Whither McAuliffe on the Bi-County Parkway?

Over at the D.C. Streets Blog, Katie Pierce asks whether Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe will give thumbs up or thumbs down to the Bi-County Parkway. The answer: Nobody knows. (She quoted me in the article but I didn’t shed much light.) Still, it’s interesting that D.C. Streets, a pro-smart growth publication with a focus on Washington’s urban core, is paying attention.

The McDonnell administration will do everything it can to advance the project in the two months it has left. After that, it’s McAuliffe’s call. His decision will tell us volumes about the next four years of Virginia transportation policy.


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11 responses to “Whither McAuliffe on the Bi-County Parkway?”

  1. McAuliffe is not going to be loved by the folks left of center.

    He’s basically a “go with the flow”, “don’t make waves” kind of guy.

    If someone hands him a gift that pleases the left, he’ll take it but he’s
    not going to fall on the proverbial sword for nothing – I bet.

    I’m not even sure that McAuliffe even has a strong idea of what he
    hopes to accomplish.

    Lots of different ways to look at the election – but all things equal – a normal pro-business GOP without major wacko-bird feathers would have easily beaten McAuliffe BECAUSE we know almost nothing definitive about his agenda… he just happened to be the guy standing there when enough people said “no thanks” to a wacko bird.

  2. Breckinridge Avatar

    Hey, Jimbo, not my job to give advice to you and your clients, but handing a governor-elect an (“our way or else!”) ultimatum two days after the election doesn’t sound like a wise lobbying strategy to me. Just a thought….

    1. funny how BOTH SIDES, do this, eh?

      I could be wrong but I don’t think McAuliffe is going to make the activists happy. We’ll know soon by some of his appointments – many of which are largely symbolic and have no real authority.

      The magic trick of the decade goes to McDonnell – who did what no gov before him did for two decades – convince a conservative GA to not only pass a tax increase – but a fuel tax increase.

      one thing to be aware of though is that any Friend of Bill is probably going to be given a good list of political operatives who know how to work with an opposite party legislature.

      1. P.S. I’m a journalist and commentator, not a lobbyist.

  3. DJRippert Avatar

    The proper sequence:

    Cart —-> Horse.

    In that vein, who will McAuliffe name as Secretary of Transportation? (and wouldn’t it fritz Bacon, et al if McAuliffe convinced Connaughton to stay for a second term and finish what he started).

  4. I’m in the camp that believes he might keep Connaughton … who has been, in my view an effective person – and I don’t agree with all he has done but undeniably – he’s kept the VDOT ship on course.

    but even without him.. I doubt seriously that VDOT is going to veer much or that McAuliffe is going to get himself personally involved in any of those
    transpo hot potatoes – it’s a lose – lose.

    I think the enviro-weenies are going to be whining.

  5. first two actions:

    1. – undo the McDonnell executive order that allowed gay employees to
    be discriminated against

    2. – limit gifts to Gov and Family to $100

    and this:

    Woman #1: “So as governor, would you oppose any restrictions on my right to an abortion at any time?”
    McAuliffe: “Yes.”

    Woman #1: “No, Yes?”

    McAuliffe: “I would support stopping any restrictions.”

    And then to remove any doubt, he told another woman that as governor he would be a “brick wall” against even the most common ground limitations on abortion.

    Woman #2: “Also, if any anti-choice Republicans were to introduce legislation preventing me from getting an abortion after 20 weeks would you oppose it?”

    McAuliffe: “So you have a Constitutional right. This has been determined in our nation. It is a Constitutional right. It is. What I said here is that I will be a brick wall to stop any erosion of any Constitutional right that any woman has in Virginia. I will be a brick wall.”

  6. Breckinridge Avatar

    The word on Sec Trans is Aubrey Layne, a current member of the CTB. Rumor only. He might frost Jim and the smart growth crowd at that….

    1. Aubrey Layne… now, that’s interesting. First of all, Aubrey leans Republican, so that would reinforce McAuliffe’s bi-partisan bona fides. Second, Aubrey has served on the Commonwealth Transportation Board for many years, has been very active with the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and has been deeply involved in transportation issues generally. He knows his stuff. Thirdly, my sense is that Aubrey is genuinely a good guy. He’s smart, he’s likable and he’s dedicated. Also, I would see him as more of a consensus builder than Connaughton.

      On the other hand, Aubrey does love his mega-projects, and he sees transportation as a tool for economic-development. I would not expect to see a significant change in transportation policy. I think he would give major heartburn to the smart-growth and environmental groups.

  7. Where did the Smart Growth and Enviro weenies get the idea that McAuliffe is one of them in the first place?

    I would hope that McAuliffe would perform more like a Mark Warner than some stereotypical green-weenie liberal/progressive which I think is a corrosively harmful image/behavior to all concerned – left and right.

    we want to work towards the things we might be able to agree on – and be willing to make the compromises necessary to achieve the proverbial half-loaf and McAuliffe has to perform in such a way that the opposite party develops some measure of trust in him as an honest broker.

    If he fails at that – and it will be easy to do that – then he’s going to be a figurehead governor.

    the interesting thing about Mark Warners “shiny” image as a legitimate entrepreneur is that he worked as an aide on the team that was crafting legislation to deal with cellular phone technology – and the knowledge he derived from that helped him to become one of the first players in the industry.

    nothing wrong with that – but when you back up a notch – and compare to McAuliffe – maybe not so different.

    Other than his “questionable” business dealings, he pretty much has a clean
    political slate – which – is pretty much devoid of baggage… and allows him running room that many in politics lack

    A uber-smart strategy might well be to appoint moderate GOP to his administration… that would give him a toe-hold in the GA and with a little luck stir up more angst between the establishment GOP and the Tea party.

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