You’ve gotta love this one, by Crazy Ken Kookinelli, on a couple of levels.
First off are the reasons Cuccinelli lays out for his opposition to completing Metrorail to Dulles. In the audio from his appearance on WMAL, Cuccinelli points to: a) the “outrageous” tunnel at Dulles airport (I agree with Cuccinelli that the tunnel is unnecessary and too expensive, but it shouldn’t be used as a reason to cancel the entire project!); b) Tim Kaine supposedly “[giving] that puppy away” to MWAA (Cuccinelli — “we got nothing of value for that giveaway”); and 3) the “union-only contracts” (Cuccinelli says he’s “hair-trigger loaded to deal with that”) that threaten to rear their ugly (from Cuccinelli’s right-wing ideological perspective) heads.
In sum, what we have here is a hodgepodge of objections by Cuccinelli to completing Metrorail to Dulles, in part based on cost-benefit analysis (if we can take Cuccinelli at his word on tha tone), in part based on ideology (Cuccinelli’s rabid opposition to unions and public transit in general), in part as an opportunity to attack Tim Kaine; and in part as a way to get his name in the news (Cuccinelli loves being the center of attention, of that there can be no doubt).
Let’s also consider the fact – left unspoken by Cuccinelli – that Metro specifically, and public transit in general, tends to result in the types of development (high density, far more urban than exurban, mixed use) that tends to lean Democratic politically, and we’ve probably nailed the overwhelming majority of reasons why our fine AG has decided to speak out so strongly against completing Metro to Dulles.
But all that’s not why I REALLY love this story. For the best part, see the “flip.”
Second, you’ve gotta love this story because of what Cuccinelli ended up doing, perhaps inadvertently, in attacking Tim Kaine over this project (and in predicting that this would be a big issue in the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Kaine and Allen). The problem is twofold: 1) as this press release indicates, Kaine’s Memorandum of Understanding with MWAA was strongly supported by Republicans like Tom Davis, Frank Wolf, John Warner, and…George Allen (!); and 2) in Bob McDonnell’s campaign for governor, he listed rail to Dulles as a “priority” transportation project, touting its role in “serv[ing] Tyson’s Corner, Virginia’s largest employment center, and the Reston/Herndon area, the state’s second largest employment concentration,” as well as “provid[ing] a one-seat ride from Dulles International Airport to downtown Washington.” Do George Allen or Bob McDonnell agree with Ken Cuccinelli that Metro to Dulles should be canceled? It sure doesn’t look like it.
By the way, my understanding from talking to people “in the know” on this one is that Kaine “gave that puppy away” – as Cuccinelli puts it – at least in part due to pressure from Democrats (e.g., Jim Moran) AND Republicans (e.g., Frank Wolf, George Allen, John Warner), all of whom urged Kaine to give MWAA authority over the rail-to-Dulles project because of MWAA’s project management experience.
Let’s be clear: I’m not arguing that Kaine should have given in to that pressure; in fact, I strongly urged him at the time to resist it. However, for Ken Cuccinelli to completely rewrite history (just as he makes up his own science on climate change) is unacceptable. It’s also hilarious, as Cuccinelli has, perhaps inadvertently, nailed his fellow Republicans – Allen, Wolf, McDonnell, etc. – in attempting to attack Kaine on this issue. Can we say “too clever by half, Cooch?” Or perhaps, “not ready for prime time?”