Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Creigh Deeds Showing Leadership on Virginia Transportation Issues

Well, it takes a lot of courage to come out and say that you'll take a politically difficult position of signing legislation that is the product of bipartisan compromise that provides a comprehensive transportation solution for the State of Virginia... even if it might raise taxes during a recession. And that's what Creigh Deeds did today.

Let me be clear regarding taxes. I will sign a bill that is the product of bipartisan compromise that provides a comprehensive transportation solution. As a legislator, I have voted for a number of mechanisms to fund transportation, including a gas tax. And I'll sign a bipartisan bill with a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation -- even if it includes new taxes.

To build a bipartisan consensus to find that new revenue, and to ensure the best chance of passage, all options for funding will be on the table. We will need every legislator committed to finding a solution. In my 18 years in the legislature, I've learned that the best way to reach compromise is to be open to all ideas and get everyone involved.

Bob McDonnell has pledged not to sign a transportation bill with new revenue. His approach is to pay for transportation with money from the general fund. As The Post's Frederick Kunkle has reported, "general funds are raised from a variety of sources, such as individual and corporate income taxes. These funds can be spent . . . at the discretion of the General Assembly and the governor. The majority of the money in the general fund goes to education (45.9 percent), with the rest to health and human resources (24.2 percent) and public safety (11.1 percent)."

I do not support taking funds from these critical priorities to pay for roads. More important, neither will the General Assembly. Republicans and Democrats are on record opposing McDonnell's funding proposals.

McDonnell's idea of using general funds for transportation is not new. In 2007, an editorial in the Daily Press of Hampton Roads said that McDonnell urged "the General Assembly to exploit the gap in state road funding as a rationale for reducing state spending on education, public safety, health care and conservation. That such an ideological purpose lies behind the Republican transportation proposal has been implied all along. McDonnell made it explicit."

We can't solve this problem without new revenue. My opponent is playing political shell games, being dishonest about his revenue projections. And his idea to take funds from education, health care and public safety to pay for transportation is dead on arrival.

My approach is honest, straightforward -- and the only one that can succeed. Working together, we'll get Virginia moving again.

Creigh Deeds just served Bob McDonnell some leadership.



  1. Very thoughtfull post on leadership. It should be very much helpfull.

    Karim - Mind Power

  2. Interesting perspective. We have to spend more money on education, when we spend money that any other country. How about a focus on what we are getting for our money. How about fixing and focusing on education, real education. Typical pandering by the democrats, throw more money at the issue. Bipartisan is a code word for political doublespeak in the Deeds lexicon. Charter schools and voucher programs regularly produce better educational outcomes with less money. But as long as most education spending goes to support the status quo, public education will be mostly a case of political show and tell. This guy has no substance and has built his campaign on attacks. His ideas, now babbling out are attacks sprinkled with pandering.