1. The continuing support and improvement of our public education system must be seen as the first priority among the three essential "building blocks" of Virginia's future. Those building blocks are education, transportation and economic development, and the kind of attention these issues receive from the governor over the next four years will determine, to a great extent, the kind of business climate and work force Virginia will have at the beginning of the 21st century. At this crucial juncture, Virginia's educational system does not need more political criticism. It needs a continuing commitment to full funding for the standards of quality, to raising teacher's salaries, to worker retraining in a time of ever-changing job markets, to ensuring literacy as the principal product of elementary education and to a working partnership of business, research and universities with every public school in Virginia. I've said before that this election is a choice between those who look forward to the future and those who look back to the past. Nothing illustrates that difference more clearly than the contrasting attitudes my opponent and I have toward public education. His proposals for educational "reform" without funding the standards of quality are key differences I believe are important to Virginia voters.
2. Effectiveness. Whether it is measured on the basis of legislation passed while in the General Assembly, my record as attorney general, with accomplishments that include strong anticrime initiatives, recognition by peers on a national level or by two independent statewide surveys rating me as both the most effective elected state official, and among the top five legislators during my tenure in the General Assembly, my ability to serve the commonwealth begins with effectiveness, is enhanced by my 18 years of experience and supported by my record of conservative, practical politics.