The first Virginia gubernatorial debate on Sept. 16 between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glen Youngkin demonstrated the different directions Virginia could go regarding tax cuts and consequences, the pandemic, and abortion.
Youngkin, a former hedge fund manager without any government experience, attacked McAuliffe’s record as a former Virginia governor. Youngkin presented illogical present-past arguments of issues with McAuliffe’s term that spanned from 2014-2018, provided no validation of proposals, and was mute to several moderator and panelist questions.
Youngkin identified COVID-19 vaccines as an individual’s decision and did not voice support for vaccination mandates. He did not address pandemic issues and any solutions.
McAuliffe plans to defeat the pandemic via community masking and vaccinations. He will encourage hospitals and businesses to mandate vaccines. He will require public school and university and students 12 or older to have approved vaccine immunization.
Youngkin stated that the Virginia Clean Economy Act was bad, “Richmond” had not invested in southwest Virginia, and he would support the coal industry. These arguments were without rationale, abstract in the “Richmond” accusation, and absent of a plan associated with the coal industry.
McAuliffe stated that he supports the Virginia Clean Economy Act to promote energy efficiency, close old fossil fuel power plants, provide electricity from renewable sources, penalize energy companies for not meeting their targets, and fund job training and renewable energy programs in historically disadvantaged communities, e.g., southwest Virginia.
Youngkin stated that he would support the recent Texas vigilante abortion law with exceptions for rape and incest. He refused to identify his position on the law’s restriction at approximately 6 weeks after conception.
McAuliffe will support women’s right-to-choose through the second trimester.
Youngkin accused his opponent of wanting to end police officer’s “qualified immunity” — which McAuliffe denied — and having “sold out” to teacher unions.
McAuliffe stated that he would not end protection of police against frivolous lawsuits. He stated in rebuttal that he is the only Virginia governor to be an “Honorary Sheriff” by Virginia law enforcement, had raised the salaries of law enforcement within Virginia, and had the lowest crime rate of any state during his years as governor.
Both candidates have an emphasis on job creations and a difference on worker wages.
Youngkin supports right-to-work laws (anti-union). As a venture capitalist, he restructured companies in pursuit of profit for investors, e.g., workforce reduction, replacement of experienced workforce with entry-level personnel, worker benefit reduction, and the sale of assets.
McAuliffe supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 and raising teacher salaries, providing childcare and paid sick-leave, and continuing his record/legacy of economic development for Virginia.
Youngkin plans to cut Virginia taxes by billions and increase spending with surplus state funds — a contradiction that is not sustainable.
Youngkin has no experience in governing and no intent in representing all of Virginia’s citizens, re: “Trump represents so much of why I’m running”.
Terry McAuliffe will provide all Virginians a voice, will listen, and will represent.