Most of us recall that one of the things that propelled Bob McDonnell to victory over Creigh Deeds was his assertion that he had a “transportation plan” while his opponent didn’t. Perhaps this is a good time to take a few minutes and see what that “plan” looks like today and to ask one simple question: What now, governor?
The keystone of the “plan” was to be a one-time $500 million windfall gained from privatizing the state’s liquor business. Those numbers didn’t add up, according to JLARC, plus the sale would have blown an additional $47 million hole in a budget that even McDonnell acknowledges is not meeting the conservative projected revenue estimates used to produce it.
How about those “off-shore oil leases” and the mythical revenue from that? There were a couple of problems from the get-go. First off, for Virginia to realize any revenue would have taken an act of Congress. Then, there was that catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico called Deepwater Horizon. Other than bat-wacky Sarah Palin and her Mama Grizzlies, I don’t hear very many people still yelling, “Drill, baby, drill.”
What about those tolls on vehicles entering Virginia from the south on I95 and I85? We haven’t heard a peep from the McDonnell camp about asking Eric Can’tor and his crew to get a bill passed by Congress allowing that.
The audit of VDOT? Oh, yes, that supposedly produced more than $500 million in unspent road maintenance dollars. The only problem is that the bulk of those funds were being held because of a state law, which McDonnell voted for when he was in the legislature, requiring VDOT to retain enough funds to cover outstanding and ongoing contracts, plus a reserve to cover any possible delay in getting federal road funds since Virginia now has to tap federal money for maintenance.
We are fast approaching yet another year with no improvement in the transportation mess in the state. Once again, a simple question for the governor. What is your new “plan” since the first one was an utter failure?