Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Virginia Politics 2009 -- Governor's Race

Sen. Deeds discusses budget shortfalls

Democratic gubernatorial candidate against education cuts, VDOT audit
By Garren Shipley -- Daily Staff Writer

Speaking in an interview Friday, Deeds said major budget shortfalls are the time to take serious looks at the way Richmond does business.

"We have to think about some of the functions of government," he said. "Perhaps we shouldn't even be performing some functions."

But while some Republican legislators are talking quietly about cuts to education in the face of the $3 billion shortfall, Deeds says that's a bad idea.

"At the end of the day, you don't want to make cuts that are going to erode people's confidence in the future," he said. "The kind of cuts that I think that would do that are cuts to K-12 education."

"We've been going on the cheap on higher education for the past umpteen years," he said. "We have to be prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow. I don't think we can do that if we say, 'Oh no the sky is falling, we've got to cut education this year.'"

Legislators also have to make some major improvements to the state's road system, Deeds said. Better roads will bring better economic times.

He rejected Republican calls for a "performance audit" of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

GOP legislators say a top-to-bottom review of how the agency accomplishes its role could save the state some money and lead to better roads.

"That's just a cop out. VDOT is continually audited. VDOT right now has fewer employees than they had in 1958," Deeds said.

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Horserace 2009 by the numbers

Virginia voters don't go to the polls until November, but four candidates are already off and running in the race to replace Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

As of now, it's anybody's race, according to a poll released Monday by Rasmussen Reports. Hypothetical matchups between the only Republican candidate — Attorney General Bob McDonnell — and the three Democrats show many voters undecided.

McDonnell, R: 39 percent
State Sen. Creigh Deeds, D: 39 percent
Other: 4 percent
Not Sure: 18 percent

McDonnell, R: 37 percent
Del. Brian Moran, D: 41 percent
Other: 5 percent
Not Sure: 16 percent

McDonnell, R: 41 percent
Terry McAuliffe, D: 36 percent
Other: 5 percent
Not Sure: 17 percent

Read the Story

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