UPDATED: Live-Blog Session with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling

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NOVA Town Hall is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a live-blog with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling on Tuesday January 9th at 3:00 p.m. You'll recall we were honored to interview the Lt. Governor way back in April 2006 and we're excited to have him back on our blog next week. He has unquestionably been a leader in engaging the Virginia blogosphere and thus expanding and broadening the number of participants in Virginia government. For those unaware, the Lt. Governor will be the first statewide elected official to host an annual bloggers day at the Capitol at the end of this month and he has participated in numerous live-blogs and blogger interviews. I for one look forward to his visit Tuesday afternoon and learning more about his plans and perspectives regarding the upcoming General Assembly session.

Please leave your questions for Lt. Governor Bolling in the comment thread below. Or if you prefer, you can email us your questions here.

UPDATE: Live-Blog will commence shortly, below the fold.

UPDATE II: The Lt. Governor has answered the remaining questions he was unable to get to during the live-blog. Check it out below the fold.

***** Live-Blog with Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling *****

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, welcome to our blog and thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us!

Lt. Governor Bolling: Thanks for having me on. I am looking forward to answering some questions from my friends (and others) in the blogosphere.


Dear Lieu"thin"ant Governor Bolling--

Can you give us an update on your weight-loss plan? Hwo much have you lost so far?

Lt. Governor Bolling: Creative use of the words! Here's an update. We kicked off the Steptember initiative on September 1. The initiative was designed to focus attention on the fact that 60% of Virginia's population is either overweight or obese. Obviously, this has long term health impacts for our citizens and adds greatly to the cost of health care in Virginia. As a part of the program we encouraged Virginians to eat healthier, exercise more and loose weight. I set a personal goal of losing 30 pounds by the end of the year. I did pretty well, and have lost 27 pounds to date. That's a little bit short of my goal, but I will get there. Overall, the program has been a huge success. In addition to my personal results, we have had hundreds of Virginians who have signed up to participate in the program with me. I have always had a strong focus on health care policy, and that will continue to be the case. In fact, our most recent health care initiative, Ending Cervical Cancer In Our Lifetime, has also received widespread attention. You can learn more about that program from my web site at www.billbolling.com.

Lt. Governor Bolling--

Thank you so much for joining us for this live-blog. What is your position on the Family Foundation's "mutual consent divorce" proposal and what do you think can be done to make Virginia's families stronger?

Lt. Governor Bolling: I have not seen the bill, and I would prefer not to comment on the proposal until I have had a chance to read the actual legislation. Clearly, the current divorce rate in our society needs to be reduced. I'm not sure that we can accomplish that through legislation. I think we need a much broader approach that reminds people of the importance of marriage and the family as a societal institution and encourages them to treat those institutions with the respect they deserve. This may be more of a cultural and spiritual problem that a legislative problem.

Lt. Governor Bolling,

What plans do you have for the upcoming session? Are there any specific bills you are strongly supporting?

Lt. Governor Bolling: As you may know, I had a very aggressive legislative agenda in 2006, and I will do so this year as well. I am still in the process of finalizing the agenda, and it will be released later this week or early next week. However, I can tell you that it will include a number of initiatives related to public safety (gangs and internet sexual predators in particular), health care (such as childhood obesity and trying to find ways to make health insurance more affordable for small business owners), transportation (I have already proposed a number of alternatives to Governor Kaine’s recent tax increase proposal), economic development (particularly in rural Virginia), illegal immigration, eminent domain, etc. When the legislative agenda is finalized and released it will be available on my site at www.billbolling.com.

Lieutenant Governor Bolling,

I heard you mention "100 ideas for the future of Virginia". What exactly is this?

