Five stories you should know about:
-VDOT is holding a hearing on replacing the one-lane, low-water bridge in Deer Rapids. The hearing will be from 4-7 p.m. at Strasburg’s Town Hall. Be sure to read the article. You never know what’s going to upset people…..
-Strasburg is looking into charging industries for the water used in their fire suppression systems. You know, it’s nice that the town has decided to do something about growth, but I think the focus needs to be on quelling RESIDENTIAL growth. Houses create the need for services and add very little back into the tax base. It’s business that build the tax base.
-Virginia DEQ wants residents to help clean up Smith Creek. A public meeting will be held at the New Market Municipal building Wednesday ay 7 p.m.
-Edward Bell’s fate may be decided by nine men and women, tried and true. No, they didn’t off three jurors. I’m talking about the Supreme Court. His lawyer’s claim: that he didn’t receieve adequate defense in whether or or not he should have been given life or death.
-The Daily News Record writes about the local trucking industry’s search for relief from high fuel prices.
Ok, I think I’ve managed to dig up just about everything that’s been written about the debate. Ok, maybe not quite, but at the very least, there’s something from every part of the state. Highlights:
The two men disagreed a lot and in the end they both feel it comes down to the ultimate question— what’s best for the people of Virginia. Before the debate began, two former governor’s were all smiles. They even agreed on one issue.
Mark Warner, (D) U.S. Senate Candidate – “As I travel Virginia I also hear about high gas prices.”
That’s also where the agreeing ended and the debate began. Each has a different energy plan to solve the pain at the pump. Warner wants attention on alternative energy and calls Gilmore’s plan to boost domestic production as a quick way to lower prices a gimmick.
Jim Gilmore, (R) U.S. Senate Candidate – “It is not a gimmick, and it is not a soundbite to talk about the necessity or bringing in our own domestic oil production in this country and to characterize it that way is to brush off that which will help Virginians immediately.”
Energy policy and taxes dominated the 75-minute debate, as Gilmore, the Republican candidate, repeatedly touted his plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and hammered Warner over tax increases during his term as governor.
“We have to have a United States with a decisive energy policy,” Gilmore said, which he added includes more domestic oil production by drilling in ANWR and increaing off-shore oil exploration.
Gilmore occasionally raised his voice while accusing Warner of being a “typical Washington politician” who hid crucial information from Virginians and continues to change his positions.
“You can’t trust what Mark Warner would do in the United States Senate,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore, who served from 1998 until 2002, and Warner, who replaced him, clashed on such topics as taxes and spending, the Iraq war, the Supreme Court confirmation process and children’s health insurance. But much of the 75-minute debate focused on the nation’s growing energy crisis.
Gilmore insisted that the only way to reduce the price of gas is to drill along the nation’s coastlines and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
“Someone has to do something for these people out there,” Gilmore said. “People out there are hurting. People can’t pay their bills. We’ve got to help the people who are in trouble. The best way we are going to do that is bring that oil in.”
The Washington Post had some initial post debate observations as well.
Governor Gilmore asked Warner, “Yes or no, when you go to the US Senate will you support offshore oil drilling and production to reduce gas prices and relieve the burden on the people of Virginia?”
Warner responded, “I will support what Senator McCain has supported which is to lift the federal moratorium to allow states to make that decision.”
That wasn’t good enough for Gilmore who called the answer “vague.”
“Clarity is what is necessary and without that clarity you can’t trust what Mark Warner will do in the US Senate,” he said.
Gilmore went after Warner’s signature tax reform plan that raised taxes 1.4 billion dollars.
“Can you be trusted to go forward and do what’s necessary,” Gilmore asked. “You said previously that you would not raise taxes and you raised taxes. You said you’d finish out the car tax cut and you didn’t do it. You hid information to get a tax increase while you were governor.”
From all the interaction it was obvious that this is going to be a bare knuckle, bloody campaign.
Gilmore complained, “He’s had a tendency to just toss a name around and usually he says you’re being negative or you’re mischaracterizing and he gets away with that. He’s not getting away with that this time.”
