I went to a fundraiser this last Friday. Yes, the question of whether I will donate money directly to a specific candidate has been conclusively answered. I went to a luncheon here in Virginia Beach for Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling's reelection campaign. It was a good event. A large crowd was there, a few state elected officials spoke, and former Governor Mitt Romney gave the keynote address. I even got to shake his hand. *grins*
I had another first this weekend, too. I decided to officially endorse a candidate before the election. In the past, I would wait right up until the moment I entered the voting booth to make a decision, no matter how sure I was in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to election day. Yes, I supported Mitt Romney during the 2008 election season, but since he didn't make it through the primaries, it didn't really matter. In this case, I'm endorsing Bob McDonnell for Governor of Virginia, Bill Bolling for Lt. Governor, and Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General.
The decision to do so was actually a fairly simple one. I've been following the Republican and Democratic primaries in the Virginian Pilot, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and at times the Washington Post. There have been plenty of articles about each of the candidates, and plenty of issues to consider. One article and issue in particular, I feel, brings the whole campaign into focus; an article in the Pilot over the weekend about the candidates' proposals to create jobs and prosperity here in the Commonwealth.
Everything is about jobs here in Virginia, and if it isn't, then it should be. Health care? The more people get private health care coverage, the more jobs will be available in the health care and health insurance industries. Energy? The more power plants, both nuclear and clean coal, we have, the more off-shore exploration we do, the more jobs we'll have in both the long and short runs. Education? The more high school graduates go on to become college graduates, the better, higher-paying jobs they'll be able to get. Entitlements? The more people have jobs, the less money the government will have to spend on them.
Bob McDonnell is a far better choice for a "jobs" governor than any of the Democratic candidates. How can you draw businesses to a state if you raise taxes, like the Democratic candidates are proposing? Raising the minimum wage, like Brian Moran favors, may help the people who work at Burger King, but it won't create jobs. And a perennial favorite Democratic project, light rail, is not a silver bullet for job creation; as much as everyone would like to believe otherwise.
Energy production is, though. A nuclear power plant at Lake Anna and a clean coal plant in Surrey would generate thousands, possibly tens of thousands of jobs and millions in revenue; not to mention making Virginia a national leader in energy. The Democratic candidates are opposed to these measures, though.
I like Creigh Deeds' idea of transition training funding for people losing their jobs, but it's a long-term solution. There are people who need jobs now, and they won't get them by calling for more taxes and picketing businesses, like the Democrats have been doing this election cycle. While trying to draw Hilton Hotel's corporate headquarters to the Commonwealth, all three Democratic candidates walked in a picket line outside of a Hilton!
The McDonnell-Bolling-Cuccinelli ticket is the best chance that Virginia has to create not only jobs but prosperity as well. States with the highest tax burdens, like California and New York, are in the greatest amount of trouble these days, while states like Texas, with practically no tax burden at all, are doing great. I'd much rather have a governor who will follow the Texas model of attracting business and revenue.
Obviously, the election is still five months away. Information comes out about candidates' histories and positions all the time. The Democrats haven't even chosen their ticket for November yet. Their primary is on the 9th. Once they've had it, and the general election get's into "full swing", you can expect things to get much more interesting in Virginia politics.
I'm confident, though, in my choice. I've actually voted for more Democrats here in the Commonwealth than I have Republicans, including Governor Tim Kaine. I'll keep my eyes and my mind open, you can be sure; but at the risk of losing my impartiality, I'm endorsing the Republican ticket.
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