Lt. Governor Bolling: If our Republican Party is to remain the majority party in Virginia I believe we have to get back to being the party of issues and ideas, and we have to offer a positive vision for the future of Virginia that focuses on the issues our citizens care about. We became the majority party at the federal level in 1994 by offering a clear vision for the future of our country. It was called the Contract With America. Likewise, when we became the majority party at the state level in the 1990s we were talking about big ideas – the abolition of parole, welfare reform, higher academic standards in the public schools, no car tax, etc. I think we have to get back to that. 100 Ideas For The Future Of Virginia is designed to help us do that - to craft our vision for the future of our state. I have recently announced that I will be forming two work groups in 2007 to help us craft this vision. The first group, the Lieutenant Governor's Advisory Council, will be composed of party leaders and activists from all across Virginia. The second group, the Commonwealth Leadership Forum, will be composed of business, civic and political leaders from all cross Virginia. Together, these two groups will help us come up with specific proposals to address important issues like education, public safety, transportation, health care, natural resource protection, reforming government, etc. If we get back to being the party of issues and ideas, and if we offer a positive vision for the future of our state, I think we will continue to win elections and earn the right to lead Virginia. If we don't, we won't. If you would like to be a part of this process, please feel free to contact my Deputy Chief of Staff, Jeremy Greenfield (jeremy.greenfield@billbolling.com) and let him know. We would be glad to have your help.

Lt Gov

What aspects of the transportation and land use plans are you supporting and why

Do you support targeted reductions in certain areas of government, if so please identify a few specific examples

Do you support increasing funding in certain areas of government, if so please identify them and as a bonus how you would pay for them.

Thanks in advance

Lt. Governor Bolling: For the sake of time, let me focus on your question regarding transportation, which will be the most important issue the General Assembly considers this year. I think our approach to transportation has to be multifaceted.

First, we need to make a significant long term financial investment in the Transportation Trust Fund. Fortunately, everyone seems to agree with this. The debate is about where we get the money – from existing revenue sources or higher taxes. I oppose higher taxes and believe we can get the money from existing revenue sources if we focus on finding areas where agreement can be reached between the House and Senate. I have a number of ideas about how this can be done, and we are currently discussing those ideas with legislators to see if we can build any consensus.

Second, we need to do a better job linking land use planning and transportation planning. This may mean that the state has to be more aggressive in targeting dollars to high growth areas to make sure our highway infrastructure keeps pace with development, or it may mean giving local governments more ability to defer or deny development requests if the highway infrastructure if not available to support them. Either way, we cannot allow development to occur in an unmanaged fashion if we do not have the infrastructure to support it.

Third, there are obviously efficiencies we need to continue to pursue within the Department of Transportation to make sure our highway dollars are being spent wisely. One of the ways I think we can do this is transfer more authority to plan and implement highway projects to the local level, as opposed to insisting that all of these projects be managed from Richmond.

And finally, we need to continue discussing what I call various "cultural changes", which may include greater use of HOV, HOT Lanes, staggered working hours, telecommuting, rail, etc.

All of these things have to be part of our effort to build a transportation system for the 21st century. No single approach alone will solve the problem.

You did not seem to introduce legislation that really amounted to anything during your tenure in the State Senate. Why not?

Lt. Governor Bolling: Thanks for that very objective assessment "anonymous." Obviously, I disagree with your contention. If you look at my legislative record from 1996-2005 it included a number of important initiatives, including:

* Final pieces of Governor Allen's welfare reform initiative in 1996 and 1997.
* Chief sponsorship of Governor Allen's Kids First campaign that sought to crack down on dead beat parents.
* A number of important pieces of environmental legislation that sought to limit the amount of waste being imported to Virginia from other states, expand enforcement powers of DEQ against polluters, change Virginia's laws regarding the land application of sludge, etc.
* A number of important health care initiatives, such as Governor Allen and Governor Gilmore's children's health insurance programs, reform of the state's Certificate of Public Need program, legislation to make it easier for small business owners to purchase health insurance for their employees, etc.
* I also served as Chief Patron of legislation to rewrite Virginia's Freedom Of Information Act, as well as our election laws in the aftermath of the Florida recount problems, both of which arose out of legislative commissions I chaired.
* I led the effort to provide additional state funding for local law enforcement officials, both in terms of staffing and retirement benefits.
* I sponsored legislation to require that the fiscal impact of regulations on small businesses be considered before they were implemented, which earned me the NFIB's Guardian of Small Business Award.

And as it relates to the current transportation debate, I would add that I was the guy Governor Gilmore asked to carry his budget amendment in 2001 that dedicated automobile insurance premium taxes to the Transportation Trust Fund for the first time.

This is just a few that come to mind.

While in the Senate I also served as Chairman of the Senate's Subcommittee on Health Care, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Commission on the Future of Virginia's Environment, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the Joint Republican Caucus and the Virginia Republican Senatorial Committee.

