Yeah, it appears that Virginia Republicans are talking smack once again. This time it’s RPV chairman Pat Mullins, writing to “Democrat legislators” (yes, he uses the immature, juvenile and incorrect grammatical formulation, as opposed to the correct adjective, which is “Democratic”) to “overcome partisan peer pressure” and help – HELP!!!! — Gov. McDonnell figure out some way to fund transportation, without of course raising the hated/dreaded/accursed spawn of Satan known as – dare I type the word?!? – “taxes!”
Is there any substance to Mullins’ trash talking? Look at these documents and decide for yourself. Note Gov. McDonnell’s September 9, 2010 letter to Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun), specifically requesting that he submit his “specific ideas and concrete input on how best to increase transportation funding in Virginia.” According to McDonnell, that includes “any and all recommendations, insights, and/or proposals you may have so that we can build on our internal proposals and develop a realistic plan for Virginia’s transportation future.”
That’s unintentionally funny, of course, given that Bob McDonnell claimed to have “a realistic plan for Virginia’s transportation future” back in 2009, when he was running for governor. As I recall, the plan involved offshore oil revenues, privatization of liquor stores, and other great ideas like those. The only problem is, that plan was always a farce, as plenty of people said at the time, and now it’s been proven to be a farce. The bottom line is that McDonnell has no money for transportation, so he’s pleading with Democrats to throw him a lifeline of some sort.
In response, on November 1, Sen. Herring sent Gov. McDonnell a series of suggestions: pari-mutuel wagering; privatizing rest stops; establishing an “infrastructure bank,” “changes to the state’s revenue sharing program,” and a “bipartisan blue ribbon transportation committee…to recommend how best to generate the resources necessary to develop and maintain such a transportation system.”
From November 1 through December 9, Sen. Herring waited for a reply from Gov. McDonnell. The days and weeks ticked away. Dead silence. Finally, on December 10, Sen. Herring received a response of sorts, but not from Gov. McDonnell, and certainly not thanking him for his input. To the contrary, as mentioned above, RPV chair Pat Mullins claimed that McDonnell had “repeatedly asked you and other Democrats for their ideas to fix transportation, but thus far there has been no response.”
No response, eh? That would be unfortunate, except for one minor detail — Sen. Mark Herring (D) did respond, back on November 1 to be exact. The fact that he never received any acknowledgment does not change that fact. Nor does the fact that Republicans now are trying to claim otherwise. Sadly, as is often the case with these guys, what they’re saying is simply not true. In other words, they’re lying. Just keep that in mind the next time Pat Mullins – or Bob McDonnell, for that matter – tries to tell you anything about anything.