Deeds, McAuliffe, Moran set five debates

State Senator Creigh Deeds, former campaign consultant and businessman Terry McAuliffe, and former Delegate Brian Moran will first debate on Sunday, April 19 in Williamsburg.
PUBLICITY PHOTOS

The three candidates running for the Democratic nomination for governor announced a series of five debates building up to the big primary vote on Tuesday, June 9.

State Senator Creigh Deeds, former Democratic campaign consultant Terry McAuliffe, and former Alexandria delegate Brian Moran will square off first on Sunday, April 19 in Williamsburg at the annual convention of the Farm Team, a women's political group founded by former Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry.

This will be followed by debates in Hampton on Thursday, April 23, back-to-back debates in Danville on Tuesday, April 28, and in Blacksburg Wednesday, April 29, and a final debate in Annandale on May 19.

Venues and times for the debates have yet to be announced.

In the early stages of the campaign, the nomination appears to up for grabs. According to a survey by Public Policy Polling early this month, 46 percent of likely voters in the Democratic primary are still undecided, with McAuliffe winning 21 percent, Moran getting 18 percent, and Deeds earning 14 percent.

Whoever comes out on top after the June 9 primary will face former Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

25 comments

None were being compared to Hitler. Americans allied with those who brought Hitler to power as their catspaw against the global Jeffersonian Whig Revolution, which Hitler and Rome's Black Aristocracy objected to in Europe (Read "Mein Kampf's" call to "defend" the "Ostmark" by uniting as "The United States of Europe" - Viz. the Post WWII Bilderbergers creation of the EC/EU led by Dutch SS Chief "Prince" Bernard) are a de facto Fifth Column for Roman fascism working against the American People (Never wonder at the impunity with which the tax-free RC church supports illegal immigration?).

Political candidates anywhere in the U.S., but particulary in the "Cradle of America," the Old Dominion, who support Rome are diametrically opposed to The New Secular Order, and your readers should be allowed to know it.

All references to Hitler, an actual historic person brought to power by institutions and factions yet viable in the world - and in the United States of America (Google "Prescott Thyssen Auschwitz") - are not "non sequitur." One need only read Goldhagen's "A Moral Reckoning," to know with absolute, irrefutable, moral certainty that those claiming to be "American" who support the institution that is "legally, morally, and ethically culpable of the Holocaust, are, in fact, yet supporting what Thomas Jefferson referred to in a letter to Samuel Kerchival as "an engine for enslaving mankind," that is "the real Anti-Christ."

Virginians following Mr Jefferson know that Whig, the name of the party which founded America, means "anti-Roman Catholic." Just because those conformed to the false-elite take offense at revelations of that Faux Aristoi's falseness...and treason...does not make those revelations "non sequitur," it makes those who censor intelligent, cogent, pertinant, and patriotic truth philistines, or quavering ignoramuses at best. The website address was provided to all scholars and patriots to examine for confirmation of the charges and connections made in raising the alarm against your apparent multiple co-religionists' candidacies for the governorship.

Permit intelligent conversation, even if it would offend nuns and pedophile priests. Be an American. Know the Founder's Mind. Thomas Jefferson was a Prophet of G-d. Please permit discussion of the facts and the proven history. Would a little integrity hurt you?

Dear readers,

Before you make a non sequitur Hitler reference, please consult our policy on comments below.

Sincerely,
Lindsay Barnes

*says

I throw myself on the mercy of the copy-editing court.

Humbly,
Lindsay Barnes

Dear RJ,

No word yet on television coverage, though the joint press release from the three campaigns say that further details are forthcoming.

Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,
Lindsay Barnes

Will any of these be televised debates?

Thank you so much for such a wonderful article,,,on the farm..and my family..
Hopefully it will help out many farmers...who struggle for land...and trying to keep the family farm going...
I have already had one call from a land owner!!!!!
Thanks,
Connie

Thanks for the article. I understand better what Lonnie has been saying about Land Use Taxation as it is applied in Albemarle County.

The Hook is to be commended for another article that gets at the ripple effect of Land Use taxation. A short while back The Hook published the following article by Lisa Provence that explained just who benefits from Land Use exemptions:
http://www.readthehook.com/Stories/2003/04/10/coverLandUseFarmersFriendO...

I'm not surprised that the Farm Bureau did not return the Hook's phone calls....the Farm Bureau has supported the elimination of the Estate Tax, which would have benefited the wealthy....they plead that smalal farms are hurt – go out of busniess – due to that tax. I've asked them multiple times to cite a couple of small farms that failed beause of the Estate Tax...no response.

