McAuliffe, Cuccinelli Tangle in 1st Va Gov Debate - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

McAuliffe, Cuccinelli Tangle in 1st Va Gov Debate

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AP Political Writer

HOT SPRINGS, Va. (AP) - A squabble about scandals is consuming much of the first debate between Virginia's gubernatorial candidates.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe confronted Republican Ken Cuccinelli about gifts he took from Jonnie Williams and his troubled nutritional supplements firm, Star Scientific. When the company sued Virginia over a $700,000 tax dispute, McAuliffe claimed, Cuccinelli owned stock in the company and let the case languish.

Lecturing Cuccinelli about Williams, McAuliffe said, "Instead of taking him to court, he took you to New York."

McAuliffe wrongly claimed that a prosecutor's report Thursday said Cuccinelli should be prosecuted for his role with Williams. It made no such finding; it cleared Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli accused McAuliffe of fabricating claims about his electric car company's employment figures and a wood pellet company in Hampton Roads that has produced no pellets.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch the debate here.



Statement from John Sarvis, Libertarian Candidate for Governor, on Cuccinelli-McAuliffe Debate:

"This debate could have given voters a chance to hear about a better vision for Virginia, the Sarvis vision of a Virginia that's ‘Open-minded, and Open for Business.'

Instead, my opponents spent most of their time arguing who is the bigger ‘crony-ist,' and giving us the same vague pablum and bickering we expect from Republicans and Democrats, proving again that voting for Ken Cuccinelli or Terry McAuliffe 

is simply a vote for which party's special interests will get special treatment.

If I had been included in the debate, voters would have heard a much more honest and adult conversation on the issues that matter the most to them. 

Instead, we heard no discussion of education, no discussion of what a good, modern transportation policy looks like, no discussion of the impact on poor families in Hampton Roads of a huge increase in the sales tax, no serious prioritization of spending, and no discussion of the enormous waste of money and lives from the war on drugs."



Office of Terry McAuliffe

The Reviews Are In: McAuliffe Focused on Mainstream Agenda, Cuccinelli Defensive on Extreme Record

The reviews are in on today's Virginia Bar Association debate. While Terry McAuliffe remained focused on his mainstream, bipartisan solutions to growing and diversifying Virginia's economy, Ken Cuccinelli spent ninety minutes defending his extremist record and social agenda. From opposing the bipartisan transportation bill to his involvement in the Star Scientific gifts scandal to his efforts to restrict women's access to health care and equal rights for all Virginians, Ken Cuccinelli's agenda is far outside the mainstream.

Reviews from the Twitterverse:

@jameshohmann: Terry McAuliffe's closing argument: "There is a choice between rigid ideology and mainstream compromise." #VaGov

@LVozzella McAuliffe says he's focus on mainstream issues, not social issues llike Cuccinelli. #Vbadebate
@LarrySabato KC on defensive re: Star Scientific. NO WAY TO WIN on that one.

@LarrySabato: No question McAuliffe exceeded expectations

@benpershing Asked why he took gifts from Williams, Cuccinelli doesn't quite answer but again denies doing any favors for Williams #Vbadebate

@PilotOnPolitics At #vbadebate @JudyWoodruff presses @KenCuccinelli 2 tell votes which tax loopholes up for elimination to fund his $1.4 bill tax cut b4 elex

@DWStweets: .@TerryMcAuliffe was the clear winner in today's #VBADebate. He's the only candidate who'll fight for VA's middle-class families.

And some early media coverage of the debate:

The Hill: "McAuliffe was able to put Cuccinelli on the defense for large parts of the debate over comments Cuccinelli made related to homosexuality and abortion in the past, and over questions that have surfaced related to gifts he received from Jonnie Williams, the head of the Star Scientific nutrition company."

USA Today: "When asked directly whether he continued to believe, as he once said, that homosexuality was "against nature" and "harmful to society," Cuccinelli said, "My personal beliefs about the personal challenge of homosexuality haven't changed."

Also from USA Today: "McAuliffe hammered Cuccinelli as a rigid right-wing ideologue with a radical agenda on social issues including abortion and homosexuality."

Washington Post: "On economic policy, Cuccinelli has promised a hefty tax cut but has been criticized by Democrats for not being specific enough about how he would pay for it. McAuliffe said the plan "would be devastating to our economy" and "fiscally irresponsible."

Politico: "McAuliffe alleged that Cuccinelli has promised in previous campaigns to focus on a variety of policies, but has always pivoted back to social issues once in office. "So he says one thing, does something else," the Democrat said. " Ken, you are a true Trojan horse of Virginia politics. You come in pretending to be one thing, and really are something else."

