Monday, October 26, 2009

Roanoke Times Endorses Deeds

Yesterday, Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds swapped newspaper endorsements from one end of the state to another. Locally, the Roanoke Times threw its weight behind Sen. Deeds, citing the transportation issue among other things:

McDonnell boasts that he has a plan while Deeds only promises to work with the General Assembly to develop one.

McDonnell would have a point if not for one thing: His plan, as detailed as it may be, is a farce. It is a compendium of rejected ideas, supplemented by revenue from sources unlikely to pan out, topped off with money stolen from an already inadequate general fund.


Deeds could have shown more political leadership by putting forth a specific proposal with clear sources of revenue. But he at least has the guts to tell Virginians the truth: Either the state's transportation system gets a large infusion of new revenue or the consequences will be dire. (my emphasis)

I think that is my single biggest issue with McDonnell and the single thing that I respect most in Sen. Deeds. McDonnell wants to pretend that low taxes and disappearing acts with general fund money will fix our roads. It's an attractive argument; don't get me wrong, I think taxes should be kept as low as state services will allow, particularly on the middle class. But Creigh is talking to us like adults: this is something we have to fix, and we have to pay for it somehow. Yes, that means taxes. But if we don't fix our infrastructure, our long-term economic competitiveness will stagnate and decline. In other words, pay a little money now or lose a lot of money later.

The endorsement continues:

McDonnell, who declined repeated attempts to arrange an interview with the editorial board, has tried to brush aside criticism of a thesis he wrote while attending Pat Robertson's Regent University, saying what he wrote 20 years ago is irrelevant to today's race. And it would be, if his record throughout his tenure in elective office didn't so closely reflect the principles laid out in the thesis.

Virginia voters should realize that, all his talk about jobs and the economy aside, McDonnell is an extreme social conservative -- one who, for instance, thinks abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest. (my emphasis)

McDonnell has done a very good job of portraying himself as a moderate. Unfortunately his "centrism" appears to be a fairly recent phenomenon. For those of you in the Democratic sphere who think Creigh might not meet your progressive pedigree, keep in mind what's at stake in this election. A Governor McDonnell would mean four years of worsening traffic jams, crumbling infrastructure, and a starve-the-beast approach to governing, from education to the governor's opportunity fund. And that's just what he would do without an Attorney General Cuccinelli.

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