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Fiscal Policy &Virginia politics Richard Falknor on 28 Jun 2012 12:41 pm

Gov Bob Pitches Loudoun Metrorail: But Is He A Scott Walker?

“There are those – many on the right, but many more on the left – who govern from a perspective confident that the assemblage of experts really do know what’s best for the sheepish, meandering people.” (Highlighting Forum’s) – today’s Transom

Liz Essley (Examiner) revealed Tuesday – –

“Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell urged fellow Republicans in Loudoun County to join in the second phase of the $6 billion Silver Line on Tuesday, just days before the county’s deadline to decide.

‘It’s something we have to do. It’s one of America’s most critical infrastructure projects,’ McDonnell told a group of developers, engineers and politicians Tuesday night. ‘This is the gateway to the nation’s capital.’”. . . .

“’It’s one of the most expensive infrastructure projects in the country. Two hundred and fifty million dollars a mile — that’s real money,’ he said.”

Indeed. That’s real pork. No wimpy Bridge to Nowhere up among the ice cubes.

Those who know best?

And the Commonwealth governor preaches straight to the choir:  “developers, engineers and politicians.”

Maybe Mr. McDonnell is a little light on content – – “this is the gateway to the nation’s capital” – – but the Old Dominion’s own vice-presidential aspirant certainly knows how to turn a fancy phrase.

Is the Northern Virginia Tea Party AWOL?

We have asked the good Mr. Ron Wilcox twice about his own Tea Partiers stand on Metrorail to Loudoun.

But organizer Wilcox must have missed the picture the Virginia governor paints of a very costly future even as Mr. McDonnell pretends we are approaching –in Winston Churchill’s famous phrase — “broad, smiling uplands”.

 “Two hundred and fifty million dollars a mile — that’s real money.”

Surely that is “fiscal” enough for even this GOP-tame Tea Party to address.

More Loudoun GOP Flight From Robust Debate

Reportedly Ryan Nichols, the head of the Loudoun County Young Republicans, last Monday evening suggested that the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) develop a resolution addressing Metrorail to Loudoun.  Before Nichol’s recommendation could ripen at the meeting, LCRC chairman Mark Sell accepted a motion to adjourn.

Opponents of Mr. Nichol’s recommendation, we are told, declared it was divisive at a crucial time.

Of course, conservatives believe that the LCRC should hold elected officials accountable when they wander from the right path.

Long-time Loudoun GOP operatives, on the other hand, believe that the sole function of the LCRC is that of a cheering section for GOP incumbents and nominees, and a source of campaign volunteers and money.

Their maxim: No policy questions, please! They are to be decided by your betters.

What is to be done to stop the Metrorail Leviathan?

As we have long feared, the current balance of political forces has favored Loudoun County government approval of Metrorail to Loudoun.

Extensive sound analyses and the national debt crisis are apparently not proving persuasive with the majority of the Loudoun County Supervisors.

At this late date, can the opponents of this Leviathan credibly convince enough supervisors now favoring Metrorail to Loudoun that they will be strongly opposed in their next primary if they do not come to a better mind before the vote? 

The Achievements of Loudoun Opt-Out

Whatever the supervisors’ vote on Metrorail to Loudoun expected next Tuesday, opponents have already done a Herculean job in a polity not much given to citizen reversal of the local Establishment.

In particular, conservatives should be grateful to David LaRock for putting together such a well-focussed citizen organization as Loudoun Opt-Out in the Loudoun GOP culture albeit one with a promise for movement in a genuinely conservative direction.

A “Shadow Cabinet” To Track Impaired Supervisors?

Our suggestion would be to build on the fine work Mr. LaRock and many other opponents have already done, and put together a “shadow cabinet”  with its own website and credible Loudoun citizens as “shadow supervisors” of those incumbents who vote for Metrorail to Loudoun.

Those erring politicians will need close monitoring throughout the balance of their term. 

This is because “crony capitalism” is a hard addiction for many GOP politicians to kick.



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