Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Deeds campaign spin following Roanoke College debate

Creigh Deeds

Creigh Deeds

DEEDS OUTLINES VISION TO MOVE VIRGINIA FORWARD WHILE MCDONNELL CONTINUES TO MISLEAD VOTERS WITH HIS ELECTION YEAR CONVERSIONS

~ Deeds: “I will make Virginia the best state for business, the best state for education and the best state for you” ~

ROANOKE – Tonight at Roanoke College, Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for governor, outlined his plan to move Virginia forward while Bob McDonnell continued to mislead voters with his election year conversions.

While voters watching the debate may have been confused about McDonnell’s views on a woman’s right to choose, his record is crystal clear. Three times in tonight’s debate McDonnell was asked if he believes abortion should be legal, and each time he refused to answer the question. But his extreme, ultra conservative record on choice is undeniable – he even supported amending the U.S. Constitution to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Candidate McDonnell talks a lot about jobs, but legislator McDonnell didn’t sponsor a single bill to create jobs. Candidate Bob McDonnell claims he will invest in education, yet legislator Bob McDonnell voted time and time again to slash education funding. Candidate McDonnell tries to paint himself as a moderate on social issues, yet legislator McDonnell sponsored 35 bills which would have restricted a women’s right to choose. McDonnell’s election year conversion is so extreme, he even attempted to align himself with President Obama.

While candidate McDonnell has spent the last 46 days attempting to paint himself as a moderate, his record of promoting extreme, far right policies is clear.

In the debate, McDonnell said that he opposed new taxes for transportation, but in the same hour, bragged about sponsoring a transportation plan that raised taxes. The 2007 legislation to pay for transportation projects that McDonnell claims he “helped craft” would have raised taxes – by as much as $300 million a year.

McDonnell made the impressive sounding claim that he would increase teachers’ salaries by putting 65 percent of education funding in the classroom. But, the Washington Post debunked this claim, noting that 64.8% of education funds are already spent in the classroom. So McDonnell’s plan would really invest an additional .2 percent. While this is misleading, it is consistent with his record of voting time and time again against increasing teachers’ salaries.

McDonnell’s hypocrisy this evening reached such absurd levels, he actually attacked Sen. Deeds for supporting a bill McDonnell himself voted for. In the debate, McDonnell attacked Deeds for raising the medical malpractice cap – referencing Deeds vote for a bill which brought the cap up to $2 million – but, McDonnell failed to mention he voted for the same bill.

And in one of his most brazen election year conversions, McDonnell said he believed “now it was vital” to expand the Governors Opportunity Fund – the same fund he voted three times to cut.

In this debate and throughout the election, we have seen the candidates take two clear paths. While Deeds is running on his record of developing practical, bipartisan solutions to solve problems, bring in new jobs and invest in education, McDonnell has attempted to run from his record and peddle dishonest plans which have been roundly debunked.

Election year conversions tonight.

1. McDonnell refused to answer THREE TIMES when asked when abortion should be legal.

1996: McDonnell Supported Amending the U.S. Constitution To Ban Abortion Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest. In 1996, McDonnell Represented Virginia On The Platform Committee At The Republican Party’s National Convention. “James and Del. Robert McDonnell of Virginia Beach, both staunch opponents of abortion, will represent Virginia on the platform committee….Since 1980, the platform has called for a constitutional amendment to ban abortions….McDonnell and James said, however, the current proposal needs some reworking. McDonnell said he objects to language that describes abortion and capital punishment as matters of conscience. They are matters of law, he said.” (Richmond Times Dispatch, 8/4/96)

The 1996 Platform Called For A Constitutional Amendment To Ban Abortion, Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest. “The Republican National Convention today adopted a stridently conservative platform….The 94-page platform, heavily influenced by the Christian Coalition and other conservative forces in the subcommittee that drafted it, calls for six amendments to the U.S. Constitution, including a ban on abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of a mother. That proposal takes a tougher view than Dole, who has said he would allow abortions in those instances.” (The Washington Post, 8/13/96)

1999: McDonnell Indicated Abortion Should Not Be Legal Even “When Pregnancy Resulted From Incest Or Rape.” On A 1999 Questionnaire, Bob McDonnell Did Not Check Off, “Abortions Should Be Legal When Pregnancy Resulted From Incest Or Rape.” (Attorney General Robert Francis ‘Bob’ McDonnell, Project Vote-Smart Virginia State Legislative Election 1999 National Political Awareness Test, http://www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=5170#408)

2005: Washington Post Reported That McDonnell Opposes Abortion “In Every Case” Except When the “Mother’s Life is In Danger.” In 2005, the Washington Post reported that McDonnell “said recently that he is against abortion in every case except those in which a woman’s life is in danger. Baril [McDonnell’s opponent] has said he believes abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest, as well. Some centrist members of the party have been backing Baril, fearful that McDonnell’s support is too heavily concentrated among social conservatives and could erode when he faces Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), the Democratic candidate, in the Nov. 8 election.” (Washington Post, 06/09/05)

2009: The Daily News Leader: McDonnell “Stands On A Firm Record” Of Opposing Abortion Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest. The Daily News Leader, in Staunton, Virginia wrote, McDonnell, “stands on a firm record of opposing abortion even in cases of rape or incest and only supporting it if the mother’s life is in danger.” (The Daily News Leader, 8/13/09)

2. McDonnell said tonight that he opposed new taxes for transportation but bragged about sponsoring a transportation plan that raised taxes.