In recognition of these efforts I was named legislator of the year by varied organizations and received numerous awards for the work I did in these and other areas.

Bottom line, I am very proud of my legislative record.

Lt. Governor Bolling,

What is your position with regards to other Republicans primarying other more "liberal" GOP senate leaders who consistently attempt to raise taxes? (excluding Potts who has already been booted from his local GOP)

Lt. Governor Bolling: Primaries are always difficult things. I learned that first hand in 2005. However, anyone has a right to run for office if that is what they choose to do. None of us are insulated from opposition just because we are an incumbent. I have heard there may be some primary challenges in 2007, but we will have to see how that develops. Ultimately, the decision on who gets nominated will be up to the voters in those districts.

Bob McDonnell: Great Attorney General or Greatest Attorney General?

Lt. Governor Bolling: Bob McDonnell is a dear friend and someone for whom I have the highest respect. I enjoyed campaigning with him across Virginia in 2002-2005, and I think he is doing a great job as Virginia's Attorney General. We have a very close friendship and a very close working relationship.

I have had numerous sources confirm to me that you were openly saying George Allen would lose this past November. I've also heard you were saying the same sort of things to donors about Jerry Kilgore in October of 2005. Are you worried that by taking on your supposed allies when they are facing tough times that this may have consequences down the road for you?

Lt. Governor Bolling: If anyone told you that they were mistaken. The only report to that effect that I have seen was a blog report in the days leading up to the 2006 election that suggested I had told the Henrico County Republican Committee that Senator Allen could not win. That is NOT what I said. I told the Henrico GOP that I was "not confident" that Senator Allen would win and I was "not confident" that the marriage amendment would pass, and that whether he won or not would depend on the work we put forth in the final days of the campaign. That was said at the conclusion of a 15 minute speech talking about why George Allen was clearly the best choice for U.S. Senate, and it was intended to encourage people to do everything they could in the final days of the campaign to make sure he won. Unfortunately, someone reported my comments to a blog incorrectly and the blog published it. A number of folks who were at the breakfast subsequently wrote in to set the record straight, and I appreciated them doing that very much. Unfortunately, no matter what you say there is always someone willing to distort your comments for their own benefit. That's just one of the unfortunate things about being involved in the political process.

During last year's General Assembly session when Sen. Ken Cuccinelli asked for a ruling from you (as the President of the Senate) about the appropriateness of having tax increases imbedded in the budget, you ruled against Cuccinelli by relying on a ruling by former Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine that rationalized that taxes and revenues are integrally related.

Why did you deliver this huge setback to the anti-tax movement?

Lt. Governor Bolling: My record of consistently opposing efforts to increase taxes is clear. I will gladly put my record up against anyone. However, my job as Lieutenant Governor is to correctly interpret the law and apply the Rules of the Senate. I take that responsibility very seriously, and I have pledged to be objective and nonpartisan in that effort. While I think it is terrible public policy to include revenue bills and appropriations bills in the same legislation, I do not believe that it violates the single object rule or any other constitutional prohibition. Based on prior Supreme Court rulings on the single object rule, which I read carefully before making my decision, I am confident that my ruling was correct. I wish I could have ruled otherwise, but to have done so would have been inconsistent with my responsibility to objectively interpret the law and apply the Rules of the Senate.

From the RT-D last year:

"Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday dismissed claims by the attorney general that he cannot keep the government running without a General Assembly-passed budget....Kaine brushed aside a still-confidential opinion by GOP Attorney General Bob McDonnell that argues that the governor is powerless to run the government if lawmakers fail to pass a budget....
Kaine, a Democrat, found an unlikely ally in Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling....
'I agree with the governor; that doesn't mean I disagree with the attorney general,' Bolling said."

That makes no sense! What in the world did you mean by this and why did you side with Kaine at this important moment in the anti-tax movement?

Lt. Governor Bolling: Actually, it makes perfect sense. The Governor's power to continue funding the essential services of state government in the absence of a budget agreement has never been addressed by the Supreme Court of Virginia. It is a matter of first impression. While the Attorney General opined that the Governor did not have the authority to continue funding the essential services of state government in the absence of a budget agreement, other prominent constitutional scholars disagreed. What I was saying was that the Attorney General may or may not be right in his interpretation of the law, but pending a Supreme Court decision on the issue I felt, and feel, that the Governor has a responsibility to continue funding the essential services of state government consistent with budgets that have previously been approved by the General Assembly. It is not in the best interest of Virginia to have a government shut down, and if I were Governor I would have taken the same position Governor Kaine took. I would continue funding the essential services of state government until the Supreme Court interpreted the law and told me I could not.

