Sen. Louis Lucas (D-Portsmouth)

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Gov. Glenn Youngkin earned his spurs (and his money) making deals in the private sector. He came into the governorship with no political experience. During his first two years in office, he showed little inclination to compromise or make deals. He bet big this fall on coming out of the November elections with Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. He lost, big time.

Now there is something that he wants; something that would be a feather in his cap: engineering the move of two major-league sports teams, the NBA Washington Wizards and the NHL Washington Caps, to Virginia.

His major obstacle is a General Assembly controlled by Democrats, whom he spent all fall trying to defeat. To get what he wants, he is going to have to be willing to make deals. How good a deal maker will he be in the political realm?

At least one legislator has signaled her willingness to deal. Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), the incoming chair of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee recently observed, “While some people want sports stadiums … I want tolls to disappear from Hampton Roads and I want recreational sale of marijuana. Guess we will have to find compromises this session.” Want to make a deal, Governor?

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17 responses to “Let’s Make a Deal”

  1. Ronnie Chappell Avatar
    Ronnie Chappell

    Here’s hoping Lucas kills the proposed Arlington sports complex and that the debt incurred to expand bridges and tunnels in Hampton Roads is repaid with tolls paid by the people who actually use them.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      On that last part, the original tolls on the HRBT during the 70s had long paid the cost. They remained in place to fund roads in NOVA. Wouldn’t mind seeing some recips.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        Please provide even a shred of evidence that the tools from the HRBT were used to fund roads in NOVA.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          God man, that was back in the 70s and 80s. Maybe the Virginia Pileup or Daily Mess archives…. But, what the heck, worth a few Googles.

          1. He got you with “tools” from the HRBT… Shovels are fungible.

            FWIW, I recall my in-laws bitching about the HRBT excess toll money going to be used for roads elsewhere. As far as they were concerned they were paying for their own roads and other parts of the state should pay for their own too. It was the essence of Byrdian “pay as you go”.

            I believe they pulled all the tolls when the “new” tunnel opened in ’76 because it as almost all Federal highway money for I-64. Same thing happened on the Richmond Petersburg Turnpike section of I-95.

            They also used to predict that since a hurricane created Willoughby Spit that another would wash it away. They did not understand why anyone would build there. Visiting Norfolk was always interesting.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Originally, the HRBT cost $40M. It was a two lane road designed for a maximum of 5,000 cars per day. It was running twice that within a couple of years, especially in summer, when it was well worth taking the JRB instead.

            At $1.25 each way, $0.85 with a ticket, call it $1/car, 7500cars*$1*365*(1972-1957) is $41M. Now add the federal money.

  2. DJRippert Avatar

    “He bet big this fall on coming out of the November elections with Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly. He lost, big time.”

    Please provide one or more references to statements made by Gov Youngkin where he declared he was “betting” or “betting big” on coming out of the November elections with Republican majorities in both houses of the General Assembly.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      I did not say that Youngkin said that. That was my characterization (and others’) of the large amount of money that Youngkin’s PAC, “Spirit of Virginia”, contributed to candidates in the election. That amount reportedly included $500,000 from Youngkin himself.

      During the last days of the campaign, he would lead crowds in chants of “Hold the House, Flip the Senate.”

      1. vicnicholls Avatar

        Even what used to be piddly races in HoD are now million dollar races. I saw D’s that said Hold the Senate Flip the House.

  3. VaPragamtist Avatar

    Is anyone else worried about Lucas holding the purse strings? From Portsmouth’s settlement to her in the Angela Greene case. . .Portsmouth’s vice mayor is Lucas’s daughter. . .significant recent and past corruption allegations against elected officials in the city. . .Lucas’s business interests and state support, combined with many negative reviews of her adult care facility. . .

    1. vicnicholls Avatar

      For a long time we have been.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    We’re about to find out if Youngkin can do something besides culture war stuff!

  5. Walter Hadlock Avatar
    Walter Hadlock

    I suspect State Senator Lucas need not worry about there being no recreational marijuana sales in her district. Also, the longevity of tolls for the Hampton Roads Tunnel is a stark reminder of the never ending tolls on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR). The money pays for all sorts of transportation projects related to the DTR. On the horizon is the possibility of dynamic tolling–tolls adjusted for how much traffic is using the road.

  6. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Blue Wall Lucas wants recreational pot sales. Gee. Couldn’t be related to the dispensary she owns. Besides it won’t work. The black market will always be the go to source.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Speaking of making deals…
    “Navy Federal Credit Union, which lends to military servicemembers and veterans, approved more than 75% of the White borrowers who applied for a new conventional home purchase mortgage in 2022, according to the most recent data available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But less than 50% of Black borrowers who applied for the same type of loan were approved.

    While many banks also approved White applicants at higher rates than Black borrowers, the nearly 29-percentage-point gap in Navy Federal’s approval rates was the widest of any of the 50 lenders that originated the most mortgage loans last year.”

    NFCU is Virginia based

    Topic: institutional racism

  8. I’m sure Monumental Sports & Entertainment will be happy to include a couple of marijuana stores in the stadium complex.

    Maybe one at each of the concert venues?

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      It would improve the perceived performance of the Commanders.

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