The government does not create jobs, our people do. With the downturn in the economy and the growth of the federal government and taxes, the hope of entrepreneurship has been diminished. The best way to recover from a recession is to establish pro-growth policies that will provide incentives for the creation of new small businesses, expand midsize businesses, and help corporations create more jobs. The owners of small businesses today are the business leaders of tomorrow. It is time to restore the hope of entrepreneurship and help Virginia’s middle class families find jobs and take back their financial freedom.
I grew up in Fairfax County and I am raising my kids in northern Virginia so I know firsthand how difficult it can be running from the grocery store to swim team practice and back home.
To me, finding a long-term solution to our transportation needs is more than just more roads and more asphalt. It is a quality of life issue and an economic growth issue. We need a good transportation system that will allow businesses to quickly and reliably ship their products. It will also maintain our quality of life by providing folks the opportunity to spend more time with their families and less time sitting in traffic.
We need to develop better working relationships between state and local governments to ensure those highest priority traffic congestion and capacity problems are addressed first and that we have a comprehensive approach to addressing the transportation needs of each community. The transportation needs in Fairfax County are very different than the needs in Virginia Beach. Similarly, the way to fix congestion in northern Virginia is very different than in Hampton Roads.
I was raised in Fairfax County, and I attended public schools. I was fortunate to attend the University of Virginia, where I received a world-class engineering degree. I went on to earn my law degree and a Masters from George Mason University, another one of Virginia’s great public institutions of higher learning.
Taxes and Spending
Every day, with every transaction, we are paying taxes to governments that are growing in size, increasingly inefficient, and becoming less accountable for spending our precious dollars. Every day the government spends more and we save less in our own college education accounts, retirement accounts, and savings accounts. The government raises our taxes and causes our cost of living to rise, making it more difficult to buy groceries, pay the electric bill, or purchase gasoline to travel to school or work. It is time to reform our tax system and make it easier for Virginia’s citizens to save their own money and encourage entrepreneurs to invest in their own businesses.
The people of Virginia deserve and expect an open and honest Government. They expect their elected leaders to be accountable to the people and do what they said they were going to do. As Governor, I want to find ways to make our government more effective, efficient, and transparent – goals I worked toward while in the State Senate.
Virginia’s citizens should be able to access information and receive assistance easily, whether they are in a crisis or simply trying to learn about establishing a business in their community. I want to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse from within state departments and agencies and find ways to ensure that each department is performing their mission in a responsible and accountable manner. While every politician says they want to get rid of waste, fraud and abuse – as Attorney General, I’ve actually done it, and I’ll do more of it as your next Governor.
With the natural resources we have in our Commonwealth, Virginia should be a national leader in energy independence. We need oil, natural gas, and coal to power our homes, cars, and economy. Virginia could be doing more to provide that to the world, while growing job opportunities for our middle class. We also need to find new sources of energy with nuclear, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal, as part of a comprehensive energy program. As governor, I want an all of the above energy strategy – one that takes advantage of all of the resources we have here in Virginia and off our shores, in an environmentally safe and economically sound manner, with as little government intervention as possible.
Healthcare costs are continuing to balloon at an unsustainable rate, which not only hurts families, but also presents a significant challenge to our state government. I support reforming state health programs to be more patient-centered, improving coordination of care, and bolstering Virginia’s renowned team of healthcare fraud investigators, who will be able to vastly increase their efforts to stamp out fraud, waste, and abuse. A reformed system would provide better care to Virginians, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars.
I believe strongly that healthcare decisions should be made by doctors and families, not by the government. Our healthcare system is bloated with rules and regulations that make health insurance more expensive and care less accessible. To combat these problems, I support harnessing market competition, consumer choice, and the power of better information for patients.
While states are severely constrained by federal law, I believe that state governments can reform their markets in ways that allow more competition and better choices for consumers. As Governor, I will pursue changes to open up Virginia’s markets, attract the nation’s best medical professionals, improve patient safety by modernizing the health care information systems, and get timely, accurate information to families and businesses to empower them to make the best possible health care decisions.
I believe that all human life is precious, which is why I am a strong supporter of life. As a member of the state Senate, I worked to promote a culture of life in Virginia by working to end the gruesome procedure known as “partial-birth” abortion, advance parental consent, and improve health and safety standards to protect women’s health in abortion facilities across the Commonwealth.
I believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. An overwhelming majority of Virginians voted in 2006 to include the definition of traditional marriage in Virginia’s constitution. As Attorney General, I have defended our constitution, and I will continue to do so if elected Governor.
Honoring Our Veterans
In the course of American political history, every single candidate for statewide office talks about the importance of veterans and the critical role they play in our communities. Too often, of course, when it comes to veterans’ issues—candidates and elected officials say all the right things and check all of the right boxes, but rarely do they take aggressive action. Leaders at every level of government have a solemn responsibility to look after the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our country. No one disagrees with that. But I think leaders in Richmond need to be committed to our veterans for another reason that applies to our entire Commonwealth: our economic future.
Second Amendment Rights
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguard our rights and liberties, and I support our nation’s foundational document in its entirety – even when that means taking on the federal government. I strongly believe in protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of our law abiding citizens. I have been an advocate for law abiding sportsmen, gun collectors, and gun owners throughout my time in the state Senate and as Attorney General. As Governor, I will continue to protect our rights.
And while it is important to respect the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, I know many people have reasonable concerns about the misuse of firearms, and I will continue to support Virginia being among the most aggressive states in prosecuting gun crimes – including aggressively prosecuting illegal gun purchases. And with recent tragedies still fresh in our minds, I will also continue my work of more than 15 years to help improve Virginia’s mental health system, so those suffering from mental illness and their families can live happier and more productive lives, with a reduced chance of suicide or other violence.