Moran, McDonnell Play to Their Base
This week two of the candidates for Governor held dueling press conferences (almost at the same time, in the same city) discussing issues that they hope demonstrate a commitment to the base of their parties. Former Del. Brian Moran took an aggressive stand against the construction of a new coal plant in Virginia and Attorney General Bob McDonnell accepted an award from a group connected to the Commonwealth’s National Guard. It shows an early effort by both gentleman to get the party faithful on their side prior to a fierce general election campaign which will begin after the Democrats settle on a candidate.
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For McDonnell, who is running on a political brand that is severely damaged, waving the banner of support for the men and woman of the armed forces is a safe way to show his commitment to core Republican issues. McDonnell plans to run on a platform of serious commitment to the military and public safety. These are both areas he can talk about comfortably as a former military man and the state’s current chief law enforcement officer. Expect him to role out many events like these where he is pictured with people in uniform and to defend public safety in the halls of the State Capitol. The Attorney General told me right after Governor Tim Kaine‘s State of the Commonwealth speech, that no matter how difficult the fiscal situation, that cuts to public safety should be “off the table”. (Pic courtesy of McDonnell Office from Thursday event)
Brian Moran on the other hand, has a different challenge ahead of him because he is locked in a fierce primary. At this point, support from Republicans are the least of his concern. He needs to convince Democrats that he is the candidate most committed to the issues they care about. Moran has worked hard from the early stages of his campaign to show that he is the “green” candidate. Taking a dramatic stance where he shows that he willing to stand in the way of the construction of a new coal plant, ( a plant that could bring jobs and cheaper energy to the commonwealth) separates him from his Democratic counterparts. It is also a big difference from the type of campaign Terry McAuliffe is running. The Macker is engaged in an overarching populist campaign, committed to Democratic principles, but clearing hoping to reach out to center-right voters. (Pic courtesy of Moran Campaign from Sierra Club speech in September)
Below find the full press releases from each candidate… ————
Moran Opposes Coal Mega-Plant in Surry
~ Coal Power Increases Global Warming and Poses Health Risks to Population ~
RICHMOND – On the steps of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Brian Moran pledged that he will stop the proposed coal-fired power plant in Surry County, Virginia, if elected Governor. Today, he visited DEQ’s office to hand deliver a letter calling for a serious investigation into the proposed plant’s environmental impact. Moran highlighted the release of millions of tons of greenhouse gases which increases global warming and the significant health risks posed by the coal-burning plant. The proposed plant would be about 50 miles from two major Virginia population centers in Richmond and Hampton Roads, in addition to being close to the Chesapeake Bay.
“Across the nation and right here in Virginia our energy future is in a precarious position,” Moran said. “It is essential that we make sound decisions and act boldly in defense of our quality of life, not just for ourselves, but for our children, and our children’s children. The proposed coal-burning power plant in Surry should not go forward based on the information currently available to the public. 2009 should be the year that we make unprecedented commitments to clean, renewable energy that can preserve our planet and create thousands of new jobs all over the Commonwealth.”
A recent report by the Virginia Sierra Club estimates that a major investment in renewable energy could create as many as 55,000 new jobs in Virginia.
“As someone who has spent a career working to protect Virginia’s environmental treasures and worked with Mark Warner to help clean up the Bay and enforce Virginia’s environmental laws and regulations, I know what it means to demonstrate strong environmental leadership, and I am proud that Brian is taking this position,” said Bob Burnley, Director of the Department of Environmental Quality in Governor Warner’s administration. “This is exactly the type of leadership Virginia needs to address global climate change and the other serious air pollution issues we struggle with every day.”
Last month, the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) announced that it wanted to build a $6 billion coal-fired power plant in central Surry County. The coal plant would produce 750 to 1,500 megawatts of electricity. The coal plant is still in preliminary planning stages and will require several local, state and federal permits before ODEC can begin construction.
“Our environment is a natural treasure, a gift from the Creator, that we hold in trust for future generations. We must be morally responsible stewards by protecting it,” said Jim Burke, Chairman of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light. “We cannot backslide by relying on coal plants when new sources of alternative energy are at hand. I thank Brian Moran for his dedication to protecting God’s creation and look forward to working with him to promote alternatives to coal.”
“Clean energy has the potential to create thousands of new jobs here in the Commonwealth without contributing to climate change and environmental destruction,” said Lisa Guthrie, Executive Director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. “We do not need another coal plant that emits dangerous pollution into our air and water. A new coal plant in Surry would contradict Virginia’s commitment to encourage cleaner, safer forms of energy. I applaud Brian Moran for this bold and necessary stance to protect Virginians.”
In a September 2008 policy speech outlining his approach to environmental issues, Moran said, “Teddy Roosevelt set the standard for us all when he said, ‘The Nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets…, which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value… and behaves badly if it leaves the land poorer to those who come after….’ People ask whether protecting our environment will help our economy, and it will. But this is about something greater. Are we judged by how we best exploit our resources for economic gain? Or do we measure success by the legacy we leave behind? We must act, as Roosevelt said, ‘So that our children will be richer, and not poorer because we have lived.’ That must be our standard. That is how we will be judged.” (http://www.brianmoran.com/2008/9/14/virginia-sierra-club-fall-jamboree-speech)
Brian Moran has been repeatedly named a Legislative Hero by the League of Conservation Voters. In the General Assembly, he worked for new energy efficiency standards and incentives for renewable energy production.
Attorney General Bob McDonnell Recognized for Commitment to Virginia’s Servicemen and Women Receives “Seven Seals Award” from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Only Select Few Employers Receive “Seven Seals Award”
Richmond- Attorney General Bob McDonnell received today the prestigious “Seven Seals Award” which is presented by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to employers who go above and beyond in their commitment to employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. The award was presented by Roger Trout, the Chairman of the Virginia Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. A number of military officials attended the event, including several attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General who are currently serving in the Guard and Reserve.
Speaking about the award Attorney General McDonnell noted, “This award is one for our entire office. We have a commitment here at the Office of the Attorney General to serve well those who serve our nation. I understand what it is like to work everyday, while also serving your country. I served for 16 1/2 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, and had to balance work, home, and duty. It can be difficult. We have worked to establish a culture of assistance and understanding at the Office of the Attorney General for all the members of our team who have so generously and bravely volunteered to serve our nation. We must do our best to help them as they give their all in defense of our country.”
Roger Trout, of the ESGR, noted, “Today, we are honoring Bob McDonnell, not for his military service, for which we owe him a great deal of gratitude, but for his exceptional support of fellow Reserve and Guard members as an employer. Bob McDonnell has gone above and beyond in supporting the employees in his office who are also citizen soldiers; but his support is not just for those service members in his office. The Wall of Honor, honoring those service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terrorism, is the direct result of the hard work of the Attorney General and other members of his staff. Attorney General McDonnell and his staff exemplify the spirit of America in their unwavering support of our citizen soldiers.”
Currently five attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General serve as members of the Guard and Reserve, with one member currently on active duty. Earlier in his term as Attorney General, McDonnell signed the Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve and became a Five Star Supporter for the Guard and Reserve.
The Attorney General served 21 years in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1997. His oldest daughter, Jeanine, recently completed service in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Iraq in 2005-2006.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense organization. ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.