Richmond's Morning News

Heritage Foundation, FRC Lead National Values Bus Tour Into Virginia!

With the lousy economy the primary issue being addressed by the presidential candidates right now, where do values issues fit in this campaign? What about the so-called "War on Women"? Will women vote one way based on perceived "restrictions" on their "rights" or do a majority know demagoguery when they hear it? Two high profile, highly respected conservative policy organizations are shedding some light on these questions on a bus tour throughout Virginia. The Values Bus Tour —  driven by two leading public policy organizations, Family Research Council and The Heritage Foundation — started traveling through Virginia yesterday in Pearisburg and was in Harrisonburg and Woodstock today. It will be in Roanoke and Lynchburg Sunday and in Richmond Tuesday. This is part of a nationwide to advance the cause of fiscal and moral responsibility (see Laura Vozzella at the Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog).

Earlier today, Connie Mackey of the Virginia Values PAC, explained the tour on Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett on WRVA-AM/1140, with guest host Andy Jenks of WWBT-NBC12. Follow this link to hear the 4:47 interview.

The tour is bringing Americans around the nation together to voice support for fiscal responsibility, religious liberty, life and marriage. We encourage you to take time in the coming days to attend one of the Bus Tour events or rallies in a city or town near you. Click here for more information on the Values Bus Tour website and try to make your way to an event closest to you. Here's the tour's itinerary, including highlights of its previous stops in Virginia:

Thursday, July 5: Pearisburg

Rally at Giles High School

Pastor Shahn Wilburn of Riverview Baptist Church and experts from FRC and The Heritage Foundation discussed religious freedom and how we can save the American dream.

Friday, July 6: Harrisonburg

Lunch with supporters at the Wood Grill Buffet and press conference at First Presbyterian Church on Court Square.

Friday, July 6: Woodstock

Rally at the Old Shenandoah County Courthouse

Sunday, July 8: Roanoke

Meet and greet, hear from Heritage and Family Research Council experts on how you can help save the American Dream and restore traditional family valuesFirst Baptist Church, 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Sunday, July 8: Lynchburg

Meet and greet, hear from Heritage and Family Research Council experts on how you can help save the American Dream and restore traditional family values. Heritage Baptist Church, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 10: Richmond

Conservative Coalition Meeting with Virginia Institute for Public Policy

Bull & Bear Club, 901 East Cary Street, 10:00 – 11:45 a.m.

Tuesday, July 10: Richmond

Myth of the War on Women Press Conference

James Center, 901 East Cary Street, 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

WRVA Interview With Victoria Cobb, Washington Post Coverage Of Education Choice Rally

Speaking of education choice, yesterday was our annual lobby day. This year's theme was education choice and we added a rally in Capitol Square as well. The media attention was excellent. Starting the day was an interview on WRVA's Richmond's Morning News With Jimmy Barrett, but with an adversarial guest host, Juan Conde of WRIC-TV, sitting in for the decidedly conservative Mr. Barrett. Victoria Cobb, our president, took it all in stride, even when Mr. Conde misunderstood, shall we say, the issue, and claimed HB 2314, if passed, would give "our" money to businessesThe Washington Post also covered the rally on its Virginia Politics Blog, and a Google search reveals publications from The India Times to Forbes picked up the Post's post, as well as various state television and print media.

Listen to Victoria Cobb's WRVA interview on school choice from Thursday, February 10 (5:30) on Richmond's Morning News With Jimmy Barrett.

More On The Cuccinelli Opinion: Hear The (Sort Of) Debate From WRVA

This morning on Richmond's Morning News With Jimmy Barrett on WRVA-AM, Family Foundation Vice-President for Policy and Communications Chris Freund was interviewed about the legal opinion issued by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the reaction to it. It wasn't a real debate, but immediately prior to Chris' appearance, Barrett's guest was Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, the lead lobbyist for Equality Virginia. Notice that she avoided Barrett's first question and, shall we say, gave an intriguing spin on the entire matter at hand. In fact, you can detect the skepticism in Barrett's voice and questions. Chris sets the record straight his turn at bat.

