Allen and Kaine spar in debate

If you tuned in to “The People’s Debate” tonight (and if you didn’t, why not?), you probably didn’t learn anything new. And you probably didn’t change your mind.

George Allen and Tim Kaine repeated many of the same themes of their campaigns.

Allen: I believe in freedom, free enterprise and energy.

Kaine: George is a meany who raised his own salary.

What was confirmed from the debate:

Allen pointed out that while Kaine likes to talk about how dismal the economy was during his term as Governor, that Kaine still decided it wasn’t bad enough to stop him from becoming Obama’s DNC chair and a part-time governor.

Kaine responded, “soft teeth down their whiny throats”, which I believe he said at least four times during the evening. The reference, by the way, is from an almost 20-year old speech Allen gave to a group of Republicans during yet another intense campaign year. And let’s be truthful, the Democrats were being whiny. Not long after that the Democrat controlled General Assembly shirked their constitutional duty and refused to allow Allen to deliver his State of the Commonwealth address from the House chamber.

But, you know, for the record, Kaine was pretty whiny tonight.

He repeatedly said that he cut his salary as governor while, Allen raised his pay as Senator.

Let’s look at the facts:

George Allen Cut His Own $110,000 Salary – Keeping A Campaign Promise – By 10% Starting With His First Paycheck. “The Governor wrote his personal check today — the day he received his first state paycheck…” (John F. Harris, “Allen Signs Check To Cut His Salary,” The Washington Post, 2/2/94)

“That [$461.22] was the amount of the check that Allen wrote from his personal account to the treasurer of Virginia, the first installment of a promise to reduce his $110,000 annual salary by 10 percent.” (John F. Harris, “Allen Signs Check To Cut His Salary,” The Washington Post, 2/2/94)

As Governor, Mark Warner cut his pay by 20%.

Kaine, on the other hand didn’t actually cut his salary of $175,000 until after he was on the job for two years and only after giving his staff massive pay raises.

Kaine Waited Nearly Two Years To Cut His $175,000 Salary By 5%. “Tim Kaine’s plan for erasing Virginia’s $641 million budget shortfall will cost 74 state workers their jobs. It also includes symbolic gestures: a 5 percent pay cut for himself and a salary freeze for his highest-paid staff members.” (Jeff E. Schapiro, “The Price Of Sacrifice For Kaine,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/7/07)

“Adjusted for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year, Kaine is giving up $6,927 of his $175,000 salary, following the lead of two other governors in surrendering a sliver of their public wages in hard times: Doug Wilder and George Allen.” (Jeff E. Schapiro, “The Price Of Sacrifice For Kaine,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/7/07)

Kaine repeatedly brought up third party contributions saying that he challenged Allen in December to forego those contributions. Of course the day after his challenge, a Super PAC was announced in support of Kaine.

Kaine conveniently forgets to point out that the law regarding third party contributions says that candidates cannot coordinate with those groups. In other words, the campaigns can’t tell them what to spend or not spend their money on.

As a side note, anybody want to bet that Kaine has The League of Conservation Voters in his speed dial?

And speaking of Environmental extremism, Kaine barely mentioned energy, if at all. Maybe he’s still smarting from being found out as a hypocrite on coal.

Allen on the other hand, reminded voters that “Virginians from our coalfields to our coasts are ready, willing and able to produce the energy we need.”

In contrast to the Kaine-supported Obama policies that denies offshore drilling, promises higher costs for electricity and wants to make Brazil rich, George Allen stands with Mitt Romney who envisions a nation in which coal-burning power plants are given new life, oil derricks sprout on public lands and waters, industry is given a greater say in the writing and enforcement of environmental rules and the Code of Federal Regulations shrinks rather than grows.

Both sides were furiously emailing and tweeting during the campaign. Again, it’s unlikely any minds were changed.  But that’s only because there were probably not very many undecided voters who tuned in.  Those who did, would have clearly seen that George Allen his the candidate with a clear record of putting Virginians first and the one with a real record of getting results for Virginia.

Allen used his closing remarks to remind voters that Kaine left office with a budget that was unanimously defeated and a $4.2 budget deficit.

Tim Kaine said “Soft teeth. Whiny throat.”

The real winner of tonight’s debate? Bob Holsworth. He could teach Jim Lehrer a thing or two about keeping time.

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