Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe made a stop at Strauss Park in northwest Roanoke this past Saturday, for a Memorial Day Weekend cookout rally with nearly 50 supporters – just 18 days before the June 9 primary. McAuliffe continued pressing his message as the “Capital Square” outsider and the only one of the four gubernatorial candidates that can shake-up the status quo in Richmond.
While McAuliffe also touted his credentials as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee and a long career in business, he highlighted the limited power of the Governor’s Office to offer incentives to attract major employers to the Commonwealth. McAuliffe cited several employers and projects that the Commonwealth didn’t pitch to due to inefficiencies of the Governor’s Economic Opportunity Fund. The General Assembly, said McAuliffe, restricts the power of the Governor’s Office to broker such deals.
McAuliffe highlighted $125 million in federal funds the General Assembly turned away to extend unemployment benefits that would have also included part-time employees. He also assailed Republicans (like the presumptive GOP nominee for governor, Bob McDonnell) for distorting facts related to increased costs for Virginia businesses.
Other issues that McAuliffe pressed during his cookout stop included predatory lending; specifically payday and car title lending practices, as well as restoration of voting rights for felons that have served full sentences and paid all fines and restitutions. Roanoke City Council members in attendance who have endorsed Terry McAuliffe included Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea and Councilman Court Rosen.
One of McAuliffe’s Democrat opponents in the June 9 primary, Creigh Deeds, was also scheduled to stop by his Roanoke campaign headquarters last weekend.
Editor’s note: photo and information courtesy of Barry Butler.