will be hosted by the North Old Town Independent Citizens Civic Association (NOTICe), on May 19, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 901 North Fairfax, Alexandria, VA, 22314. It is free and open to the general public.

With funding support from the state, the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (VCERC) has studied the engineering feasibility, cost, and economic development potential of Virginia’s offshore wind resource. These studies indicate that multi-megawatt wind turbines placed beyond sight of Virginia’s beaches could provide more than enough energy to meet 25% of the state’s electricity needs by 2025, creating thousands of new jobs throughout the state, with a cost of energy less than that from a new coal-fired generating plant.

Posted by: liveride | May 19, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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