Thanks for live blogging Lt. Governor. Senator Cuccinelli and O'Brien are generally agreed to be vulnerable. Do you see any potential pick ups for conservatives in the Senate?

Lt. Governor Bolling: First of all, I have every confidence that Senator Cuccinelli and Senator O'Brien will be re-elected. They both have competitive districts where they will usually face opposition, but they are both great Senators who have records of distinguished service to Virginia. I look forward to campaigning with them both this fall. As far as potential GOP pick ups are concerned, I think our best chance is in Prince William County, where we have a solid conservative candidate, Bob FitzSimmonds, prepared to run against Senator Chuck Colgan, assuming Senator Colgan chooses to seek re-election. I'm sure we will also field candidates in other districts currently held by Democrats, and I look forward to campaigning with them as well.

Lt. Governor Bolling: We've been at this for more than an hour, and unfortunately, I have to go now to get ready for some evening meetings. However, I promise to post an answer to the remaining questions in the next couple of days when I can find some time. In closing, let me say that I have had a great time participating in this live blog session with you all. It is a great honor to serve as the 40th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. I know we will not always agree on the important issues facing our state, but if we keep our focus on building a better Virginia we will do OK. At the end of the day that's what this is about - nothing more and nothing less. If we remember that, we can disagree without being disagreeable, we can focus on the things that unite us and not the things that divide us, and we will make certain that the Virginia we leave to our kids and grand kids is even better than the Virginia we know today. I look forward to working with each of you in that effort.


Friday Update: Responses to Remaining Questions

Were you invited to any of the "peacemaking" sessions with AG McDonnell, Cong. Tom Davis, and the Republican Joint Caucus and if so, can you tell us how they went from your point of view?

Lt. Governor Bolling: The specific meetings you refer to have been widely reported this week in the Washington Post. I have not been involved in those meetings and I am concerned that they may be headed in the wrong direction. If the outcome of those meetings is merely to give local governments the ability to raise taxes for transportation, as reported in the press, that is not something I can support.

However, I have been involved in a number of other meetings with members of the Senate and House of Delegates talking about how we can advance a joint legislative agenda on transportation and many other issues. The discussions in those meetings have been very productive. I am hopeful that we will be able to agree on solutions to many of the important issues currently facing our state this year.

LG Bolling: What is your position on the Devolites/Albo/Rust transportation plan? Do you think it will pass?

Lt. Governor Bolling: While I agree that we need to secure additional funding for highway construction and maintenance, I do not believe it is necessary or appropriate to increase taxes. My preference is to use the resources we currently have in state government and allocate more of those resources to transportation on an ongoing basis.

I do think there is a possibility that a regional transportation plan for NVA and Hampton Roads could pass this year if legislators in those regions of the state can form consensus on what they want. There seems to be a more aggressive effort to do this than was the case last year. If that happens it will be interesting to see what those plans look like.

LG Bolling: Do you think the Republican Party should utilize a closed primary for statewide offices? If so, why?

Lt. Governor Bolling: As far as statewide offices are concerned, that decision is made by the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia. The State Central Committee can choose to nominate its candidates via a primary or convention. There are advantages and disadvantages to both processes. Until we have party registration in Virginia it will never really be possible to have a "closed primary", but if a primary is chosen I believe the party should be able to adopt rules to do its best to make certain that people who share the values of the party are participating in the process.

Does the Republican Caucus plan to propose any legislation in light of the litigation pressed by Sen. Cuccinelli?

Lt. Governor Bolling: Not that I know of.

What proposals does the Republican Party have to help FUND the illegal immigration enforcement measures that they keep proposing?

Lt. Governor Bolling: I don't know what specific "measures" you are talking about. As far as my legislative agenda is concerned, I will be proposing three initiatives that deal with illegal immigration this year. They are:

1. Giving state and local law enforcement agencies additional authority to arrest and detain illegals when they are encountered.

