- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Democratic gubernatorial nominee R. Creigh Deeds on Monday offered a plan to fix Virginia’s economy and create jobs that touched on many of the themes proposed last week by the Republican nominee.

Like his opponent, former Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, Mr. Deeds said he wants to award tax credits to businesses that create jobs. He also wants to add more money to the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.

His 20-page plan focuses on “green jobs, tax cuts, worker training and transportation,” he said at a press conference in Roanoke.

While Mr. McDonnell said he would give tax breaks to employers who create at least 25 jobs in rural areas and 50 jobs around the rest of the state, Mr. Deeds wants to give tax credits to all businesses that create jobs. He wants to double the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.

Mr. Deeds jabbed at Mr. McDonnell, saying that as governor he would not outsource job creation as Mr. McDonnell did when he designated his running mate, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, the commonwealth’s job creator.

Mr. Deeds proposed assisting unemployed workers in need of health insurance, creating a rural business fund to promote business in distressed areas, streamlining small-business permitting, increasing state contracting for small and minority-owned businesses and finishing broadband wiring of the state by 2013.

He said he wants to provide grants to expand nursing programs and offer loan guarantees to community college students.

J. Tucker Martin, communication director for Mr. McDonnell, said, “It’s good to see Creigh finally talking about policy, and it looks like he’s been reading our press releases.”

He added that the Deeds campaign has relied heavily on the support of organized labor.

“In a campaign about jobs, Creigh Deeds is on the wrong side of Virginia workers and employers,” he said.

Mr. Deeds said during his announcement that Virginia needs to become a leader in green-energy jobs and recommended setting mandatory renewable-energy standards of 15 percent by 2020 and 22 percent by 2025. He also said he wants to create programs that help low-income Virginians save on energy bills.

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