Click here to listen to the back-to-back interviews (9:24).

Stat Of The Day (It Should Send The Educrats Running For Cover)

House Majority Whip and Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) appeared on Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett this morning on WRVA-AM, with the Lee Brothers substituting for Barrett. Most of their questions focused on the budget and some of the myths promulgated by the left and certain media types. Delegate Cox was refreshingly candid and said he was tired of the whine coming from certain local government officials, especially when it comes to education funding. Thus, the Stat of the Day:

In Virginia, since 2000, while student enrollment in Virginia K-12 public schools has grown by 7.2 percent, state spending on same has increased 60 percent!

Okay. You know me by now. I can't stop there. Get this:

Two-thirds of the Virginia budget goes to K-12 public education and health and human services.

So much for the liberal charge about those mean conservatives in the House of Delegates who cut, cut, cut education whenever they can. The fact that Virginia has cut public education spending is a myth, plain and simple. There's about as much truth to the fact that public education funding has been cut as there was that we were in a deficit when Mark Warner shoved through the largest tax increase in Virginia history.

But the education establishment (the educrats) use every opportunity to kick, scream and cry about a lack of funding to block any type of reform possible. Worse, they try to block discussion of reform with General Assembly lobbyists paid for by taxpayers and teachers' dues. Thus, Virginia's worst-in-the-country-charter-school-law, which has been on the books more than a decade and resulted in a meager three charter schools (with a fourth on the way).

Now, after eight years, there's a new team in charge. Hopefully, that will be the catalyst for the truth finally to get equal billing with the myths — and for something positive to get done.

Click Here To Listen To The Entire Interview With Delegate Kirk Cox (5:45)

If Only Wagner's Revenue Projections Were As "Clear," Or, A Campaign Without Communication . . . Yet!

If you haven't heard it by now, and you want a good laugh, listen to Democrat lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner's interview this morning with WRVA's Richmond's Morning News host Jimmy Barrett (click here). Barrett gets right to the point and asks the former Kaine administration finance secretary about her missed revenue projections, which have resulted in consecutive budget deficits and multiple budget cuts. I'll give her some credit for her answer — she's at least learned something from the Obama administration, and that's the one thing it's good at: blame, blame and pass the buck, with a litany of boilerplate liberal excuses:

» It was the Bush administration's fault (at least twice);

» At least Virginia isn't as bad off as some other states (that'll make people feel secure);

» Passed the buck to economic forecasting agencies, business leaders and groups, and General Assembly leaders (how about that, Dick Saslaw?);

» But the 6.6 percent revenue growth projection in a slowing economy never gave her pause, even as many in the General Assembly warned the Kaine administration it was too high (she emphatically was "not overly optimistic"); and 

» Repeatedly said, "Let's be clear," (to the point where Barrett mockingly repeated it himself).

Not to mention her defensiveness when Barrett tried to loft her a softball about her campaign — she thought he was trying to blame her for the recession, for which she blamed George W. Bush (again).

All these excuses inevitably led to contradictions. Follow this bit of illogic: If it's the federal government's fault when things are bad, she must then credit it when things are good; if so, we have no reason for state government. So why is she running? She also got defensive when Barrett mentioned the recession came into focus a year ago, and rudely interrupted him to say she wasn't in office then, as well as when he simply asked how forecasts might be improved in the future.

But we still haven't heard the classics from her! Here goes:

On the grossly inaccurate revenue forecasts: 

"If I'm powerful enough to be personally responsible for that, then you want me to be your lieutenant governor."

Then, the absolute best for last: On the Public Policy Poll (a liberal pollster) that shows all three Democrats behind by double digits:

"The Democratic candidates have not yet begun communicating with the public yet and we will be doing that as the campaign moves along." 

So, that entire primary thing back in June was a what? Those television ads she ran . . . ? Those campaign appearances and interviews . . . ?

There you have it. It has nothing to do with her previous job performance, but that she and her ticket mates haven't yet communicated with the public. Don't worry, though. They plan on it. But with interviews like this, Ms. Wagner may want to delay that communication as long as possible.