Home > Election 2009: AG, Party politics, Youth and Politics > YRFV AG Forum Live Blog

YRFV AG Forum Live Blog

Krystle will have video, but the early word from the YRFV AG Forum is below. Highlights: the AG’s moral authority, the 2013 Governor’s race, and the lack of talk on triggerman. 

Moderator: Brian Smith

Format: 3 minutes per answer, 30 second rebuttal

Opening Statements

Ken Cuccinelli: My campaigns have been based on true conservative principles. I was the only NOVA State Senator to campaign for the Marriage Amendment. I have consistently proposed more cuts than spending. I fought against REAL ID, and believe that states need to assert their soverignty on this and other issues. Despite the difficulty of this issue in Fairfax, I have stuck by my guns. I have been involved in criminal justice reform. All of these issues are ones the AG candidate will have to run on.

John Brownlee: I am running for Attorney General: Virginia Top Prosecutor and top law enforcer. Our job is to keep the neighborhoods safe and to protect the children. As AUSA for the Western half of the state for the last seven years, I am the only candidate who has done that. I have gone after dope dealers, murderers, and rapists. I have gone after public corruption and bad corporations. I have run a law office, including criminal, civil and appellate divisions, and been the lawyer for 22 federal agencies. I am a conservative and a veteran.

Dave Foster: Two reasons for me: I can help because I have won in DEEP BLUE Fairfax, the only candidate to win in Arlington in two decades and did so TWICE (albeit nonpartisan School Board race). The economy is number two. I can cut regulation, go to court to fight for our right to work status, and speed up the permitting process.

QUestion 1: : Relay your experiences as a Young Republican and one lesson you learned.

Cuccinelli: I am still a Young Republican! But seriously, over the last 18 years I have worked hard for GOP candidates, and I came to my position as a grassroots leader. We have won our past three races with one of Virginia’s strongest grassroots operations. We did it not because of the candidate but because I brought people to the table with my core values. I learned my work ethic in engineering school. I have been the #1, #1, and #2 targeted Senator in my races.  John Cook won thanks to our work. 

Brownlee: When I was in high school in remember Ronald Reagan running for president in 1980. My mother drove me to Springfield to stuff envelopes for the man. I learned the lesson of public service. This is the first job I’ve ever run for. I don’t come here via politics, but because I believe in public service. I was in the Army Rangers. I clerked for a federal judge. I’ve always been a strong Republican, and I supported George Allen at the convention in 1993. I became AUSA because I was a Republican, and that is important. But I am running first and foremost because I am a public servant. 

Foster: I got my start with grassroots–door to door, phones, yes, even envelopes. I worked for Bob Daniel back in 1974, while my wife was with Phil Crane. After three years we moved to Arlington, and I’ve been a member of the Arlington Committee for 25 years. I chaired John Warner’s campaign in 1996. In 2002 Michael Steele asked me to head up GOPAC Virginia. What shapes me as a public servant? My children. They got me to run for the school board, drive me to want a safe society (which you don’t get by just incarcerating people), and make my focus on jobs. 

Question 2: As AG, it would be your responsibility to judge the constitutionality of proposed legislation, which may be at odds with your public policy views. How will you handle that?

Brownlee: The GA will pass laws, and the AG will be called to defend them. My views may very well be at odds. Hopefully, the House will be in the hands of Republicans. 99% of the laws passed will be constitutional. However, if they are fundamentally wrong (as with the Korematsu decision) I will not defend them. The big question is who has the experience to do that? I have. 

Foster: There is some disagreement here. The AG is the state’s biggest law firm, as former AG McDonnell had on his site. The people of Virginia, through the GA, are the AG’s offices clients. John said he would apply a moral filter on this–however, this is not the AG’s job. For example, Korematsu. In hindsight this was not a good position. However, it was upheld by SCOTUS. Would the AG have the right to reject that? No–you either support the law, or you resign. I have been with one of the world’s largest law firm. I give clients advice, but ultimately they are the client and make the decision. It’s not my job to object.

Cuccinelli: I’m in the interesting position of having actually fought to invalidate the law. I won the right for RPV to choose how it candidates are selected, rather than incumbents. I would argue that someone who’s done this is the best candidate. As AG, its not my job to get involved in public policy. I can lobby the GA–however, once its passed, I will defend the state. Now, if the law is constitutionally indefensible, I will lose. But if it is defensible, I will fight.

Question 3: Economists believe that illegal immigrants could get thousands of stimulus jobs. What are your feelings on this issue, and What do you believe should/can be done on this issue?

Foster: I have had the support of ethnic americans. Legal is the key word. I think that State Troopers should be given the authority to begin ICE proceedings. We need to consider which benefits we should extend. The courts hold that education must be offered. However, what about housing? I don’t believe they should be eligible. We should make it be clear that we are friends of immigrants. 

Brownlee: This is the #1 question I get. We should draw a bright line between legal and illegal immigration. We embrace the diversity of our society and those who follow the law.We should enforce the law. I am the only candidate who has ever incarcerated someone here illegally. We should also shut down the magnets for illegal immigration. We should focus of criminal illegal immigrants (i.e. those who are here illegally but also engaged in other crimes). We should put a retainer on these individuals and deport them once they have served their time.

Cuccinelli: Like other issues, I have a record on this issue. I have passed more legislation on this issue than any other member of the Senate. I have put through legislation to shut down public benefits (outside of education and emergency health care) for illegal immigrants. I have been fighting for this disincentive for years. When you combine this with sincere outreach, you will get support from these communities. Its not guaranteed, but its possible. I have gained the endorsement of every member of RPV’s ethnic outreach council.  Task forces got their authority to deal with boarding houses from a bill I carried. It worked so well after just six months of being quarantined to NOVA that the next session it went satte wide. We need standard practices for troopers. We can advance this issue without crossing the line.

Question #4: Last year LG Bill Bolling stepped aside from the Gov race to run for re-election. In return the State Central Committee endorsed him for 2013. Will you do likewise?

Brownlee: Yes. Bill Bolling did the right and honorable thing, and we should stick to that. 

Cuccinelli: I tell my friends to kick me in the tail if I get out of line. I am a friend of Bolling’s, and I will be in 2013. I am supporting him this year. However, just as I expect that accountability for myself, I demand the same accountability from those I support. 

Foster: He has to confirm he’s running. I endorsed Bill this year, and we share consultants. We can’t even assume anything about this fall. 

Closing (1 minute):

Foster: We have to win. I can help in the places we MUST do better. I talk their langugae, just as Bob and Bill are. I have been working with businesses for 28 years. I know how to talk the talk on jobs. 

Brownlee: Whoever we select will be a good candidate. However, the last five of six Attorney Generals have been 

Cuccinelli: In the last 25 years, no one has won in their first time out for AG. I am the ONLY candidate who has run on the issues the AG must emphasize. My record stands alone in this race. Everyone is a conservative in a primary–however, I am the true conservative. It’s not just my tens of thousands of votes but also the hundreds of bills. Trust but verify, and you can verify I am a true conservative.

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  1. April 20, 2009 at 8:03 am

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