So this is what it comes to. Following his Asia tourism stimulus tour, the Governor sets us up for a letdown. “Tight-lipped McDonnell set to unveil ‘major economic development'” screamed the Washington Times yesterday. “McDonnell to make major announcement in Staunton” announced the News Leader on Saturday. 65 jobs.
Now we see why he was so tight-lipped. McDonnell continues to pay businesses because they are in Virginia. He can’t bring new business and investment into the state and he’s “rewarding” current businesses that come hat-in-hand. There is a threshold where these “accomplishments” amount to something sinister. A week ago the Governor doled out $350,000 to a company that had abandoned its plant in Franklin in return for reducing job cuts from 1,100 to only 887. Meanwhile he has accomplished nothing to entice potential new suitors. Instead he rewarded International Paper for cutting employment.
Governor McDonnell’s announcement today, as welcome as it is for Staunton, is no major achievement for the state economy. But he is grasping at straws while he attempts to maintain the illusion that he is a mover and a shaker. The guy who couldn’t arrange a meeting with established Chinese trading partners in Chongqing is nothing more than a shameless huckster.
Oh, and it’s 65 jobs within three years, whatever that means.