The commonwealth of Virginia has a history of balancing the national political trends in its off-year gubernatorial elections. When one party is elected into the White House, Virginians have tended to elect the candidate from the other party as their governor in the election a year later. While this fact may suggest something about Virginia voters, it is also possible that this trend is largely a coincidence: The opposition party has just happened to have the stronger candidate more often than not.
In my opinion, the gubernatorial race this year will support this trend not because Virginians have a desire to buck national politics, but because the best man to manage the commonwealth for the next four years is republican Bob McDonnell.
McDonnell brings experience to the table that outshines any candidate for Virginia governor in recent memory. Most recently, McDonnell served as the Attorney General of Virginia. Ninety-two of his 107 legislative proposals were passed into law, and all seven of his campaign promises were kept, including the creation of an online Sex Offender Registry that has drawn national acclaim. McDonnell does what he says he will do. In the 14 years prior, McDonnell served Virginia Beach’s 84th district in the House of Delegates, where, among other things, he passed welfare and tort reform.
Previous to that, McDonnell served as a commonwealth attorney in Virginia Beach and was the business manager of a Fortune 500 medical supply company. McDonnell served 21 years in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserves after completing his undergraduate work with an ROTC scholarship at the University of Notre Dame. McDonnell’s extraordinary career in the military, the private sector, law enforcement and in government has armed him with the knowledge and the experience to be one of the most effective governors in Virginia history.
While McDonnell has the most experience of any candidate in this election, he also has the best plan to achieve his vision of a more prosperous commonwealth. While McDonnell’s opponent admits that his administration may raise taxes to add to a budget that has doubled in the past 10 years, McDonnell has said that “the worst thing that you can do during a recession is to try to tax yourself into prosperity.” McDonnell knows that the best thing the government can do during a recession is to create an environment where the private sector can create jobs. McDonnell favors encouraging job creation by granting $1,000-per-worker tax credits to companies that create 50 jobs.
He also favors protecting Virginia’s Right to Work law, which states that no one can be denied work because of membership or nonmembership in a labor organization and adamantly opposes “Card Check,” a bill currently in Congress that would outlaw the use of a secret ballot in union-organizing elections. Understanding the importance of small businesses, McDonnell wants to expedite the state application-and-permit process, part of the bureaucracy that impedes the creation of new companies. McDonnell understands that the private sector is the engine that drives our economy and will put policies in place that will allow it to function with government encouragement, not interference.
Another part of McDonnell’s plan is to create new jobs by making the commonwealth the energy capital of the East Coast. He plans to do this by employing all forms of energy, both conventional and alternative. While he does favor expanded nuclear energy and off-shore drilling if done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, he is also in favor of creating a new $500 dollar tax credit per worker for each new green job that is created.
Another goal of his is to make southwest and southside Virginia, regions that have been hard-hit economically in recent years, the alternative energy center of the East Coast by putting the proper education, research and funding in place.Understanding the importance of preserving undeveloped areas in a rapidly growing state, McDonnell will follow in Gov. Tim Kaine’s footsteps and set aside 400,000 new acres for preservation. McDonnell values the environment and believes that working for energy independence and a cleaner environment can also serve to create new jobs in Virginia.
While his opponent has sought to make this election about divisive social issues, McDonnell has remained steadfast in his commitment to running a positive campaign and focusing on his goal to be a job’s governor.
Regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office, McDonnell is the man with the best qualifications and the right vision to lead Virginia to a successful next four years.
E-mail Thomas Chappell at [email protected]