Virginia Statewide Offices (Lt. Governor, Atty. General), 2005

Lieutenant Governor

For the second-highest office in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Senator Bill Bolling (R-VA 4th) from the south is up against former Senator Leslie Byrne (D-VA 34th) from the north. I mention regions only because Byrne is the only Northern Virginian running for any state-level office.

As much as I would love to vote for somebody from the state’s neglected urban north (the rural politicians don’t understand our needs), Byrne does not offer much for us. She supports expanding passenger rail to help alleviate our gridlock, but makes no calls for greater accountability at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, Metro) and does not explain what she would do to improve our inadequate roads. Further, like so many other candidates, her education proposals seem to revolve entirely around an ineffective doctrine of ‘throw more money at it.’

While Bolling is hardly the greatest candidate (largely for the same reasons I couldn’t endorse anybody for the office of governor), he at least offers an anti-tax, pro-business platform. His transportation and education polices are as weak as all the other statewide candidates this year, but they are relatively harmless. Byrne’s proposed policies are all unlikely to work and quite likely to waste money and result in higher taxes.

Therefore, I endorse the election of Bill Bolling for Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is not a strong endorsement, but if we’re going to have ineffective leadership it might as well keep taxes down.

Attorney General

Campaigns for the Office of Attorney General in Virginia baffle me. We’re electing somebody who will be heading up law enforcement and security in the Commonwealth, and yet candidates consistently campaign on a wide range of issues as if they were running for governor. This is a specific job, and I want to know specifically what candidates intend to do as Attorney General. I don’t care about the the candidates’ positions on higher education because the attorney general has little to do with higher education.

Regardless, both candidates for the office—Del. Bob McDonnell (R-VA 84th) and Senator Creigh Deeds (D-VA 25th)—do spend a little bit of space on their websites and elsewhere talking about what they’d actually do in the job they’re vying for.

After reviewing each candidate’s plans for getting tough on crime and strong on homeland security in Virginia, it became very clear that only one candidate was serious about making our state safer. That candidate is Bob McDonnell, who I endorse for election to the Office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Both candidates seem to be acceptably tough on crime, but Deeds is notably weak on homeland security. McDonnell proposes a specific series of necessary homeland security protection measures and intends to permanently establish an Office of Commonwealth Preparedness. His plans include both efforts to prevent terrorism and procedures to deal with attacks if/when they occur. Deeds’s plans, as best as I can tell, only include lobbying for federal money to secure our ports (important, yes, but only a small part of what must be done).

As one of the states targeted on September 11, 2001, strong homeland security policy is of the utmost importance to the Commonwealth. Creigh Deeds simply doesn’t have it covered.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.