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Tim Kaine Holds Women's Roundtable Discussion in Herndon

U.S. Senate candidate talked about small business, the economy and more Friday during a visit to Herndon.

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate, held a women's roundtable discussion today in Herndon at Zarca Interactive. 

Zarca Interactive creates online survey software to help clients collect feedback and data. Kaine's discussion focused on the economy, small business, healthcare, insurance and education. 

During the discussion, Kaine, a Democrat, said legislators should focus on issues they agree on and can engage each other in, rather than disagreeing and going in circles. "We don't need more wedge issues," he said. 

One of the things Kaine said he'd like to focus on, if elected senator, is cultivating and keeping a talented workforce in Virginia. 

One attendee said she hoped that more could be done to set up the state insurance exchanges soon to help provide more affordable insurance options to small businesses. 

Kaine said he agreed on the importance of getting the exchanges operating. He said he came out of a small business family and managed a law firm of 130 employees. The worst day of the year as a business owner was always the day they would get the information on new insurance premiums, he noted. 

Many Americans are just learning about the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act, Kaine said. This year, 600,000 Virginia residents received rebate checks from their insurance companies because of ACA, he said. 

Herndon business owner Pat Williams of Graceful Care said she is still concerned about the costs of childcare for single mothers. She said for many, it is still a challenge to make ends meet because of the cost.

One of the positive things Virginia has done for childcare in recent years, Kaine said, is to start a rating system, so parents can understand what kind of value they're getting from a provider. 

He would like to continue to push for early childhood education for children ages 4 and older at public schools, which could both help the child and the single, working parent, he said.

The general fund budget for the Commonwealth of Virginia was lower when he left office than when he entered it, Kaine said, noting he still worked to invest more funding in early childhood education because he saw it as a worthwhile investment. 

Another local business owner asked what could be done to help make sure the state is taking care of its aging population, especially seniors. 

There needs to be a focus on the individual's needs, rather than in institutions, Kaine said. States tend to fund retirement homes and mental health institutions when they should be focusing on helping those people stay in their communities and helping them stay at home, he said. 

Making sure seniors can "age in place" and stay at home as long as they'd like to could be more cost-effective than providing funding for the aging population at an institutional level, he said.

Though he's been campaigning for many months, Kaine said he's getting more excited for the election the closer it gets. 

Kaine faces former governor and former U.S. senator, Republican George Allen on the ballot Nov. 6.

