The Business of the Baskerville

Commonwealth Conservative

got to it first, the Richmond Times-Dispatch coverge of still-another campaign kick-off for Del. Viola Baskerville, D-Richmond. She’s running for the Democratic Lieutenant Governor nomination in the June 14th primary. Despite offering no beer and staying only 30 minutes at the Shad Planking, the Blue Dog’s tout sheet has Ms. Baskerville winning, based on a predicted strong showing in the City of Richmond.

Del. Baskerville has a laudable interest in helping small businesses and one of her campaign planks is having the Lt. Governor chair the state’s Small Business Commission. Unfortunately, from my point of view, Del. Baskerville has it all wrong. She is a champion of set-asides or quotas for woman and minority businesses doing business with the state. She is part of a faction that somehow thinks state contracts are the way for these businesses to succeed.

I daresay that right now there are more state employees trying to get small, woman, and minority-owned businesses to bid on state contracts than there are state employees trying to help existing Virginia businesses of all kinds through economic development programs. State agencies are tied in knots trying to find qualified small, woman, or minority-owned vendors in the percentage goal assigned to them, not to mention complete all the required reports. Some state agencies are even adding employees to handle this additional procurement burden.

Someone needs to tell well-meaning individuals like Del. Baskerville that the state contract pie is finite. Give one person a contract and you take one away from another person. That’s not economic development. There’s a big world market out there for Virginia’s businesses and the concentration on this tiny piece of the market really isn’t the best use of state resources designed to help businesses grow.

Of course, that’s not to say that small, woman and minority-owned shouldn’t have full and fair access to state contract bids. The state has an on-line system where bids and awards are available for all to see. A tremendous effort to get the word out to these potential vendors and to help them market to the state has been made. It’s been successful, but state contracting isn’t for every business and it’s certainly not the kind of broad-based help that one would expect to be the centerpiece of a business-friendly candidate’s platform.

Commonwealth Conservative is picking Del. Chap Petersen in the Democratic primary and I’m with him, even though Del. Baskerville’s William and Mary alumna status makes me want to root for her.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Check Out This Great Site For Commentary on VA House of Delegate Races…..

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Thanks for the pointer and it looks like you’re off to a great start, even if you aren’t Larry Sabato … I guess you aren’t Bob Holsworth or Steven Farnsworth, either ….

    Anyway, I was surprised to see former Fairfax Mayor Mason jump in to the race for Chap Petersen’s seat. I’ve got to believe, with his name recognition that’s he’s the one to beat.

  3. Ray Hyde Avatar

    “the state contract pie is finite. Give one person a contract and you take one away from another person. That’s not economic development.”

    Amen. And the taxpayer pie is finite,too.

    I care less about who gets the contract than that it is performed well.

    How many times are we going to see a small contractor with Goliath as a subcontractor?

  4. The Blue Dog recently purchased a ‘used’ Sabato crystal ball from a C-ville yard sale.

    The crystal ball is a little clouded, but the state breakdown is …

    Leslie Bryne is ‘hot property’ with the liberal Democratic voter base — and will damage Chap’s chances of a primary win in the region. But outside of Northern Virginia, nobody knows Bryne.

    And I mean nobody.

    Chap Petersen is too green to play both sides of the political fence and double dip — He’s going lose the primary without Republican support. And he has offended every Democratic party activist in the state.

    Bryne is the spoiler in this game.

    Rural Virginia will vote for Puckett, but it’s not enough to matter. Look for him to challenge Baskerville in the Commonwealth. He’s going to be a close second.

    Viola Baskerville’s clout with pro-Choice and Gay & Lesbian activist is very solid. Democratic women voting in the primary (abt. 50-percent) historically vote to place a woman on the ballot. If Baskerville wins Richmond, it’s all over.

    Look for a repeat of the 2001 primary — Richmond voters decided that race as well.

  5. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    The few Democrats who show up on primary day will still be imbued with the 2004 fad of “electability.” Chap may not win any region, but he’ll run respectably everywhere and take this thing.

    Look for that Crystal Ball at a Blue Dog yard sale very soon ….

  6. Yeah I get that feeling Will. But remember, the democrats idea of “electability” was a northeastern liberal in 2004. So they’re probably wrestling internally over who is more electable: Byrne or Baskerville.

    I kid, Democrats. Go vote for whichever lefty you like. But only Chap has a chance in hell against McDonnell.

  7. Steve:

    I guess the NOVA split that you’re talking about might happen. But Chap’s been pretty active in rural areas over the last 2 years (as you alerted me recently). I think that might do it for him.

    My general impression of this race is that most people aren’t happy with the choices. They know in their hearts that Chap’s the only one who can win, but they hate him for his vote on 1 or 2 bills. Pragmatism be damned.

    And I know I’ve said it before: but many moderate democrats would be happy with Baskerville on the ticket to motivate the fickle Virginia African American community. Crass calculation, but what isn’t these days?

    Many people argue that Robb would have beaten Allen (albeit by a slim margin) had the black vote come out for him. They didn’t.

    Speaking of which: Anyone seen “The Perfect Candidate”? That’s an amazing movie.

  8. Whoops. McDonnell is running for AG. My bad. Got my right-wingers confused.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    Who did you mean, Paul?

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