“America has three percent of the world’s oil–we use 25 percent. Drilling alone–the drill here, drill now, pay less sound bite–isn’t going to solve the whole problem,” said Warner.
Gilmore countered: “I guess he hopes people will go away today with a mischaracterization like the silver bullet…when he has heard repeatedly–and so have you–that we know we have to have a long-term comprehensive plan.”
After policy discussion it was back to the finger pointing, which will likely be the central issue of this campaign.
“And the question is–are they just going to be a typical Washington politician, and do whatever they have to say to get elected, and then break their word, as Mark Warner has done repeatedly, said Gilmore.
Mark Warner said he would not raise taxes, and he raised taxes,” Gilmore, a Republican, said. “Mark Warner said he would finish the car tax, and he did not. The issue for the people of Virginia today is, ‘Who can you trust: A person who does what he says, or the person who says he’s not going to raise taxes and raises them anyway?’ “
Gilmore said he would favor Supreme Court nominees in the conservative mold of Justices Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas. Warner said he would not look for “a simple litmus test” but would consider the proposed nominees’ whole record.
Gilmore said he would not favor climate-control measures unless countries such as China and India are subject to the same controls. Warner said the United States must take the leadership role in climate control.
SWAC Girl was there as well and summed it all up this way:
The mainstream media have turned in their reports on Saturday’s debate at the Homestead between Republican Jim Gilmore and Democrat Mark Warner, and the general consensus was the debate was a draw.
Think about it. The MSM cannot bring themselves to say that Jim Gilmore scored more points and won that debate. The media’s “protective bubble” around Mark Warner continues … but Jim Gilmore is ready to pop that bubble with hard-hitting facts that, until now, have been mainly ignored by many in the press.
Gov. Gilmore punched hard at energy issues and the need for Virginians to be able to trust their leaders. At times he left Warner looking uncomfortable as the verbal barbs went back and forth between these two former Virginia governors … one who has been scrutinized to thenth degree by the media … the other who has been largely given a pass.
Finally, if you have the nerve for it, the whole debate can be heard here, courtesy of WRVA in Richmond.
Five Stories you should know about (I think this may be a record round-up):
-Garren over at the Northern Virginia Daily has a story up about special session, and both of our local members of the General Assembly have some choice words for Democrat Tim Kaine and his “Give me taxes or give me death” allies. First, Senator Obenshain:
“Gov. Kaine was looking to pull a rabbit out the hat,” Obenshain said. “To quote Bullwinkle, ‘Whoops, I brought the wrong hat.'” …… “I fully support the notion that we should lock up the transportation trust fund,” Obenshain said. But the Senate version was a “double lockbox” that would keep general fund money from going to roads. “I find that absurd. There are times we’ve had $1 billion-plus surpluses. There’s no reason in the world that we shouldn’t spend those dollars for transportation.”
And Delegate Gilbert:
“All it really did in the end was allow those regions … to keep more of the money they generate in the future. They are the economic engines that help drive the rest of the state,” said Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock.
-Meanwhile, the Daily News Record has a look back as well and more about the Senate’s absolute determination to block a commonsense measure that would direct money from a natural resource, gas and oil, to transportation. -Not political, but Shentel is taking a stand against spam.
-Strasburg is considering plans for a large housing development, but this time, it’s a retirement community.
-The U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals has held up Virginia’s method of using lethal injection for executions.
-Obama was in Fairfax, and the Washington Times warns us that the candidate is pumping an unprecedented level of support, both in terms of personnel and cash, into the state. However, some brave protesters bucked the trend of fawning over the Senator without any real regard for what the Senator’s policies will do:
But Republicans labeled Mr. Obama as a liberal, and a handful of protesters stood outside his event with signs reading “Virginia is for McCain lovers.”
Republican Susan Allen, married to former U.S. senator and former Gov. George Allen, said Mr. Obama can’t keep his promises unless he raises taxes.
“I think I can speak for every woman in this room that we do not want new taxes or new mandates,” she said while joined by other Republican women.
“We have the chance in November to elect John McCain, an experienced leader who understands the economic challenges that face women and families across America today.”