Albemarle County has 5,000 properties in Land Use, which accounts for 60% of all the land in the county. Yet, the revenue produced by farming and the jobs related to farming in the county are extremely small. No county in Virginia uses Land Use exemptions more than Albemarle County does. Real small farmers deserve it....big "gentlemen" farmers like those cited in the article – Weschler, Grisham, Minor – are another story.

The cost to the county in tax revenue eclipses the revenue-sharing agreement with Charlottesville (which was approved in a referendum by county voters years ago with 64% approval). Starangely, supervisors like Ken Boyd favoring renogiatating the revenue-sharing agreement but simply blink at the Land Use abuse.

In the interim, who is affaected by the expansive use of Land Use tax exemptions? People like Connie Hicks. Those who own quarter-, half- and one-acre lots with a house who pay full freight. County employees, who see pay and benefits reduced.

The current economic calamity should have made it very clear that there is a steep price to pay for tax cuts and breaks directed to those who do not need them. The so-called "trickle down" theory doesn't work....never has.
County citizens, employees, and real farmers deserve better.

Thanks for the great article and for highlighting this important issue. The Piedmont Environmental Council is working hard to promote and foster connections between landowners and farmers as part of our Buy Fresh Buy Local program. This is an essential part of saving both farmland and farms. As the article states, we have a workshop this Saturday on just this issue and for more information you can go to: www.pecva.org

Regarding Land Use taxation, there has never been a serious discussion by the Albemarle County BOS about getting ride of this program. Owners of farms, forests, and rural open space don't get this tax rate because of their participation in farming but instead because maintaining that land as real estate for agriculture, horticulture, forest, and opens space has public benefit. In fact, according to Virginia Cooperative Extension, all 50 states have some form of "use value" tax system for agricultural land. It may sound trite, but “cows don’t go to school” and this quip is a good way to explain the reality that open land does not require the same level of governmental services as "developed" land and as such it doesn’t make sense to tax open land at the same rate. Finally, despite land use rates on open land, farmland owners are still taxed at market value for the improvements on their property (their house and other structures) and for the land immediately around these improvements.

Thanks again for the great article,
Rex Linville
Piedmont Environmental Council

Dear Mr. Crockett,

Thanks for reading and commenting on this article. There is an error in the print version of this article, which has been corrected online and noted above. In fact, it was not Farm Bureau that rejected Connie's Hicks' loan request; it was Farm Credit. I have apologized to Farm Bureau for the error and will be running a correction in next week's issue. I also apologize to readers for any confusion this has caused, and to Farm Credit, whose response I am still awaiting.

Sincerely,

Courteney Stuart

Thanks for the correction you cite Courteney....but that does not change the Farm Bureau's support for tax exemptins - the Estate Tax - for example – that primarily benefit the wealthiest.

I can appreciate Mr. Linville's view that those who get the Land Use exemptin must pay market tax rates on their houses....but surely he also knows that to qualiify for land use, one must own 20 acres or more. Most county residents do not. Moreover, there are few true working farms - in the literal sense of the term - in the county, but 5000 properties and 60% of the land are in Land Use.

Mr. Linville says that "cows don't go to school." True, but kids do and one must assume that some of those who benefit from Land Use exemptions have children in public schools. Additionally, public schools do, in fact, serve to benefit all. The original purpose of public education – which the wealthiest Virginians fought (Jefferson's plan to provide a "free" public education through 3rd grade was defeated a number of times) – was to promote democratic citizenship and the maintenance of democratic governance.

Mr. Linville says that providing Land Use exemptins to the wealthiest for open space or horticulture has "public benefit." But it is an indirect benefit in the sense that the public cannot typically access those open spaces (they are private properties). The beneift the people "gain" is that the land is not developed. Of course, many of those who own the largest estates don't want to develop their land anyway, nor do they plan to. So, even though they can afford to pay the real estate taxes, the general public ends up, through Land Use, subsidizing their open spaces.

A few years back, a tax professor pursuing a divinity degree in Alabama found out that the state taxed its poorest citizens at 4 times the rate it taxed its wealhiest ones. She was aghast and asked her theology professors for advice. They suggested she make the issue her master's thesis. She did (Google Susan Pace Hamill and you can find the thesis in the 2002 Alabama Law Review....or read the New York Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/25/business/25tax.html?em&ex=1198818000&e...).
Hamill's thesis caused the Alabama governor to get a tax reform package from the legislature. But that package had to be approved by the voters. Then the radio and TV and print ads began, saying the package would be the "largest tax increase" in Alabama history; that thousands of jobs would be lost; that it would lead to desecreation perserved spaces. These claims were blatant deceptions.

