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Civic Federation Candidate Forum Underway

by ARLnow.com September 7, 2010 at 7:38 pm 1,416 4 Comments

It’s a packed house at Virginia Hospital Center’s Hazel Conference Center, where a debate between the local candidates for congress, county board and school board is about to get underway.

First observation of the night: lots of Murray signs on George Mason Drive on the way up to the hospital. Didn’t spot any Moran signs.

(Update: The first controversy of the night. The county Office of Voter Registration tweets that candidate signs are prohibited until 30 days before the election.)

The congressional candidate debate between incumbent Jim Moran (Democrat) and challengers Patrick Murray (Republican) and Ron Fisher (Green) started at 7:45 p.m. Patrick Murray spoke first, and received loud applause.

Update at 8:00 p.m. — Murray largely focuses on Moran, and Moran talked mostly about Moran. Moran also received loud applause, mixed with some whistling.

8:05 — Question for Moran on his controversial mailer from the indefatigable Bob Atkins. Moran says the mailing cost some $100k, not $1 million as Murray alleged. Murray on glossy mailer: “I thought it was a quarterly stock report from Goldman Sachs.”


8:10 — An outburst from a questioner who asked if the candidates believed in the Constitution. Second time they’ve had to call the room to order. For the record, yes, all three candidates support the Constitution.

8:15 — Question about abortion. Moran, Fischer unabashedly pro-choice. Murray downplays his position, says it should be left to the states.

8:20 — Closing remarks underway. Moran makes no apologies for spending. “I earmark a lot of money through the appropriations process.” Murray criticizes Moran for voting to raise his own pay.

8:25 — School board program underway. Incumbent Sally Baird and challenger Miriam Gennari.

8:35 — Gennari (Green Party) is making environmental sustainability her main issue. Baird (Democrat) emphasizing student achievement.

8:45 — Question from civic activist Jim Pebley about the planetarium. Gennari had already mentioned it, said said she supports keeping it open. Baird says she’s also a “friend of the planetarium,” but supports the “community dialog” about its dual instructional/community role.

8:50 — On to the county board candidates. Incumbent Chris Zimmerman (Democrat), along with challengers Mark Kelly (Republican) and Kevin Chisholm (Green Party).

9:20 — Fast-paced discussion. Less contentious than the congressional debate. Kelly emphasizing fiscal responsibility, and tweaking Zimmerman on Metro. Zimmerman emphasizing affordable housing and transportation.

9:25 — And it’s over. The Civic Federation is now discussing LED streetlights.

  • Hikin’ the pike

    Nicely done and thank you!

  • Deb

    So will Murray be taking his signs down?

    • All the candidates who put up signs (I only saw Murray and Kelly signs, but there may have been others) took them down after the forum.

  • Ron Fisher had signs inside the hallway, as was instructed.

    Thank you for covering the debate, and including mention the the Independent Green Party candidate for congress, retired Navy Captain Ron Fisher. Captain Fisher attended the naval academy, an honors graduate, and graduated first in his class in the submarine school. Ron Fisher is an engineer, having served “Admiral Rickover’s Navy”.

    Ron Fisher is a husband, father, grandfather, and businessman. Ron Fisher’s campaign web site: http://www.ronfisherforcongress.com/

    Ron Fisher calls for “More Trains, Less Traffic” for building high speed rail across Virginia to grow jobs and the economy.

    Ron said last night the United States should, and could cut military spending by 90 per cent, and still be spending and wasting more taxpayer dollars of the military than any other nation in the world.

    Ron calls for installing an auditable accounting system at the Pentagon. Stop no bid uncontested contracts.

    Ron Fisher urged the incumbent to put some of the $40 billion in appropriations into building Rail to Ft. Belvior, building the Potomac Yard Metro stop. Build the Cameron Station Virginia Rail Express stop. Build rail into our communities, and save lives.

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