2. Prohibiting illegals from paying in state tuition at Virginia's colleges and universities.

3. Creating fines and penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.

Do you think that the legislature will pass a budget within the current session? If so, what has changed? [Ok, I'm done]

Lt. Governor Bolling: We adopted a budget last year for the 2006-2008 biennium, so there is no need to adopt a new budget this year. This is an "off budget" year. However, the Governor has proposed a number of amendments to the existing budget that will be considered by the General Assembly. I am confident that the General Assembly will act on the Governor's amendments prior to adjournment in February.

Dear LG Bolling:

Thanks for submitting to this!

Contrary to what NHFBS states above, there are measures the state and local governments could take which could make Virginia less welcoming to illegal aliens without requiring an outlay from the public kitty.

As exemplified by the tragic death of Joe Passarelli, it seems an egregious oversight that we have not done more in Virginia to simply enforce the rules on the books:

http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2006/12/passarelli_tragedy_exposes_maj.php

New legislation will be introduced in the new session to make it "unlawful for any business entity to recruit, hire for employment, or continue to employ, or to permit, dispatch, or instruct any person who is an unlawful worker to perform work in whole or part within this State."

Would you support such legislation, and will you advocate among the Virginia GOP to pass it?

Lt. Governor Bolling: As noted above, I do support legislation to make it unlawful for any employer to knowingly hire and employ illegal workers. Such legislation will be a part of my 2007 Legislative Agenda.

Also, what are the details of your "bloggers day"?

Lt. Governor Bolling: We will be hosting our First Annual Bloggers Day At The State Capitol on January 24th. This event will give bloggers an opportunity to visit the Capitol and meet with their legislators, attend Committee meetings, sit in on the daily Senate and House session, etc. In addition, we will be arranging briefings for the attendees with legislative leaders and I will be hosting the attendees at a dinner in Richmond that evening. Unfortunately, we are limited in the number of attendees we can accommodate, so this is an invitation only event. Invitations have been mailed, but if you did not receive one and you are interested in attending please contact Randy Marcus, at randy.marcus@billbolling.com. We will be glad to accommodate you if we can.

I see that you are now on the Blogging bandwagon. Last year, I think you might agree that Attorney General McDonnell was quite impressive with his blogger outreach. Are you trying to play desperate catch up? You are hosting an event in Richmond for bloggers on the 22nd. McDonnell has already done this. You are doing a live blog. McDonnell has done this multiple times. How do you see this strategy working into 2009? (On an editorial note?. Everything Bolling does is a day late after McDonnell has already done it, McDonnell leads and Bolling follows, its comical to watch, does Bolling ever have an original idea??!)

Lt. Governor Bolling: I don't think anyone has been more aggressive in interacting with bloggers than I have been. In 2006 I participated in multiple live blog interviews and podcasts, I attended and spoke at two blog conferences, and I had numerous other contacts with bloggers. Now, I am hosting the first conference for bloggers at the State Capitol during a legislative session. I think blogs are a great medium to share information with interested persons about what is going on in state government, and I will continue to do that whenever I can.

Do you agree that Bob McDonnell is the frontrunner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2009?

Lt. Governor Bolling: I don't think anyone is the frontrunner for Governor in 2009, and it's very premature to even be thinking about that. I've made no secret about the fact that I would like to be Governor of Virginia someday. However, there is a lot of water that will run under the bridge between now and 2009, and it remains to be seen who our party's nominee will be. Right now I think we need to keep our focus on 2007 and retaining our Republican majority in the General Assembly. Next year we will need to keep our focus on making sure that Hillary Clinton is not elected President of the United States and that we re-elect Senator John Warner and our Republican congressmen and women. Once that's done we can talk about 2009.

If Allen runs for Governor in 2009, will you run against him? Do you think that he has a chance in 2009? Do you think he has a political future?

Lt. Governor Bolling: There is no one I respect more than George Allen. He is a good friend and he has been a very effective leader for our state and our nation. His defeat on election night was a great loss for our party and for Virginia. We gave up a very good Senator for someone who is untried and unproven. I think Senator Allen still has a lot to offer by way of public service if that is what he decides to do, but that's a decision Senator Allen must make.

Thank you for joining us today. You and Mrs. Bolling have spent a great deal of time traveling the Commonwealth. Do you have a story or location that particularly stands out in the areas you've visited?

