Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hollingsworth: "Kaine's Katastrosphe"

Could the Dulles Toll Road become an albatross around Virginia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine's neck. Barbara Hollingsworth, Local Opinion Editor with the Washington Examiner, makes a case that it could be a big negative issue in the 2012 race.

She writes:
... one of Kaine's top "accomplishments" as governor is about to blow up in vote-rich Northern Virginia. It was Kaine who handed over the paid-for, revenue-producing Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority without bothering to ask the General Assembly for its approval.
Thanks to Kaine, Dulles Toll Road commuters are now facing steeply escalating tolls that will reach as high as $10 one way by 2020.

Thanks to Kaine, this targeted group of Northern Virginians will wind up paying more than half of the still-rising construction and financing costs of Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail project. No other mega-transit project in the country relies on such an unfair funding mechanism.

And thanks to Kaine, neither Dulles Toll Road users, nor their elected representatives in Richmond, had any say in this $3.5 billion boondoggle. Nor do they have recourse at the ballot box, since MWAA's appointed board members cannot be voted out of office.
Hollingsworth goes on to list a number of big problems with the project and ends with, "In fact, there were so many early warning signs that this megaproject would go off the rails that Kaine should have spotted them a long time ago. But he ignored them all."

In his race against Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, this is an issue Kaine probably wishes would just go away.

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