When the vote came, every demographic group, including the poorest, voted against it.

Sometimes most of the people can be fooled.

Mark Crockett, bless you, whoever you are. You really hit the nail on the head, and thanks for the great link.

I don't have children, but I contribute my share of county taxes to public education. My unschooled dogs and cats do not earn me a tax break. I take beautiful care of my property and its natural resources, and will never subdivide it. Where's my reward for good stewardship?

Look, everyone knows the PEC is the wealthy person's environmental group. They have their parties at fabulous estates and people drop in for drinks by private helicopter. There's an enormous difference between how they fund-raise and how, for instance, an organization like the Legal Justice Center does it.

I have worked with and for many of the county's wealthiest landowners, and not a one of them would ever subdivide or develop their land. Nor would they ever need a hand out from the government to prevent them from doing so. They love to have lots of land to spread out on, because that provides them the essential elbow room they need to keep them separated from the hoi polloi.

Don't get me wrong-- the PEC does some great work, but never mistake their real mission, which is providing unsullied surroundings for the mega wealthy. If local food weren't trendy among the rich, the PEC wouldn't be supporting the concept. Some of us have been growing our own organic and natural food for decades before the PEC read about it Gourmet magazine and hopped on board the train. The PEC is welcome to ride along, just don't high-jack the train and paint your name on the side of it, okay?

Seriously, in case you didn't read the article above, PEC is hosting a workshop today called "Hosting the Small Farm Dream," and charging $10 to get in....hardly a wealthy person's event. Your jab at PEC's Buy Fresh Buy Local effort is pretty cynical. I don't see any other organization in the state maintaining a comprehensive database of local food sources, and sending out that information for free.

farmboy, I stated clearly that the PEC does some great work. However, I stand by my statement that one of its primary goals is protecting the land of its wealthy donors through government handouts. If they backed away from that stand, I would have a lot more respect for them.

I have a real problem with wealthy people being rewarded for doing the right (i.e. responsible) thing. Ever heard of noblesse oblige? The reality is that, in this instance, you're rewarding them simply for looking out for their own best interests. Are the neediest members of society rewarded with tax breaks for having fewer children? My income is poverty-level-- am I rewarded for maintaining a property that's free of all pesticides and other noxious chemicals?

Once again, they do some great work, and I appreciate that the Eat Local info is widely distributed for free. But I find the preferential treatment given their wealthy donors to be pretty sad, considering that the smaller farmers could really use some tax breaks too.

I have no problem with real "feet on the ground" farmers like Hicks, Salatin, and the Huffs receiving tax breaks for not only being good stewards of the environment, but for providing nutritious untainted food for the people of this area.

The PECs work in local food is a great addition to the community and should be viewed as important. However, there is so much other work being done on Ag in general that it's only one player, not the game. Respectfully,

I also cannot find farm land for grazing and hay making. My herd is quite a bit smaller and the land use is being abused by the wealthy estates. Thank you for bringing attention to one of the few small independent american industries left in this country.

I own two houses in the county. One on two acres and one on 232 acres. I pay about 2600 EACH on the two homes and pay an additional 2000 on the land around the second home.

This is FAIR. The raw land is not using any county services and I have to pay INCOME tax on all of the farming operations. THe tax
"break" is really just a true reflection of the lands cost to the county to provide services. It is disingenous to point to some famous rich people and sat that they are are not paying their fair share. I imagine John grishams home is worth a cool two or three million and he gets NO DISCOUNT on that. He does get land use rates on the land.

There are different tax rates for everything from rental cars, hotel rooms food, services income etc and this is no different.

If the tax rates increased dramatically people would subdivied their land and sell off pieces to pay the tax bill. Those new homes would generate more expenditures for the county than the new tax collected.

Anybody that thinks it won't happen simply needs to look at Louden county in northern Va. People subdivied like crazy and they now have an entire county of mcmansions in the highest foreclosure area of the state.

At the end of the day the land use tax is fair. The county does not allow people to simple mow the grass. They MUST produce hay at a minimum. Anybody that tells you different is a liar. This is not the free ride that some folks would like you to believe.

