Why, Bob, Why?

Bob McDonnell is off visiting Asia, but here are a few questions for him when he gets back. They have to do with just how much he really buys into the conservative orthodoxy thing.

McDonnell has finally gotten his way and line itemed $424,000 in state funding for NPR, the right-wing bug-a-boo that conservatives claim gets public money for its pinko views, but in fact is a great teaching tool for pre-schoolers and helps their parents and grand parents make sense of a world the rest of the Big Media, like Clear Channel and its army of radio stations, ignores.

So what else is up with Bob?

  • Big-time movie producer and director Steve Spielberg will get $3.5 million in money from the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund and the Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit program to make a movie in Richmond and Petersburg about Abraham Lincoln. The movie will be based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s popular history “Team of Rivals.”
  • General Electric, which made profits last year of $14.2 billion but paid no federal income tax is setting up a cyper security division to Henrico County with lots of public money help, rumored to be about $300,000. The move will help Richmond’s IT market which was hard hit by the demise of Circuit City and LandAmerica.
  • GE also is being coaxed back, with public money, to reopen a light bulb plant that it had closed in Winchester. Democrat Mark Warner is helping Republican McDonnell with this oh-so-sweet arm-twisting.

Now, I may not be living up to my liberal credentials by criticizing government involvement with the private sector and I apologize. I do believe it can be a good and essential thing.

But one does have to question McDonnell’s priorities. Spielberg is a huge cinematic success. GE is a gigantic and powerful and rich company. Why do they need handouts courtesy of the Virginia taxpayers which a trying useful and sustainable service like NPR goes wanting?

Peter Galuszka

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