How to Cut a Budget (Part 2/5)

Jeremy Aldrich -- May 23rd, 2010

Candidates for the 26th District House of Delegates race spent time answering questions generated from a discussion among hburgnews readers.  This is the second video in a series.

More background:

Virginia adopts a budget every two years and is bound by the state constitution to balance spending and tax revenue.  Because of the recession, tax revenue forecasts declined sharply as state lawmakers prepared the 2010-2012 budget during this year’s General Assembly session.  A $4 billion shortfall returned spending to 2006 levels, resulting in significant cuts to almost every area of state spending.  Locally, this has led to reducing the number of teachers in Rockingham County schools, closing VDOT offices, and increased fees for government services, among other consequences.

Image by Tracy O.

8 Responses to “How to Cut a Budget (Part 2/5)”

  1. Renee says:

    I think it is becoming very clear who has thought out their answers to these questions for their campaign and who hasn’t.

    I have a few questions about the setup for these videos, Jeremy – just so I can frame in my mind under what circumstances they were interviewed.

    Did they choose the time when they were to be interviewed? (curious if any of them were in a hurry if you dropped by and may give shorter answers because of that)
    Did they know more than a day in advance when the interview would be? (wondering if they had a chance to choose what they wore and think about what they would say)
    What type of introduction did you give them in advance about what the interview was for? Were they familiar with hburgnews? (wondering if they knew this would be shown to a large audience online or what types of questions may be asked)
    Did they choose the location/background for the interviews or did you? (wondering why Wilt & Frank have brick walls behind them but Degner has nice bushes and bluestone)

    Based on what I see and hear, it seems like Wilt and Frank took this Q&A very casually and didn’t prepare much for what would basically be one of their few chances to directly and freely communicate to voters (possibly new voters outside their parties) what they each stood for.

    Do we know whether any of them have watched each others’ answers here or are following the follow-up questions and discussion here on hburgnews?
    If you’re here, candidates (or staff members), please say hi, I would like to know whether reading online discussions is one way you keep up with your constituents’ opinions!

    • Jeremy Aldrich says:

      I contacted each campaign more than a week before the interviews and asked them to set the time and place since they are each very busy. Carolyn chose Wednesday at Denton Pocket Park, Tony chose Thursday and didn’t have a location in mind so went with Denton Pocket Park, and Kai chose Friday at Court Square. By the time I arrived Carolyn and Tony were already seated where the interviews took place and neither I nor they made mention of the background. It is something I wish I had considered.

      All three had at least a passing familiarity with hburgnews and were told it would be questions about some of the main issues facing state government, but none saw the questions in advance. I did offer that if they felt like they flubbed an answer or there was some kind of interruption then we could re-shoot their answer. Tony didn’t take me up on that, Carolyn did once, and Kai did twice (one of the reshoots was for part of the question above because a loud motorcycle passed us in the middle of his answer; that’s why there’s a jumpcut).

      I want to reiterate my thanks to each of the candidates for taking part. I think their answers were typical of their personal styles and reflected their philosophies of government.

  2. Dave Briggman says:

    A true conservative, or libertarian, would generally know the legitimate functions of government and would already know what he or she would seek to cut BEFORE going to Richmond.

    I believe I ear Mr. Wilt state that he would seek targeted budget cuts, but some across the board. “Too much government” in certain areas in our lives but won’t specify which areas…core programs, but doesn’t name them.

    Nothing sticks out to him for specific cuts…”localities will decide”?

  3. Dave Briggman says:

    These interviews are not making me feel secure about any candidate, and making me feel even less secure about Wilt.

  4. BANDIT says:

    If you go by image, composure and comfort level…hands down, Kai wins again. Kai has that polished “look and feel” about him, that I would say is appealing to others.

    • Renee says:

      “Comfort level” is a good way to state what I noticed. He seems prepared and comfortable answering questions, and gives answers that are thorough and thoughtful without rambling.

      • Dave Briggman says:

        Matt Lohr was polished…that didn’t get us anywhere.

        Kai can be polished, and still have nothing specific in mind for the Valley or for Virginia. In fact, he makes no specific legislation known on his issues page, which is, admittedly, much more coherent than is Wilt’s.

Reader Tweets

Latest Flickr photos in the hburgnews Flickr pool
Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.