Lt. Governor Bolling: What I think I have been most impressed with through my travels across Virginia is the diversity of our state. We have the suburbs of the nation's capitol in Northern Virginia. We have the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coastline in Hampton Roads. We have the farm fields of Southside Virginia. The magnificent vistas of the Shenandoah Valley. As well as Southwest Virginia, where I grew up; and Central Virginia, where we live today. And each diverse region of our state faces its own unique challenges. This truly is a magnificent state. Sometimes I think we take that for granted. Virginia is a great place. Our responsibility, as this generation of Virginia leaders, is to take the legacy we've been left and make it better for future generations of Virginians. I take that responsibility very seriously.

You have clearly stated in quite a few press releases concerning Transportation that you do not support any higher taxes, while the AG has released many other statements on a lot of subjects but has remained silent on tax increases.

Will you continue to hold the line on no new tax increases?
Also, if you had a lasso, and a cattle prod, how would you herd the General Assembly to address the transportation issue?

Lt. Governor Bolling: As far as taxes are concerned, I have made clear that I do not believe it is necessary or appropriate to increase taxes. The revenues available to state government have increased substantially over the past two years. Last year's state budget boosted spending by $6B or 20%, and revenues will increase again this year by more than $1B. Unfortunately, neither Governor Warner or Governor Kaine have shown the fiscal discipline to direct our money toward our highest priorities, like transportation; as opposed to spending that money on other government programs and asking taxpayers to pay higher taxes for transportation.

I do think we need to secure more funding on an ongoing basis for the Transportation Trust Fund. However, I believe we should do that by dedicating additional existing revenue sources to transportation, and by looking for new revenue sources that do not involve massive statewide tax increases. Here are some of the things I am encouraging legislators to consider this year:

1. Last year we allocated $339M in surplus money for transportation but that money was never appropriated for specific projects. We need to appropriate this money to specific highway projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

2. In addition to this $339M, we will have about $671M in additional resources this year due to the fact that our economy performed better last year than we anticipated. While some of this money will be required to fund various non-discretionary spending commitments, I would like to see the vast majority of this money appropriated to capital projects, like transportation, as opposed to other government programs.

3. Last year the Senate and House of Delegates agreed on legislation that would boost so called abusive driver fees by about $50M a year. This legislation should be passed and the money dedicated to the Transportation Trust Fund.

4. There is general agreement on the use of tolls to help pay for designated highway projects in high growth areas like Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. We need to adopt a specific strategy for using tolls to help finance these types of projects.

5. There are a number of other possible alternatives we could develop consensus around, such as equalizing the tax on diesel (currently 16 cents per gallon) with gasoline (currently 17.5 cents per gallon), boosting registration fees for overweight vehicles that cause most of the damage to our roads, etc.

The bottom line is that I believe we can secure as much as $500M in one time money for transportation, and generate significant additional resources on an ongoing basis that could be tied to a responsible transportation bond program, without the massive statewide tax increases that have been proposed by the Governor.

Mr. Lt Gov Thanks for coming into the blogosphere! I have 2 questions: 1. At your debate against Leslie Byrne at ODU during the 2005 race, you indicated that if elected, you intended to use the term to run for governor in 2009. Is that still your plan, regardless of who the Democratic nominee might be? 2. AG Bob McDonnell has live-blogged on my site, a left-leaning one. Would you be willing to do the same? Thanks! he transportation issue?

Lt. Governor Bolling: As noted above, I have made no secret of the fact that I would like to be Governor of Virginia someday. I have a clear vision about where Virginia needs to go in the future and how we need to get there. However, right now I am focused on being a good Lieutenant Governor and helping get our Republican Party back to where it needs to be - a party of conservative values that focuses on the issues Virginia's families care about, and a party that offers a positive vision for the future of our state. If I do that well the future will take care of itself.

We will be scheduling other live blog interviews and podcasts throughout the year. If you are interested in having me do a live interview on your blog please contact Randy Marcus (randy.marcus@billbolling.com) and we will be glad to see if we can accommodate your request.

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35 Comments

Anonymous said:

Dear Lieu"thin"ant Governor Bolling--

Can you give us an update on your weight-loss plan? Hwo much have you lost so far?

