Several bloggers from across the commonwealth, including conservatives, participated this morning in a conference call with the new Democratic candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, as he continues his media and public appearance blitz across Virginia.
McAuliffe made abundantly clear in this call that he is not running this campaign as a conventional candidate.
“I’m going to do what I think is right,” said McAuliffe. “If you’re looking for someone who is going to be creative, think outside of the box, and shake things up, then consider me.”
McAuliffe promised to increase spending in education and healthcare, despite the state facing a $3B shortfall. When pressed about this seeming discontinuity, he said that he can’t do anything about the current budget.
McAuliffe also said that you cannot impose polls or increase taxes in a down economy. He recommended targeted tax cuts to retain business and citizens in the state.
His recommendation on increasing revenue in the state is to increase jobs, which he proposes to do by creating enterprise zones, empowering the governor with greater incentives for business, revising or eliminating the Dillon Rule, and creating alternatives in energy in transportation.
Perhaps his most interesting energy proposal – particularly for those in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore – is using chicken waste for energy and building a wind farm off the coast.
McAuliffe responded to a very interesting question by Vivian Paige, who asked about what his greatest weakness might be.
“Patience,” said McAuliffe. “I’d like to see everything done yesterday, but some things do take time.” If you don’t start laying the foundation for things today, you won’t get there, he said.
Norm Leahy was the other conservative, that I know of, who was on the call. He also offers his perspective.