McDonnell Supported Transportation Plans With Increases in the Sales Tax, Gas Tax, Diesel Tax, and Abuser Driver Fees That Exempted Out of State Drivers. In 2002, McDonnell “supported the unsuccessful 2002 referendum in Hampton Roads that would have raised the sales tax to pay for road projects” by more than 22 percent and supported a referendum in Northern Virginia to raise the sales tax to pay for transportation projects. Then again in 2007, McDonnell “helped craft” legislation to fund transportation projects that would raise taxes, including allowing unelected government officials in Northern Virginia “to raise $300 million a year by levying…taxes;” increasing vehicle registration fees, increasing the tax on diesel fuel by more than nine percent, and imposing large abusive driver surcharges on Virginians, but not out of state drivers. The legislation also allowed the Hampton Roads Transit Authority “to levy a $10 registration fee, a 1 percent tax on the value of a vehicle during its initial registration, a $10 vehicle inspection fee, a 5 percent sales tax on car repairs, a fee of 50 cents per $100 on the sale of a home, a 2 percent gas tax, and a 2 percent fee on rental cars.” (The Virginian-Pilot, 05/19/08, History of SB668, 2002, The Virginian-Pilot, 05/31/08, The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 02/29/08, emphasis added)

3. McDonnell said he supported increasing teacher salaries by putting 65% of the education funding in the classroom.

McDonnell Voted Against Increasing Teacher Salaries for Virginia’s Public School Teachers. In 2009, McDonnell criticized Creigh Deeds for his 2008 plan to fund an increase in salary for Virginia teachers to get paid the national average. In 2005, McDonnell voted to kill a proposal to provide funding “to attain the national average for teacher salaries by 2010.” In 2003 and 2001, McDonnell voted against pay raises for teachers. In 2000, 1999, and 1995 McDonnell was one of only 4, 5, and 17 delegates respectively, who voted against budgets that included salary increases for teachers. (The Roanoke Times, 08/27/09; HJ645, 2005; Amendment 511 #4h to HB1400, 2003; Amendment 143 #1h to HB1600, 2001; HB30, 2000; HB1450, 1999; HB1450, 1995)

The Washington Post Found That 64.8% Of Funds Already Spent In The Classroom. McDonnell’s education plan proposed to put 65% of education funds in the classroom—citing that only 61% of dollars currently go into the classroom. The Washington Post, on September 27, 2009, fact checked McDonnell’s claim and found that 64.8% of education funds are already going to the classroom as reported by Virginia’s Department of Education. (The Washington Post, 09/27/09)

4. McDonnell attacked Deeds for raising the medical malpractice cap, a bill he also voted for.

McDonnell Voted FOR Bill He Uses To Criticize Deeds. “[H]ere’s something kind of interesting about that bill: Though co-sponsored by Deeds and then-delegate, now Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman C. Richard Cranwell, its chief sponsor was Republican Del. Terry Kilgore, brother of the GOP’s last gubernatorial nominee, and himself a possible future Republican candidate for Congress. Kilgore’s bill was altered in committee to allow the cap to rise, but less quickly. That version of the bill — in which the cap would rise immediately from $1 million to $1.5 million and then slowly over time to $2 million by 2009 — also was supported by Deeds … as well as fellow Courts of Justice Committee member and current Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell. Both gubernatorial candidates supported a final bill that passed that year, which raised the cap to $1.5 million in 1999 and then allowed it to rise to $2 million by 2008. (Washington Post, 10/1/2009)

5. McDonnell said he believed “now it was vital” to expand the Governors Opportunity Fund, but has voted to cut it in the past.

In 2002 and 2004, McDonnell Voted Three Times to Cut Funds from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. As a legislator, McDonnell voted three times to slash funding for the Governor’s Opportunity Fund by $16 Million, which has created or saved over 80,000 jobs since Deeds successfully introduced and passed the legislation in 1996. (AP, 07/15/09; HB306, 1996 and Virginia Economic Development Partnership, News Releases)

6. McDonnell says he cut 14.1 percent from his attorney general budget, but that was after he increased it substantially.

McDonnell Substantially Increased the Budget of the Attorney General’s Office. McDonnell claims to have cut his budget while Attorney General. However, over his three year tenure as AG, the OAG budget from the general fund actually increased by 22 percent and his overall budget increased by a whopping 33 percent. During a similar period, the state general fund budget was cut by a net $70 million. [Legislative Information Systems, State Budgets, 2005-2009; Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, FY2005-2009]

McDonnell Increased the General Fund Budget by 22 Percent. In FY2006, the Office of Attorney General & Department of Law (OAG) had a general fund budget of $17.1 million. When Bob McDonnell left the office, in FY2009, the annual OAG general fund budget was $20.8 million. This amounts to a net increase of $3.7 million (22%) over four fiscal years. [Legislative Information Systems, State Budgets, 2005-2009; Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, FY2005-2009]

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics

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