I rarely venture here into local politics in sunny Virginia. I should more often. Having taken Gargan’s Municipal Government class, I really should. But Bob McConnell has proposed such a cockamamie plan to settle the state’s transportation woes that I just have to pipe up.
I swear, these Republigoats, they’d bottle air and sell it if they could.
McConnell, see, wants to sell off the state’s liquor stores into private ownership and use the proceeds to help with transportation infrastructure. Because, you see, the answer to everything if you’re a Republigoat is to privatize things.
A local state legislator had this to say about McConnell’s scheme:
“His plan is a disaster,” said state Sen. Linda T. Puller, D-Fairfax. She was particularly critical of a McDonnell proposal to privatize the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control stores, which McDonnell said could raise $500 million.
“It’s a nonstarter,” Puller said, noting that a privatization bill introduced in the Senate this year was killed 13-2 on a bipartisan vote in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee, which she leads.
So, you see, the Republigoat candidate for governor is floating a plan that’s already been killed in committee. Genius.
McConnell says that selling the ABC stores would generate $500 million in revenue, which he proposes to earmark for trasnportation infrastructure. What he isn’t saying is that the state’s general fund receives $180 million a year in revenue from the sale of booze. All he’s proposing is a shell game. And I think McConnell is far more motivated by zealous ideology than by a concern for the state’s transportation woes. Privatize, privatize, privatize, and everything will magically be okay.
Didja know that Virginia has the most accurate numbers in the country when it comes to counting how many gallons of booze are sold? Ya know why? Yeah. Because of the ABC. And there are further questions regarding McConnell’s scheme: Does selling the liquor stores in Virginia also dismantle the regulatory and enforcement powers of the Alkie Beverage Control? Will that mean there will be fewer resources to combat underage drinking? What about “non-taxed” liquor and other related crimes? Who picks up that slack if you dismantle the ABC?
It’s a shitty plan. Even so: McConnell’s probably going to kick Creigh Deeds’ stuttering ass. Don’t blame me. I voted for Brian Moran.