Home Transportation What Now, Governor?

What Now, Governor?


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?

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    The last time Virginia made a substantial investment in transportation, Ronald Reagan was president and Democrat Gerald Baliles, later known as the “transportation governor,” was in the governor’s mansion. If something isn’t done – and soon – the day is not far off when Virginia will be unable to make the minimum match in order to receive federal transportation funding. Already, northern Virginia counties, where most of the road mileage consists of state routes, is getting a pittance for maintenance. Since Republicans have locked themselves into their no-tax craziness, exactly what does McDonnell plan to do in order to govern this state? Doing nothing won’t cut it.


    They are really good at campaigning, messaging, lying, raising money to get in power and giving speeches about tax cuts. But when it comes down to policy, legislating, watching out for citizens? Not so much. But hey, they keep getting elected so the majority of Virginians must like them.

  • blue bronc

    IIRC it was not too long ago that Bob “killer of women” McConnell wanted to put his people on the Metro board. That failed too.