Barbara Glakas September 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I think Tim Kaine would be a great asset in the Senate. He is an even-handed, pragmatic person who will not add to the divisiveness in Congress but can work across the aisle to find common ground and help break the deadlock.
Harry Locock September 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM
With Harry Reid's permission (in the unlikely event the Senate remains ham-strung by Reid's dilatoriness and hyper-partisanship). The final "shoddy" budget effort as governor by the "pragmatic," "even-handed" Mr Kaine did not attract a single vote--not even a Democratic vote!
Barbara Glakas September 16, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Kaine was Governor when the U.S. recession was at its worst and yet he left the state’s general fund budget smaller than what he started with when he took office. Times were tough but he kept us in decent shape. And, during his tenure, Virginia was recognized as the best state for business in Forbes Magazine, the best managed state in Governing Magazine, and the best state to raise a child in Education Week. He also had a good record as Mayor of Richmond, cutting real estate taxes, cutting utility taxes, cutting business license taxes, working on a deal to eliminate the estate taxes in Virginia, and was able to take hundreds of thousands of working Virginians off the off Income tax rolls. Allen has a spending record and is very divisive. We don’t need more divisiveness in Washington.
Bob Bruhns September 16, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Kaine gave the Dulles Toll Road to MWAA for the purpose of pushing the Silver Line through, and that rail line was pushed through against the recommendation of the FTA. Not even WMATA wanted it. If you review the Dulles Rail debacle, you'll see that it was a pack of lies, with ever-rising price numbers, and changing stories whenever it suited the pro-rail group. You haven't seen the tolls or their effects yet - but you will. And we are already looking at hundreds of millions of initial expenses for Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, and tens of millions yearly, surely to increase endlessly for each county as the truth is slowly revealed. And these costs are coming just as federal spending - our main cash cow in Northern Virginia - is in decline, and just when Virginia is handing us more and more expense, and less and less service, as it looks at a gaping hole in its retirement system funding, and tries to pretend that it isn't there. Hmm, I guess Kaine had nothing to do with that? Yeah, right... I only wish that the Republican Party was really any better. And it's not just Kaine. It's the People! Voters just don't look or see for themselves. When it all collapses, which is already starting to happen, all they will care about is the latest promise from their so-called 'leaders' - because other than what they are told, they haven't got a clue. Do you think that what is happening in Greece, Spain, Ireland, etc, can't happen here? It already is.
Barbara Glakas September 16, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Hi Bob, Good to see you at the Metro meeting the other night. Yes, metro is expensive. I still hope that tolls can be ameliorated by the Federal and State governments kicking in more transportation funds, and possibly refinance existing bonds and take advantage of TIFIA bonds in order to get lower interest rates. I think we all understand that creating a metro line is not an inexpensive endeavor. I’m sure there were those who thought the blue line was too expensive and the red line was too expensive, etc. It will never be cheap enough for us. But thank goodness previous planners had the forethought to create it. Can you imagine our region without it now? How many legislators have been promising for decades to bring rail to Dulles? Kaine got it done. And Kaine has forethought. He understands that one reason Virginia’s economy has outpaced other economies is that we have global connections in the form of the Dulles International Airport and our ports. Continued.........
Barbara Glakas September 16, 2012 at 09:10 PM
..... continued.... He also understands that also this rail line will provide greater transit access to the first and second largest concentration of jobs in Virginia – Tysons Corner and the Reston/Herndon area. This rail line is not just a transportation convenience for those who live in Northern Virginia. It is an economic generator for the entire state. Kaine gets this. As Governor, Kaine helped push the rail project through with a bi-partisan team of Congressman. With his personal involvement, and the involvement of his Policy Director, Kaine worked closely with President Bush’s Secretary of Transportation and was able to receive the approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation for a Full Funding Grant agreement, which committed $900 million in federal funds for Phase 1 of the rail project. I suppose we could debate whether or not it was wise to create MWAA, but the bottom line is that if it wasn’t for Kaine working in a bi-partisan way, the silver line would still be a plan on a piece of paper that everyone was still talking about. I look forward to the Wiehle station to opening up in 2013.
William Campenni September 16, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Please educate me. These Federal and State funds. Where do they come from? I've heard that they use people's taxes, and then borrow an additional 40% on top of that. But I can't be sure, because you don't see anything in the media about any of that. Good thing our education system makes sure the kids don't learn about stuff like that, especially since they'll end up paying for it. Maybe the Fairfax school board can text it to them. http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Barbara Glakas September 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Hi Bill, ‘Still waiting for the day you may ask a direct, sincere question that doesn’t drip with sarcasm or poke fun at others. Are you for anything, or are you just against everything? But to answer your question, try TIFIA bonds to start.
William Campenni September 17, 2012 at 03:32 AM
