While not exactly a ringing endorsement, the Virginian Pilot has nonetheless endorsed Creigh Deeds for governor over hometown boy Taliban Bob McDonnell, Like the Washington Post much of the motivation comes down to who will offer the better solution to the transportation nightmare that is strangling the Hampton Roads area as is the case in Northern Virginia.
While our traffic issues are not yet as severe as in the D.C. suburbs, it is getting worse and will become an increasing obstacle to attracting the new progressive employers so badly needed to keep the local economy growing. The Pilot also fears that McDonnell would waste precious time pandering to the lunatic base of the Republican Party of Virginia which wants to roll back time to the 1960's or earlier. It is not a mindset that is capable of properly dealing with Virginia's increasing ethnic and cultural diversity or the need to make the state more gay friendly to avoid looking increasingly backwards outside of a few liberal pockets.
Here are highlights from the endorsement:
By the time Virginia's new governor takes his oath of office, the state's long-term road and transit budget will be $4.6 billion poorer than it was last spring. Virginia is dismembering not just its transportation future, but its economic future at a pace few voters will comprehend until the damage is irreversible.
Neither candidate has made a convincing case on the merits of his ideas or the strength of his leadership. The choice instead rests on which one will do the least violence to the cause each claims to embrace. By this measure, Creigh Deeds ekes out a modest advantage over his opponent. He offers a political strategy rather than a substantive plan for solving the state's most overwhelming challenge. While that strategy does not provide transportation advocates the leadership they crave, the Democrat at least allows them a fighting chance to press forward.
In contrast, Bob McDonnell's plan is a chain-link fence of stall tactics designed to distract voters into believing that progress is being made while not providing the money to actually make it. Under a Gov. McDonnell, transportation advocates would waste four years clawing their way over, under and around barriers erected by the state's top elected official.
Deeds has a commendable record of moderate progressivism that the state needs to break loose from the turmoil of the recession. He has supported the prudent budgetary management of Govs. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and promises to continue their sound policies. Well before they arrived in Richmond, Deeds recognized the value of strong economic development programs and passed legislation modernizing the Governor's Opportunity Fund.
McDonnell, who represented Virginia Beach in the General Assembly, possesses superior management and negotiating abilities, but the Republican has too often flinched in the face of push-back from absolutists within his party.
On other matters, McDonnell's inability to resist divisive social issues could result in real harm to law-abiding Virginians with whom he should have no quarrel. He has promised to end an executive order prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation within the state work force. That's not just an insult to gay Virginians, but a threat to the careers of men and women who have depended on those legal protections for eight years and two administrations. His actions as attorney general suggest a troubling eagerness to water down gun control measures and interfere in private church matters.
If Deeds is elected and breaks his promise to pass an adequately funded transportation plan, that failure will fall directly on his shoulders. He's not asking that accountability be passed to future governors or postponed for more prosperous times. He's willing to take on that responsibility here and now. In return for that commitment, we give him our support.
Having know Bob McDonnell since 1994 when he helped work on my run for public office, I can honestly say that I do not think he's a bad person - the insane Ken Cuccinelli is an entirely different matter. However, Bob is unable to grasp that times and society are changing and that his Christianist mind set is NOT what Virginia needs in the Governor's mansion. He has had 14 years in the General Assembly and three years as Attorney General to show that he understands that a new mindset is needed and he has consistently failed to do so and instead voted the agenda of Pat Robertson and The Family Foundation.