Associated Press: "Democrat Terry McAuliffe confronted Republican Ken Cuccinelli about gifts he took from Jonnie Williams and his troubled nutritional supplements firm, Star Scientific. When the company sued Virginia over a $700,000 tax dispute, McAuliffe claimed, Cuccinelli owned stock in the company and let the case languish."

Office of Ken Cuccinelli

MYTH/FACT: Terry McAuliffe's Biggest Whoppers From The VBA Debate

MYTH: Terry McAuliffe Doesn't Make Promises He Can't Keep

McAuliffe Said "I Am Not Going To Make Promises I Can't Keep." McAULIFFE: "I am not going to make promises I can't keep and that would hurt education not help it." (Virginia Bar Association Debate, Hot Springs, Va., 7/20/13)

FACT: McAuliffe's GreenTech Promises Have Not Been Kept

McAuliffe's GreenTech Job Creations Have Not Come True

McAuliffe Said He Was Going To Create 2,000 Union Jobs In Virginia. "McAuliffe said it is time for the United States to stop being ‘chumps,' and start leading the way in alternative energy. He reported that he is forming a new company that will make hybrid and electric cars. ‘I'm going to put it right in the heart of Virginia,' he said. ‘And we're going to have 2,000 folks down there — all of them union members — and show that when you do it right, everybody benefits, including the state of Virginia.' McAuliffe noted that Virginia has not brought in a manufacturing plant in 15 years, for fear of introducing unions into the state." ("LEAP Focuses On Jobs," International Brotherhood Of Boilermakers, www.boilermakers.org, April-June 2010)

McAuliffe Claimed That GreenTech Auto Would Employ 900 Workers In Mississippi By The End Of 2012. "Mr. McAuliffe said the venture would employ 900 workers in Mississippi by the end of the year…" (Jim Motavalli, "MyCar: An Electric Runabout With Bipartisan Support," The New York Times' Wheels Blog, 7/6/12)

April 2013: "Marianne McInerney, A GreenTech Vice President, Said The Company Employs About 10 Employees In McLean And 78 In Mississippi." (Frederick Kunkle, "Car Company Founded By McAuliffe Files $85 Million Suit Over Web Site Articles," The Washington Post, 4/12/13)

McAuliffe's GreenTech Car Production Promises Have Not Come True

July 2012: McAuliffe Said GreenTech Would Produce 10,000 Cars In 2013. "Mr. McAuliffe said the venture would employ 900 workers in Mississippi by the end of the year, as well as create many jobs indirectly. With an initial focus on fleet sales and the European market, he says he believes the company can produce 10,000 cars in 2013. GreenTech described its first Mississippi plant, a leased 400,000-square-foot former elevator factory in Horn Lake, as a pilot facility. A second plant, in Tunica, is expected to open in 2013." (Jim Motavalli, "MyCar: An Electric Runabout With Bipartisan Support," The New York Times, 7/6/12)

April 2013: McAuliffe: GreenTech Has "Produced About 100" Cars. NOBLES: "So, would you then – you talk often about how you've had some businesses that have succeeded and some that have failed. Which category would you put GreenTech in?" McAULIFFE: "Well, right now I'm excited about its prospects. We started it – we started it from scratch. We have been designing and redoing the vehicle. They've produced about 100 that they've shipped around the world for testing." ("NBC12 Decision Virginia McAuliffe on GreenTech," youtube.com, 4/30/13, 03:56)

McAuliffe's GreenTech Construction Promises Have Not Come True

September 2011: McAuliffe Said GreenTech Expects To Build A Factory That Could Employ 500 When It Opens In 2012. "No wonder GreenTech expects to build a factory in north Mississippi, a short distance from Memphis, that McAuliffe said could employ 500 when it opens next year. It would fashion components for cars to be assembled at a plant in Inner Mongolia." (Jeff Schapiro, McAuliffe Bets On Cars Plan," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/14/11)

April 2013: GreenTech's Tunica County Property "Has Currently Not Been Developed." "GTA has spent the last several months working with Tunica County officials to determine their tax liability on their Tunica County property, which has currently not been developed. The company is operating a smaller facility in Horn Lake, MS." (Ryan Nobles, "McAuliffe's GreenTech Forced To Pay Tax Due To A Lack Of Production," Decision Virginia, 4/10/13)

MYTH: Terry McAuliffe Said Herring's Report Concluded That The Attorney General Should Have Been Prosecuted

McAuliffe: "If You Read The Whole Report, Which I Have Done, It Says In Here That The Attorney General Should Have Been Prosecuted." MCAULIFFE: "Let's be clear about the report that just came out. If we could, this is an important point Judy, on Mike Herring's report. If you read the whole report, which I have done, it says in here that the Attorney General should have been prosecuted but the Virginia disclosure laws are insufficient." CUCCINELLI: "That is absolutely wrong." (Virginia Bar Association Debate, Hot Springs, Va., 7/20/13)

FACT: The Herring Report "Made No Such Finding."

