Tag Archives: mcdonnell

The first 2009 governor’s race poll.

Public Policy Polling (whoever they are) conducted a poll of Virginia voters about the presidential race this past weekend, and also asked respondents about next year’s governor’s race. The results put Bob McDonnell up 5-6% above either Sen. Creigh Deeds or Del. Brian Moran, which is within the 3.3% margin of error. Honestly, I’m awfully surprised that McDonnell is polling so low. He’s a statewide incumbent, and that ought to translate into a 10-15% advantage at this point. The other surprise is that Moran and Deeds are tied — Creigh just ran for AG in ’05, so I’d assumed that’d be good for at least a few points over Moran. (Nota bene: Creigh Deeds is my senator, and I am supporting him in this primary.) The most interesting number is the 40% of the electorate that’s undecided. That’s a whole lot of territory for these guys to fight over in the months ahead.

The only conclusions that I’m willing to draw, tentatively, is that McDonnell is doing a poor job of taking advantage of the power of incumbency and that Moran has done an effective job in campaigning statewide over the past couple of years. On the whole, though, these numbers tell us very little. We’re seventeen months out, and we have three guys who are tied within the MoE. The internals tell us nothing about whether these pollsters are pushing leaners — though with the 40% undecided, I doubt it — and anything and everything could change between now and November of next year. At this point prior to the ’05 governor’s election, we were still basking the glow of the DPVA’s ongoing eavesdropping lawsuit against the RPV; we’re still a long way out.

Oh, and Mark Warner leads Jim Gilmore by a 31% margin. But I’m not worried — Warner’s numbers will climb.

McDonnell endorses a transportation tax hike.

Quite a narrative is emerging in attorney general Bob McDonnell’s handling of Gov. Kaine’s transportation plan. Kaine has proposed a tax increase to address the enormous, systemic transportation funding shortfalls. Republicans have proposed nothing. McDonnell, as the presumptive Republican nominee for governor next year, has taken the lead in proposing nothing. But check out how his nothing plan has developed recently:

March 25: “I don’t have a particular plan or vision.”
May 19: Bob McDonnell’s 740-word treatise on transportation “doesn’t contain a single word about his own ideas.”
May 31: Powerful Republican leaders in Hampton Roads plead with McDonnell to do something about the transportation crisis.
June 1: McDonnell endorses a tax hike to fund transportation: “legitimate funding gaps can be closed.”

So, just to be clear: Bob McDonnell has no plan or vision for transportation, but he does support raising taxes. He wants higher taxes, but doesn’t know for what purpose.

On the other hand, Gov. Kaine has a clear plan, which also involves raising taxes. He also wants higher taxes, but knows precisely why.

That 2009 election just looks sunnier and sunnier.

Bob McDonnell’s statement on Kaine’s transportation plan, translated into plain English.

Virginia’s future prosperity depends upon the Commonwealth having a 21st Century transportation system. Growing up in Fairfax County, and later representing Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates, I have seen firsthand the transportation challenges that we face. I believe it is imperative we modernize and improve the transportation system in the Commonwealth, and I know the Governor believes this as well. While I have worked closely and in agreement with the Governor on many important reforms for our citizens, I cannot support the Governor’s tax and spend philosophy as outlined in his transportation plan.

I seriously have no idea of what to do about the transportation crisis, and I thank God every morning that it’s not my problem.

The Governor did not make his transportation plan available to Republicans until today so I am still reviewing the details.

I am utterly unnecessary in this process.

Through all the conversations, negotiations, and debate of the past several years, the Governor has continued to rely on his belief in higher taxes with increased spending, going to the same government bureaucracies that have not delivered transportation services efficiently.

Governor Kaine thinks that we must make money to have money if we want to buy stuff. I disagree, for reasons that are really much too complex for me to explain right now, so you’ll have to trust me on this. But I’ll give you a hint: Alf Broaddus gave me his old key to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. I’ll say no more.

Further, it is unfortunate that the Governor’s plan relies on regressive taxes that place a disproportionate burden on lower and middle-class citizens.

We must raise taxes on the wealthy.

Wait. Did I say that out loud?

What has been absolutely ignored is last year’s historic increase in transportation funding. The General Assembly passed bipartisan legislation that provided for the largest infusion of new statewide funding for transportation in 22 years, and did so without a statewide tax increase.

There is no transportation crisis. I have no idea what you people are complaining about.

Why is there no discussion of increased use of public-private partnerships in the Governor’s plan? Since the revamping of the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act in 1995, it has been woefully underutilized. Why not let willing private road contractors take more of the financial risk, and, equally, gain more of the financial rewards of building infrastructure in Virginia? Where is the vast new statewide money from last year going? Why does the Governor believe that voters will now trust that money raised by a sales tax increase in Hampton Roads, but sent to Richmond, will actually come back to them in full? With the maintenance deficit and cost overruns being such a concern, why is there no provision to improve the efficiency of VDOT? Why is there no focus on dedicating new revenues to projects with proven ability to relieve congestion? Why are congestion pricing, tolls, and other free-market solutions not being considered?

I am not aware of the most basic facts about the state’s budgeting process, and honestly, I basically slept through Mark Warner’s administration. So if somebody could refresh me here, I’d be grateful.

There is no justification for a statewide tax increase.

Oh. My. God. I am so glad I don’t have to come up with a plan of my own. Because I’ve got nothing here. We’re all keeping our fingers and toes crossed that Kaine licks this thing before the 2009 election season gets underway.