This may come as a surprise to you, but bonds are a debt. You have to pay them back with real money, or if you are Obama and Kaine, with printed money. Money that you take away from taxpayers who worked real hard for it, thinking they could use it for food for their families, or for the $4/gal Obama gas they have to put in their tanks to get to work. You can learn about debt in Econ 101. That's the course that tells you that it is not possible to sell Obama-owned Chevy Volts at a $49,000 loss and still stay in business. Oh - the Chevy Volt - that's a car designed for Obama that runs on coal and nuclear power, which he is determined to get rid of so you can get back to bicycles, and eventually, manure-producing horses.
Barbara Glakas September 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Bill, Hey, gee whiz, thanks for the Econ lesson. I didn’t know that bonds were debt until you pointed that out to me. Like most of the American public, I always pay for my cars and houses in cash, that way I don’t hold any debt. That’s right, baby. My college education too – all CASH. You too, eh? And the next time an education or public safety bond comes up on a ballot for new schools, police stations and fire houses? – well, heck, who needs those?
Ann H Csonka September 18, 2012 at 06:24 AM
RAIL TALE. IF there had been less acrimony, arguing, and rubber-tie allegiance 40 years ago, the line would have cost less in the 1980's, or 90's, etc. But political bickering ensured no progress -- and that went on for decades and now it costs more--surprise, surprise.. That does NOT mean everything associated is crap and a farce. We need it because highways cost more in the whole picture and people need public transportation. Only problem--it is underbuilt--won't meet the need by the time it is built. ABOUT BONDS -- now is a great time for towns, the Feds, everyone to get public stuff done. You of course know, Bill, that the HMC complex was planned and built during a recession when construction costs were lower, and that saved a lot of taxpayer money. Gee, I didn't hear you congratulate the PC or TC or Tom Rust for a good job--or for getting the "extra" with $$$ saved--the Council-and-Court Chambers. Oh, well. As for the cost of gas: too many blame the cost of anything on the current President, especially when s/he's not their choice. Get real--it is a WORLD oil market. And btw, Pres. O can't stop the industry from selling all this great homeland's natural gas overseas. Unlike the slick ads, that doesn't help us homies much, does it?
Barbara Glakas September 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Right, Ann. Thanks. As I mentioned earlier, Kaine understands the world market concept, and he understands that tapping into the global economy (instead of cutting ourselves off from it) can help our economy grow. We have to be more competitive in the world market. He knows that we cannot just cut our way into prosperity. We can make cuts to become more lean and efficient, but not to stifle growth. One way to promote growth is to improve infrastructure (and not outsource it!).
William Campenni September 18, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Well, that's it! I'm now for Obama/Kaine! I was undecided, but given that eloquent statement above, How could one vote otherwise? Consider her points: "Kaine understands the world market concept, and he understands that tapping into the global economy . . . can help our economy grow." - Brilliant! - One area we can excel in is exporting American flags by the mega-gross. There is a big demand for them all around the world right now, and we need to take advantage of the demand. In the Middle East, we can sell them as a renewable and green energy source, advertising them as low CO2 combustibles. "We have to be more competitive in the world market." - Again, brilliant! Let's start out with the education industry. Instead of enduring the greedy but failing drones in the educational systems like we see in Chicago and Wisconsin, let's send our kids overseas to schools that rank far above us in math, science, and reading skills. "One way to promote growth is to improve infrastructure (and not outsource it!)." - Why didn't someone think of this before. We can start out with a big infrastructure program for rebuilding American Embassies around the world. All those unemployed construction workers will be put to fruitful labor on the never-ending job of replacing the burned-out consular hulks on what was once sovereign American soil. One caution - these other countries will not allow illegal workers into their country to do work like they do here.
Bob Bruhns September 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Hi Barbara. Yes, it was good to see you at the Toll Increase meeting in Reston. Mostly, it's the recent hyperinflation in things like the rail project and in firehouse construction costs, that troubles me. I have written about the near 2:1 overcost of the Silver Line elsewhere. As for firehouses - in 2006, Fairfax County was able to build a 24,000 square foot firehouse for $8.8 million, but in 2007, Fairfax County wanted $12 million to build a 14,500 square foot firehouse that was otherwise quite comparable. Yet a new 14,000 square foot fire station being built now in Wolf Trap is listed as being worth $5.4 million. http://www.constructionjournal.com/project_view.aspx?tab=2&id=695765&t=Wolftrap+Fire+Station And volunteers are expanding a 17,535 square foot firehouse to 36,083 square feet in Loudoun County - for an estimated $4.5 million! http://ashburn.patch.com/articles/fire-station-vote-set-for-july-17 People try to blame cost increases on inflation. But in 2007, a new 14,500 square foot firehouse in Herndon on open land and parkland was supposed to cost $12 million - but that was rejected, and now in 2012 the massive redesign of the old Herndon firehouse (preferred by firefighters), including underground parking, is estimated at $11 million. I'm not against rail per se, and I'm certainly not against the fire service - but I'd say we need to keep a close eye on our public finances here, because some very strange price hikes seem to happen if nobody screams.

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