Why I’m with Terry

You want to know where Terry McAuliffe had me? You could say at hello.
“You can’t keep cutting, and you can’t raise taxes. So we’ve got to get a new economic engine going here in Virginia, and we’ve got to get a plan going. Where do we want to be 10, 20, 30 years from today in our economic strategy? We can’t just think, We’ve got to get through this current crisis.”

That was McAuliffe at a stop on his statewide announcement tour back in January in Harrisonburg. Since then he’s been rolling out his Business Plan for Virginia, detailing how Virginia needs to approach its energy future, transportation and public education with economic development and growth in mind.

To harken back to one of McAuliffe’s political mentors, it really is the economy, stupid. And to borrow from something U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a town-hall meeting Thursday in Staunton, we’ve had enough of politicians who are full of policy pronouncements and promises galore on the issues of the day and conclude by promising oh, yeah, I’m going to lower your taxes, too.

This is what I see out of our tired old Virginia Republican friends, who have been reduced to a pitiful caricature of their former commonsense conservative selves in recent years with their kowtowing to their small but vocal ultralibertarian faction on state spending. Their We Haven’t Met a Spending Cut We Wouldn’t Like philosophy works fine when cuts are made in areas where efficiencies are an issue, for example with the Virginia Department of Transportation that Mark Warner inherited from George Allen and Jim Gilmore that was consistent only in that it couldn’t get jobs done on-time or on-budget.

We’ve been a couple of years at least since we had cut our way through the fat to the muscle of state government, and now we’re beginning to saw through to the bones at the heart of the skeletal structure of state government, with no end to this otherwise pointless exercise in sight, unless you assume that one day the government-haters are successful in disbanding the very bonds of civilized society altogether.

McAuliffe’s approach to looking to economic growth as the way to move Virginia forward isn’t unique in the telling – even Bob McDonnell will tell you that his is a pro-business agenda – so the devil isn’t so much in the details as in looking at the candidates who would be our governor and examining their business backgrounds. Doing that, McAuliffe stands not only head and shoulders above the candidates in the gubernatorial field, including McDonnell on the Republican side, but really stands alone. McAuliffe has not only balanced budgets with an eye to the bottom line, but he has had to carry the responsibility of growing revenues by growing business in a way that no one with experience only in a government or corporate bureaucracy could ever understand.

I understand it. I wake up every morning wondering how my business is going to make it to tomorrow, and devising strategies to get to tomorrow and six months and a year and 10 years from now knowing that failure is not an option.

As a small businessman, I look at this hire, of the next governor of Virginia, as being perhaps the most important hire that we Virginians will make in a generation. We’ve got critical needs to address in transportation, K-12 and higher education and our economy that we have been delayed from addressing fully the past eight years by our libertarian Republican friends who can’t see beyond the noses on their faces much less see the damage that we’re doing to the future of our Commonwealth. We need to hire as our next governor someone who has the background that tells us that he will hit the ground running knowing that we don’t have a day to waste if we’re going to keep moving Virginia forward.

That’s why I’m endorsing Terry McAuliffe for governor. Because frankly, we don’t have the luxury of screwing this one up.

 

– Chris Graham


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