Pilot on Politics

What’s happening in politics and lawmaking in Richmond, Hampton Roads and around Virginia? Our reporters share tips, tidbits and stories here. What do you know? Post your comments. If you have story ideas, contact Patrick Wilson at patrick.wilson@pilotonline.com or 804-697-1564 or Bill Bartel at bill.bartel@pilotonline.com or 757-446-2398.


Cuccinelli wants 15 debates with McAuliffe

The 15 debates Republican Ken Cuccinelli challenged his rival to in the governor's race before the Nov. 5 election is three time as many as Democrat Terry McAuliffe proposed early last month.

Cuccinelli Monday clarified the call he made over the weekend in his speech to the Virginia GOP nominating convention during which he first suggested the series of debates.

"Virginians face an important decision in November about the future of our Commonwealth and they deserve nothing less than frequent and robust debates," Cuccinelli said.

"Voters deserve more than scripted sound bites to make an informed decision; they need real debates in every corner of the Commonwealth on topics that matter to their communities and their lives," he added. "I want to debate my opponent throughout Virginia and lay out my plan for growing the economy, creating jobs and easing burdens on middle class families."

Virginia Beach and Newport News are among the debate sites Cuccinelli proposed.

McAuliffe spokesman Brennan Bilberry brushed aside the challenge as an unserious "political stunt designed to distract from coverage of the Republican ticket’s divisive remarks," referring to GOP lieutenant governor nominee E. W. Jackson, a Chesapeake faith leader.

(Four debates were held between Virginia's gubernatorial candidates in 2009 and 2005.)

More judgement of Jackson came from current Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling -- he skipped the GOP convention after withdrawing from the governor's race -- who called some of his past remarks troubling.

"Bishop Jackson is certainly entitled to his views, but you should be able to express your views without insulting people, and some of the things he has said are simply indefensible," Bolling said.

"These kinds of comments are simply not appropriate, especially not from someone who wants to be a standard bearer for our party and hold the second highest elected office in our state," he added. "They feed the image of extremism, and that's not where the Republican Party needs to be."

Also Monday, Cuccinelli released a new campaign ad featuring testimonials from the family of a slain Fairfax County police officer.

-- Julian Walker

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Cant get his point cross in a short time

He obviously didnt learn anything from the disastrous republican primary debates.

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