FAMILY: Wife, Anne; Children, Nat, Woody and Annella
CAMPAIGN MAILING ADDRESS: 6010 N. Crestwood Ave., Suite B, Richmond, Va. 23230
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 804-673-2100
OCCUPATION: Lieutenant Governor, Attorney
EMPLOYMENT: Attorney, Professor, City Councilman, Mayor and Lieutenant Governor
EDUCATION: B.A., University of Missouri; J.D., Harvard University
QUALIFICATIONS: I have a strong record of bringing people together to achieve results that better all of our communities. I cut taxes, reduced crime, created jobs and built schools as Mayor of Richmond. With Governor Warner, I helped forge last year’s bipartisan budget reform that helped save our AAA bond rating, restored our fiscal footing and invested in our top priorities — education, transportation and public safety. Under the Warner-Kaine Administration, Virginia created over 300,000 jobs, student achievement is on the rise and 97 percent of eligible low-income children now have access to health care. As Governor, I will keep Virginia moving forward.
1. What is your top public service accomplishment?
Fully funding public education. When Mark Warner and I took office, Virginia’s fiscal situation was in a crisis because of shortsighted policies. We forged a bipartisan budget reform that restored fiscal responsibility and invested in our top priority — education. By setting the right priorities we made an historic $1.5 billion increase in our investment in our kids. As Governor, I will continue to make education our number-one budget priority.
2. What sets you apart from the other candidates in the race?
My priorities and experience. My top priorities are education and transportation. I am the only candidate that has been a leader on these issues at the local and state levels and that has executive experience. As mayor, I helped build new schools, raised teacher salaries, and oversaw a system of roads, public transit and an airport and port. As Lieutenant Governor, I fought for budget reform that made a historic investment in education and allowed us to make the largest one-time investment in transportation. If the opponents of budget reform had their way, these investments would not have been possible.
3. What is one thing you promise not to do if elected?
I will not use taxpayer money intended for transportation on non-transportation projects. Currently, transportation funds are being diverted away from other projects. As Governor, I will veto measures that raid the Transportation Trust Fund, seek a long-term lock up for the Transportation Trust Fund to protect against future raids, dedicate auto-insurance premium taxes to transportation as promised by the General Assembly in 2000, and continue the VDOT reforms of the Warner-Kaine Administration. In so doing, we will restore integrity to transportation financing and invest in critical transportation projects.
4. What is the biggest issue facing Virginia? What should be done to address it?
Education. Last year’s bipartisan budget reform made an unprecedented $1.5 billion investment in our children. To keep Virginia moving forward, I will focus on excellence in our schools, rather than just competence. I will continue to make education our top priority by fully funding our obligations, raising average teacher pay to the national average and making pre-k available for all 4-year-olds. Finally, I will make higher education more accessible and affordable by fully funding the base-adequacy formula and creating scholarship opportunities for students willing to serve their communities.
5. Is there any additional legislation in regard to abortion that you would support? Would you make any changes to the current laws and regulation about abortion in Virginia?
I have worked to pass a ban on late-term abortions that would meet constitutional requirements. With my opponents' support, the legislature passed a bill they knew to be unconstitutional so that they could maintain partial birth abortion as a political issue, instead of passing an effective ban.
I want to reduce the number of abortions — a goal we all share. We can best do that by enforcing current restrictions, ensuring women’s access to health care and contraception, ensuring access to education, including abstinence and promoting adoption.
I would veto legislation that criminalized women and doctors for their health care decisions.
6. In Virginia, local governments have limited control of revenue and taxing authority. Should they have more? Less? What changes would you propose?
I would work with localities to ensure the proper balance of power between cities and counties.
7. In Northern Virginia, property taxes have increased dramatically in recent years. What role should the state play in this?
As I have traveled throughout the state I have heard too many stories of families no longer being able to afford home ownership because of soaring property taxes. As Governor, I will provide tax relief for homeowners by giving local governments a "Homestead Exemption" tool that would allow them to exempt up to the first 20 percent of a home's value from taxation, providing much-needed relief to families. At the same time, I will fully fund the state’s education obligations to ensure that localities have the resources they need to provide a quality education for all Virginia children.
8. What do you believe the role of the state should be in determining the status of same-sex couples in Virginia?
I oppose same-sex marriage and civil unions, and support state law defining marriage as a between a man and woman. I oppose efforts to strip individuals of their fundamental rights to contract with one another about decisions such as survivorship and hospital visitations. I will also work to end discrimination in housing and employment.
9. What are your views about public-private partnerships and other mechanisms to privatize Virginia’s highway system? What are the caveats you would identify as we move forward with this process?
Private sector involvement can often provide the necessary infusion of early capital to speed a project’s construction. PPTA is not a substitute for a statewide transportation plan, but it is a useful tool when applied correctly. As Governor, I will use the Public-Private Transportation Act to kick-start important transportation projects.
10. Do you believe that illegal immigration is a problem in Virginia? If so, why, and what should be done?
I oppose illegal immigration. The federal government must do its job and enforce the immigration laws. It is unfair to impose the burden of enforcing federal law on state and local law enforcement who already are charged with so many responsibilities and are working with limited resources. We cannot afford a governor who is a rubber stamp for federal abdication of their responsibility.