Lastly, if you raise the tax on the land it will only be passed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices. (or I guess higher mystery novel prices?)

common sense-- I have no idea what your income bracket is, but you may well need the tax break provided by Land Use. How would you feel about the county not extending that tax break to multi-millionaires? What would you think about an income cap? (Serious question there)

My land is also not using any county services, nor do I have children using county schools, etc. What sort of tax break would you propose for me that's "fair" like the one you're getting?

seriously, I have no children in school either. That is the point. A lot of the people who complain are those that are living in a 250k house with three kids paying 2500 in property taxes but consuming 36,000 a year educating their three kids. On top of that they get additional deductions and my cows never race up and down the downtown mall cussing in front of grandmothers.

If you want to make it "fair" then give them a bill for their actual consumption but of couse that could never work.

As for having millionairs lose the exemption they already pay much higher taxes than everyone else. the difference betwen me and a millionaire is that my house is worht 250k on my land and a millionaires is probaly two to three times that which means he already pays two to three times what I pay.

The top 3% of the population already pay 68% of the taxes. while the bottom 35% not only don't pay taxes but get direct government assisance through various programs.

The issue that no one wants to address is why it costs so much to fill a pothole or paint a fence when the government does it. The government also wastes money debatine and studying every little thing to death. If they had to EARN the money then it would be different.

The county budget should be done 18 months in advance and voted on so that WE decise how much they can spend, instead of them deciding how much they get to tax us.

To seriously:

There is already a "fair" tax break for you, simply buy 21 acres of land and work your friggin ass off cutting hay, raising cattle or growing corn.

Whats the problem?

table talk, I stated clearly above that real farmers (i.e. the ones who "work their friggin ass off") SHOULD get a break! I don't think fake farmers who are multi-millionaires should get a tax break for mowing their grass and rolling it into a bale, or having a small herd of decorative sheep.

Farming is hard work that should be rewarded. Rewarding mega-wealthy fake farmers makes a mockery of the process.

what about a millionaire who became a millionaire by by working his ass off abling hay or raising cattle? The tax break is not a subsidy. It is a fair representaion of the lands consumption of county services.

Think of it this way.

Two lots on a road, both one acre. One has a house and four kids and pays 2500 in taxes. The other sits undeveloped and pays 800.

This is fair.

So why is it all of a sudden unfair because the lot size changes?

If you can become a millionaire by baling hay and raising cattle on 21 acres, then you are to be commended!

My understanding is that this is handed out primarily to people who are not actually farmers, but rather those individuals who work their asses off writing novels, making CDs, managing hedge funds in NYC... and let's not forget those who work their asses off inheriting sizable trust funds from their relatives. Trustafarians in Carhartts? Those poor, poor dears need all the tax assistance they can get.

It is funny how this article is about a loss of land for cattle. So the solution is to RAISE the taxes so that these cd makers etc will do what? Rent out their land to cattle producers to pay the tax increase? The cattle producers barely pay any rent now.

The current tax structure is fair based on the land use. These farmers pay personal property taxes on the house and 1 acre and a different rate on the raw land. If you raise the tax rate you will see lots sold off to pay the taxes and then you will get more developemnt requiring more roads and schools and thereby more taxes. That is what the folks realized when they instituted the policy. Think how many more developments there would have been in the last ten years building explosion if this had been repealed ten years ago.

It really is troublesome that most of you who talk of land use do not really know all the standards of this process, one being you must be running it as a farm, not just empty pasture land and that it has been available to less than 20 acres. Then there is talk of John Grisham he has his land in preservation not to be subdivided how else are we too preserve the larger farms working now or for the future. I too pay taxes w/kids that do not utilize the public schools and not private school students but home schooled. I pay several thousands for education materials and pay real estate tax as well but no tax break here either. The assumption that every farmer small or large chooses to use or benefit from gov't subsidies once again is just a presumption. Fair or not if you don't start thinking ways to preserve the larger lots of land tax break to millionaires or the rest of us you will begin to see the small farm set up dissappear and those millionaires subdividing their property into a subdivision with restrictions on having chickens much less substainable farming. It seems that there is a lot of whining going on almost to the point it sounds like two kids fighting over a bigger part of the pie. It is true there are plenty of people out there in need of assistance as in the Hick's family. I do question why there is a need for her to purchase her home place from her parents it would seem more appropriate that she attempt to make it work while living with her parents maybe this is an antiquated position. In a time when it is a buyers market for real estate and not the seller's would the loan to her have been a handout considering the fact that her only other option should the farm fail was to work at Target? As for Ted Weschler if he feels bad for taking the tax break and that it is wrong why does he?