Sophrosyne said:

Lt. Governor Bolling--

Thank you so much for joining us for this live-blog. What is your position on the Family Foundation's "mutual consent divorce" proposal and what do you think can be done to make Virginia's families stronger?

Anonymous said:

Lt. Governor Bolling,

What plans do you have for the upcoming session? Are there any specific bills you are strongly supporting?

Jon Boy said:

Lieutenant Governor Bolling,

I heard you mention "100 ideas for the future of Virginia". What exactly is this?

novamiddleman (Matt) said:

Lt Gov

What aspects of the transportation and landuse plans are you supporting and why

Do you support targeted reductions in certain areas of government, if so please identify a few specific examples

Do you support increasing funding in certain areas of government, if so please identify them and as a bonus how you would pay for them.

Thanks in advance

Anonymous said:

You did not seem to introduce legislation that really amounted to anything during your tenure in the State Senate. Why not?

10thdistrictrepublican said:

Lt. Governor Bolling,

What is your position with regards to other Republicans primarying other more "liberal" GOP senate leaders who consistently attempt to raise taxes? (excluding Potts who has already been booted from his local GOP)

James R. said:

Bob McDonnell:
Great Attorney General or Greatest Attorney General?

Maxwell's Hammer said:

I have had numerous sources confirm to me that you were openly saying George Allen would lose this past November. I've also heard you were saying the same sort of things to donors about Jerry Kilgore in October of 2005. Are you worried that by taking on your supposed allies when they are facing tough times that this may have consequences down the road for you?

Sam said:

During last year's General Assembly session when Sen. Ken Cuccinelli asked for a ruling from you (as the President of the Senate) about the appropriateness of having tax increases imbedded in the budget, you ruled against Cuccinelli by relying on a ruling by former Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine that rationalized that taxes and revenues are integrally related.

Why did you deliver this huge setback to the anti-tax movement?

Rappahannock said:

From the RT-D last year:

"Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday dismissed claims by the attorney general that he cannot keep the government running without a General Assembly-passed budget....Kaine brushed aside a still-confidential opinion by GOP Attorney General Bob McDonnell that argues that the governor is powerless to run the government if lawmakers fail to pass a budget....
Kaine, a Democrat, found an unlikely ally in Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling....
'I agree with the governor; that doesn't mean I disagree with the attorney general,' Bolling said."

That makes no sense! What in the world did you mean by this and why did you side with Kaine at this important moment in the anti-tax movement?

Sophrosyne said:

A note from the moderator: A single individual apparently just posted under the names James R., Rappahannock, and Sam (identical IP address for all three). If you are going to post multiple questions anonymously please do so with a consistent pseudonym or your actual name otherwise your comments will rightfully be deemed to be deliberately deceptive (i.e. attempting to create the illusion of multiple individuals sharing the perspective implicit in your questions/statements). We encourage multiple questions for the Lt. Governor... we just encourage them to be submitted in an ethical manner. Thank you.

Nike Shox said:

Thanks for live blogging Lt. Governor. Senator Cuccinelli and O'Brien are generally agreed to be vulnerable. Do you see any potential pick ups for conservatives in the Senate?

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

LG Bolling:

Were you invited to any of the "peacemaking" sessions with AG McDonnell, Cong. Tom Davis, and the Republican Joint Caucus and if so, can you tell us how they went from your point of view?

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

LG Bolling:

What is your position on the Devolites/Albo/Rust transportation plan?

Do you think it will pass?

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

LG Bolling:

Do you think the Republican Party should utilize a closed primary for statewide offices?

If so, why?

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

Does the Republican Caucus plan to propose any legislation in light of the litigation pressed by Sen. Cuccinelli?

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

What proposals does the Republican Party have to help FUND the illegal immigration enforcement measures that they keep proposing?

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

Do you think that the legislature will pass a budget within the current session?

If so, what has changed?

[Ok, I'm done]

Dear LG Bolling:

Thanks for submitting to this!

Contrary to what NHFBS states above, there are measures the state and local governments could take which could make Virginia less welcoming to illegal aliens without requiring an outlay from the public kitty.

As exemplified by the tragic death of Joe Passarelli, it seems an egregious oversight that we have not done more in Virginia to simply enforce the rules on the books:

http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2006/12/passarelli_tragedy_exposes_maj.php

New legislation will be introduced in the new session to make it "unlawful for any business entity to recruit, hire for employment, or continue to employ, or to permit, dispatch, or instruct any person who is an unlawful worker to perform work in whole or part within this State."

