Make no mistake; you will never hear this blog claim Bill Bolling is a RINO. Far from it. But rather, Bolling is an establishment crony-capitalist conservative who, like his Dixiecrat forefathers, just wants to leave everything the same and let big business do what big business does. Cuccinelli is looking to apply true limited government principles and truly unleash capitalism in Virginia. Instead of our business being reliant on the federal government, state tax breaks, and giveaways he wants to create a commonwealth of opportunity and freedom.
You gotta give these guys credit: the Cuccinelli-as-Robin-Hood spin is a gem, and it's not like they have much to work with. But sadly, the facts don't accord with this fairy tale.
It's really not that hard to ascertain for whom our Ayatollah General is fighting. You can start with his donor list. Clearly, big businesses are not too afraid of him, since they are shoveling hundreds of thousands of dollars in his direction. Representatives of the fossil fuel industry seem particularly brave in this regard, as evidenced by the $352,341 they've given him from 2011 to 2012. That includes $52k from coal and fracking giant Consol Energy, over $25k from Big Coal company Alpha Natural Resources, $40k from Dominion, over $27k from Appalachian Power Company -- and at least $50k from the Koch brothers and their firm Intrust Wealth Management.
February 24, 2012
Dear Governor McDonnell and Members of the Virginia Legislature,
As business leaders and employers in Virginia we applaud your successful bi-partisan efforts to keep Virginia first in national rankings as the most business-friendly state.
We urge you to maintain this ranking going forward by ensuring Virginia is a magnet for the best and the brightest employees and entrepreneurs. Specifically, we urge you to reject extreme proposals governing social issues on which Americans are passionately divided. Otherwise it will be difficult for Virginia to attract and retain the entrepreneurs and talent we need to grow Virginia.
Welcome to the Washington Examiner's business model, which may be described as "shove it down the customer's throat, because when they say no, they really mean yes."
I thought I may be the only person with this problem, yet was amazed to find with a quick Google search that complaints about the Examiner ignoring people's requests to stop delivery stretch from Prince William to Mount Vernon to Alexandria to Arlington to McLean and Fairfax City to DC to Chevy Chase to Annapolis. As a matter of fact, "Do not deliver" ordinances have been introduced specifically as a result of people's frustration with the Examiner in Alexandria, Fairfax City and the state of MD, while the Arlington County Board has formally complained to the Examiner over this issue and has instructions on the County Manager's webpage for residents with this problem.
The Examiner has managed the rare achievement of uniting the entire Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area -- in anger against them. And yet, I continue to ask the Examiner to stop littering my lawn with their right wing rag and they still keep ignoring my requests.
It's pretty obvious after all these years of complaints -- the stories above ranging from 2005 to today -- that this neglect of public desires and demands is deliberate, not an accidental behavior. I'm not sure I understand how making thousands of people hate your guts constitutes a rational business strategy, but here are some guesses:
According to Mark Warner, it's possible that the debt ceiling issue won't get fixed, and that this would be playing "Russian Roulette" with the economy, risking a major financial meltdown among other things. Warner adds that most of the business community is underestimating the threat here, assuming it's "just one more political squabble and that we'll get it fixed." Warner believes that if we go "over this cliff, we don't have a lot of tools left" to deal with the situation, making this a very "dangerous" scenario. Bottom line according to Warner: it's time for the business community to speak out, beyond "attaboys," and put "real serious pressure" on politicians to reach a debt ceiling deal ASAP -or else!
Virginia may be the "Top State for Business," but it is among the least sensible when it comes to responsible energy policies. So far, the McDonnell administration has paid lip-service to the advantages of renewable forms of energy. But change towards a more inclusive renewable energy "portfolio" in Virginia has been slow, and in some respects stagnant.
While most proponents of renewable energy understand that wind energy, solar energy, energy from biomass, and geothermal energy will only make up a part of Virginia's energy future, it's a sizable part nonetheless that cannot be ignored. Bulldogs for the McDonnell administration like Virginia Senator Steve Martin contend that the governor has made significant moves towards "greening" Virginia. It seems, however, that we have different conceptions of what a "green" Virginia will look like.
And here's the real kicker: renewable energy has the enormous potential to save businesses in Virginia considerable revenue over the long run. Furthermore, for a billion-dollar-a year-tourism industry in Virginia, renewable sources of energy could help alleviate some of the negative environmental impacts of nonrewable sources of energy like excessive air pollution (i.e. air pollution that causes ill health effects), thus sustaining the windfall revenue stemming from tourism-related activities. Renewable sources of energy can also bring "home-grown" sources of energy to Virginia, helping to alleviate foreign energy "shocks" that could throw Virginia's economy in the wrong direction.
Renewable energy, then, cannot and should not be put off any further if Virginia wishes to retain its position as top state for business. Virginia is an energy intensive state that cannot afford to sit and wait for the next energy shock to ransack its business success. Virginia has the education system, the capital, the people, and the political and grassroots will to turn our state into a renewable energy capital. It's time we moved in this direction inexorably for current generations and those still to come.