Mark L. Earley (R)
Candidate for Governor
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark L. Earley discussed campaign issues and his plans for the Nov. 6 election against Mark R. Warner (D).
Since his last Live Online appearance, Earley faced off against Warner at the first gubernatorial debate.
Earley practiced law before becoming state senator, where he fought for reform in areas such as welfare and juvenile justice. Former state attorney general Earley also created an Asian-American Advisory Board, advocated safer communities, advanced
technology and education reform among other platforms. What is his strategy for winning the gubernatorial race?
Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control
over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.
Thanks for joining us today, Mark Earley. Saturday was the first debate between you and Mark Warner. (Read the story.) In your opinion, what was the defining topic that was addressed in this debate?
Mark L. Earley: Thanks for having me on again. First, let me share my condolences with The Washington Post Co. family on the passing of Katharine Graham.
As to the debate, there were a number of important topics. Perhaps the most significant were: experience and cutting the car tax. I have thirteen years of experience of working in the state senate and in the Attorney General's office, while my opponent has no experience in the business of governing. On the car tax, my opponent opposed cutting the car tax. I have always supported the elimination of the car tax and am committed to phasing it out on time and on target.
What are your fund-raising goals for the race against Warner and are you satisfied with your fund-raising organization and progress thus far? Good luck in November!
Mark L. Earley: We raised more money in June than any other gubernatorial candidate in the history of Virginia. Furthermore, we raised more money than our opponent did in June. We will continue to work hard and I believe we will have the resources to get our message out and win this November.
However, campaigns are about more than money. We believe our ideas of eliminating the car tax on time and on target, cutting the food tax, providing excellent education for our children, and reducing the time that people spend in traffic, are all ideas that are exciting the voters of Virginia to become involved in a grass-roots movement.
For more information log on to: www.markearley.com
VCU Professor Holsworth said on this site the other day that Fairfax will be a major battleground in this election. Do you agree, and if so, what are you doing to win there?
Read the transcript of Monday's discussion with Robert Holsworth.
Mark L. Earley: Every area of this state in every county and city is very important to us and we will be campaigning aggressively in every neighborhood. Fairfax is certainly very key because of its size and concentration of voters. As we have been talking to the citizens of Fairfax, they have been very supportive of our goals to eliminate the car tax, to cut the food tax, to build excellence in education for our children, and to reduce traffic congestion. My family and I are going to be in Fairfax a lot as we criss-cross the Commonwealth.
Where do you come down on the "Techway" connection between Northern Virginia and Maryland?
Mark L. Earley: In order to help relieve congestion of traffic in Northern Virginia, I believe it is vital that there be a third crossing across the Potomac. One key to being able to move forward on transportation issues in Northern Virginia is our ability to develop a good relationship with Maryland. I am committed to developing positive personal relationships with key government, business and community leaders in Maryland to reduce traffic congestion.
Also key to reducing traffic in Northern Virginia is to reduce the number of cars on the road, which I believe can be achieved by strong tele-working initiatives partnering with the federal government, the technology sector and the state.
Do you have any ideas about how to reduce traffic congestion in Northern Virginia?
Mark L. Earley: In addition to the items we mentioned above, it's very important for us to continue to move forward on extending rail to Dulles and Metro to Tysons Corner. The new Wilson Bridge is obviously going to be a significant help as well. I worked hard as Attorney General, and will continue to do so as Governor, to keep this project moving forward. In sum, the issue of reducing traffic congestion is going to receive my sustained and focused attention as Governor.
What is your position on the Standards of Learning tests?
Mark L. Earley: I have six children, five of which are school aged, and all of whom are in the public schools of Virginia. As a result, education is not just a policy issue with me but a personal commitment as well.
Several years ago it became apparent to business leaders, teacher, and parents that too many children were being moved through the school system without really mastering the core subjects of math, science, reading, English, history, etc. This was resulting in some graduates from our schools who were unable to function in the work place and who did not possess the tools to continue learning for a lifetime. As a result, Virginia implemented high academic standards that have become a model for many other states. Our tests, which measure student achievement, like any other testing tool must be constantly reviewed and revised. I am strongly committed to maintaining high academic standards in our schools while making sure we continue to review and revise our testing procedures. My goal is to make sure no child in Virginia is left behind and that we build excellence in our students and our teachers.
Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company