Would you support such legislation, and will you advocate among the Virginia GOP to pass it?

James R., Rappahannock, and Sam said:

Dear Moderator:

You got me. I just wanted the Lt. Gov. to answer all my questions in case he was only taking one question per person. Was not intending to be "deliberately deceptive," just an inquiring mind with an insatiable appetite for live blogging and asking questions of my elected officials.

Also, what are the details of your "bloggers day"?

Joe said:

I see that you are now on the Blogging bandwagon. Last year, I think you might agree that Attorney General McDonnell was quite impressive with his blogger outreach. Are you trying to play desperate catch up? You are hosting an event in Richmond for bloggers on the 22nd. McDonnell has already done this. You are doing a live blog. McDonnell has done this multiple times. How do you see this strategy working into 2009? (On an editorial note?. Everything Bolling does is a day late after McDonnell has already done it, McDonnell leads and Bolling follows, its comical to watch, does Bolling ever have an original idea??!)

Maxwell's Hammer said:

Do you agree that Bob McDonnell is the frontrunner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2009?

Maxwell's Hammer said:

If Allen runs for Governor in 2009, will you run against him? Do you think that he has a chance in 2009? Do you think he has a political future?

Sophrosyne said:

A note from the moderator in reference to today’s 8:58 comment from ‘Joe’: Please keep questions issue oriented and respectful.

Also, for the record NOVA TH would like to point out that this is the second visit by the Lt. Governor to our site; we were honored to have him participate with our blog back in April of 2006… and of course in 2006 he reached out to numerous other blogs as well. We should consider it a privilege to have elected officials reach out to interact with Virginia’s bloging community.

SWAC Girl said:

Thank you for joining us today. You and Mrs. Bolling have spent a great deal of time traveling the Commonwealth. Do you have a story or location that particularly stands out in the areas you've visited?

You have clearly stated in quite a few press releases concerning Transportation that you do not support any higher taxes, while the AG has released many other statements on a lot of subjects but has remained silent on tax increases.

Will you continue to hold the line on no new tax increases?

Also, if you had a lasso, and a cattle prod, how would you herd the General Assmbly to address the transportation issue?

Mr. Lt Gov

Thanks for coming into the blogosphere! I have 2 questions:

1. At your debate against Leslie Byrne at ODU during the 2005 race, you indicated that if elected, you intended to use the term to run for governor in 2009. Is that still your plan, regardless of who the Democratic nominee might be?

2. AG Bob McDonnell has live-blogged on my site, a left-leaning one. Would you be willing to do the same?

Thanks!

Not Harry F. Byrd, Sr. said:

He gets to the tough and says times up!?@#? Wsup with that?

Sophrosyne said:

NHFB, Sr: The Live-Blog was scheduled from 3-4 and the Lt. Governor was kind enough to exceed that time window. Impressive considering it was the day before session started. Regardless, he said he would answer remaining questions when time permits in the next week or so and we will post his responses then.

Nice work on this Soph, especially overcoming the technical difficulties at the last minute! Thank you.

ryan said:

To whom it may concern,

Hello. My name is Ryan Walsh and I have a question that has been lingering in my mind for quite some time now. On 10-22-05 I was walking on the sidewalk and was struck by a vehicle that lost control. My first instinct was to jump when I heard the tires screeching, and by doing this, the vehicle struck my left leg (particularly my ankle) and lifted me up so high that I flew through a nearby barber shop window. I was rushed to the hospital and barely lived due to major loss of blood. An 18yr old male was the driver of the auto, and he was under his father�s insurance policy. After sewing and only getting 25k (16,500$ after my Lawyer received his share) in exchange for 65 days of my life spent in a hospital bed, now more than ever, after I closed the case, and collected the settlement, my ankle has been bothering me now more than ever. I would not have closed the case if I would have understood the severity of my injury, but with poor guidance, I did. Now, I am trying to find out if there is any possible way I can reopen the case, or even go after the insurance company this time. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you very much whomever you may be for taking your time to become a party of my life, just by reading this you have. Thank you

I'm sorry to hear this happened, and I think you're going to need to talk to a lawyer in your state.

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