Last Sunday the WaPo endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia. In doing so, and in attempting to savage Bob McDonnell, they capably indicate why Deeds is the wrong man at the wrong time in 2009. The items they ignore in their explicit endorsement of Creigh Deeds implicitly show why Bob McDonnell should be elected Governor next month.
The WaPo notes:
Mr. Deeds has run an enormous and possibly fatal political risk by saying bluntly that he would support legislation to raise new taxes dedicated to transportation
and later says
Following a road map used successfully in 1986, [Deeds] would appoint a bipartisan commission to forge a consensus on transportation funding, with the full expectation that new taxes would be part of the mix.
This is the endorsement of a pig in a poke. Deeds refuses to offer solutions, but “>is convinced he can pull together a group of people who will then create a solution he can sell. Suddenly the election of an empty suit to office is considered a wise thing?
It is one thing for a general practitioner to tell a patient they need a specialist to offer more specific treatment suggestions. It is another thing for a candidate for the highest elected position in Virginia state government to say the people “elect me, then I will get someone else to tell us how to deal with this problem.”
If Deeds wants to lead, he needs to tell us what he plans to do…not what he plans to do in order to allow him to decide what he plans to do.
After not so subtly ignoring Deeds inability to tell us what he wants to do, where he wants to lead the state, and how he wants to do it, they completely ignore the 800 lb gorilla and the 500 lb ferret in the transportation discussion.
The 800 lb gorilla is the absence not just of a dedicated revenue source for transportation, but a truly effective lockbox provision for the state transportation fund. There is no need for massive new transportation revenues unless we the people can ensure those funds will be dedicated to transportation, and not available for a revenue raid. The 500 lb ferret is all those local development laws and regs that impact. Deeds failure to even acknowledge these local matters as impacting transportation shows how unready he is to lead. As I have said before, we don’t have a roads problem. We have Transportation Access and Mobility problem (TRAMOB). Senator Deeds apparently thinks is a problem that can be handled by shoveling tons of money in its direction. This thinking is at best-erroneous.
The WaPo praises Deeds for his support of the 2004 tax increase, but fails again to note it was a tax increase that was not needed for the reasons offered at that time. Without the increase, Virginia would have still enjoyed a surplus for that fiscal year-and not the horrors of a deficit as suggested by the tax advocates. They suggest this is proof of his fiscal integrity.
But they fail to mention his massive fiscal irresponsibility, and his use of the budget to do nothing more than advance his political career-not an ideological agenda, but his career. At a time when Virginia was facing a 1.5 billion dollar shortfall, Senator Deeds was offering supplemental spending amendments totaling one billion dollars…Creighnomics at its best.
Creighnomics is not just about wanting to spend money-it is also about (a) proposing spending without offering a way to offset the new spending and (b) then claim his submission of these spending bills-even if they were DOA-shows his support for various causes.
There was little doubt that the WaPo would endorse the same man in the general that they endorsed in the primary…but the truth is that his actions and options are nothing more than a willingness to abdicate leadership to unnamed and amorphous panels and committees because he has no real idea how to do the job he wants.
The WaPo endorsement is a bold backing of their man-but the gaps in their arguments about fiscal sanity, sound transportation funding, and fiscal integrity show that it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see the best man is truly Bob McDonnell.