"McAuliffe Wrongly Claimed That A Prosecutor's Report Thursday Said Cuccinelli Should Be Prosecuted For His Role With Williams. It Made No Such Finding; It Cleared Cuccinelli." (Bob Lewis, "McAuliffe, Cuccinelli Grapple For An Advantage In 1st Debate, A Rural Va. Midsummer Clash," Associated Press, 7/20/13)

Ryan Nobles Tweet: "I Don't Think Herring's Report Ever Said That @Kencuccinelli ‘Should've Been Prosecuted'. Exactly The Opposite." (Ryan Nobles Tweet, 7/20/13)

MYTH: Terry McAuliffe Has Never Proposed Raising Taxes

McAuliffe: "I've Never Proposed Raises Taxes." MCAULIFFE: "Let's just be clear on the taxes, just want to be clear. I've never proposed raises taxes. I've set a voluntary level." CUCCINELLI: "Only raising spending, just spending." MCAULIFFE: "and it has to be revenue neutral. I've been very clear on that." (Virginia Bar Association Debate, Hot Springs, Va., 7/20/13)

FACT: Terry McAuliffe Opposed The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts

While McAuliffe Was Chair, The DNC Ran A $100,000 Ad Campaign Against The Bush Tax Cuts. "The DNC will run the new 30 second Bush budget ad on television cable stations nationwide, focusing on voters in New York, Los Angeles, Des Moines, IA and Washington, D.C. The DNC is funding the budget ad campaign for a substantial effect, airing $100,000 worth of advertising. ‘Bush's tax plan means fewer cops, a dirtier environment, less help for farmers, worse child care and no real prescription drug benefit, all to pay for more tax relief for the wealthy. This ad campaign shows that the special interests have a president they can count on, but what about the rest of us?' McAuliffe said." (Press Release, "Democrats Launch Budget Ad Campaign: Bush Tax Cut Missing Key Details…Literally," Democratic National Committee, 5/4/01)

FACT: Terry McAuliffe Helped Re-Elect The President Who Passed The Largest Tax Hike In American History

In 1993, Dick Gephardt Described The 1993 Tax Hike, Signed By President Bill Clinton As The Biggest Tax Increase In History. GEPHARDT: "It really comes in two parts. The original action was [in November of 1992. Right after he'd been elected, Clinton] invited Tom Foley, George Mitchell, and I -- I was the majority leader in the house -- to Little Rock. We met with him and talked to him about what was ahead… We have to correct [that] mistake, and it's going to take spending cuts and tax increases. No matter what anybody tells you, doing this is going to be politically painful for the Democratic Party and for you, but it has to be done�� I didn't realize how negative it would be in the next election. The Republicans ran ads against all of us who had voted for it, saying that we had voted for the biggest tax increase in history, which it probably was." (Rep. Richard Gephardt, PBS Interview, 4/26/01)

FACT: Terry McAuliffe Backed ObamaCare & The $841 Billion In Tax Hikes That Came With It

McAuliffe Supported The Passage Of President Obama's Health Care Law. McAULIFFE: "President Obama went in, dealt with healthcare; passed it. It was tough. We may not have agreed with all parts of it. We didn't get everything we wanted. I happen to have been a big supporter of the public option, but you know what? We are better off today than we were before." ("Terry McAuliffe Rallies The Arlington Young Dems," www.youtube.com, Uploaded 10/22/10)

Obama Pays For His Government Takeover Of Health Care With $829.3 Billion In Job-Killing Taxes On Small Businesses, Investments And Innovation. ("Updated Estimates For The Insurance Coverage Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act," Congressional Budget Office, 3/12; "Estimated Revenue Effects Of A Proposal To Repeal Certain Tax Provisions Contained In The 'Affordable Care Act,'" Joint Committee On Taxation, 6/15/12; "Estimate Of The Effects Of The Affordable Care Act On Health Insurance Coverage," Congressional Budget Office , 5/14/13)

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