Ask Gov. Bob McDonnell
Oct. 26, 2010 - McDonnell talks about the Pentagon closing the Joint Forces Command in Hampton Roads, fixing traffic on Va. highways and state employee pay raises.
WASHINGTON - Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was a guest Tuesday on WTOP's "Ask The Governor" program. Here's what he had to say:
10:59 a.m., speaking about recent calls to eliminate funding for public broadcasting companies in the wake of Juan Williams' firing from NRP:
"We shouldn't have government money going to support" a radio station when "the free market is working really well."
"There was nothing NPR was doing that I disagreed with."
10:57 a.m., speaking about a potential conflict of interest in Fred Malek, chair of the governor's reform commission, who also raises political campaign funds:
"If that's the test, you would never have someone serve in public service."
There will always be partisan interest, that's not a disqualifier.
10:54 a.m., speaking about his relationship with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli:
"Cuccinelli and I are separately elected, and his job is to represent the commonwealth, but he's also specifically tasked with providing legal services to government -- I'm his biggest client."
"I fully agree with" Cuccinelli about his lawsuit against the federal government over unfunded mandates in national health care reform.
10:51 a.m., speaking about the issues surrounding the Virginia congressional race between Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Keith Fimian and others:
There has been an interesting change between Obama's sweep for change in 2008 and the current public shift to the Republican party.
10:46 a.m., speaking about historical errors in Virginia public school text books about African American participation in the Civil War:
"I am very disappointed" with the erroneous passages saying African American soldiers fought with General Jackson.
"I have ordered a review of the entire process with how we review text books."
Nobody has been disciplined pending a review of the process.
10:44 a.m., speaking about what will happen to employees after potentially making ABC stores public:
"The people that would have those thousands of (public) licenses would certainly want to hire some of the professional, highly trained ABC employees."
But there would be no guarantee.
10:39 a.m., speaking about the Virginian government's economic reform commission:
"We have 1,400 ideas. The commission has approved 107 of them for executive order or to send to the legislature if they require legislative change."
Increasing tolls is also a part of the economic strategy, potentially at the North Carolina border, from the 14th Street bridge and by Tysons Corner.
10:36 a.m., speaking about Virginia's laws on expungement:
(Those convicted of a crime in Virginia will have that on their record forever unless they are pardoned by the governor. If they are charged and acquitted, they can petition the court for an expungement.)
"I can't think of much worse thing that could happen than to be wrongfully accused of a crime."
10:33 a.m., speaking about Senator Jim Webb threatening to hold up military nominations and promotions to prevent base closures:
"Absolutely" in favor of it.
"Documents have not been forthcoming to the satisfaction of Senator Webb."
Congressional attorneys have discussed serving subpoenas to the Pentagon to enforce an open closure process.
10:29 a.m., speaking about bringing new jobs to Virginia, such as the recent announcement for Northrop Grumman to open an office:
Virginia has a joblessness rate 3 percent below the national average, but still "totally unacceptable."
Virginia announced Tuesday announced that Capital One is creating 1,000 new jobs in Virginia, 700 in Richmond and the rest around the state.
"We expect many more announcements in the coming months."
10:26 a.m., speaking about Virginia's preparations for budget cuts:
"We'll get those plans in about two weeks."
10:25 a.m., speaking about state employee pay raises:
"I don't see any pay increases on the horizon in the near future."
There will be a one-time 3 percent bonus, to arrive around Christmas time.
"It's the first pay increase state employees have had in four years."
10:23 a.m., speaking about fixing traffic on some Va. highways, either by opening up lanes or implementing light rail:
"There are some things from the Germans and the Japanese we could learn (from)," citing Japanese railways and the German Autobahn, without speed limits.
On an autobahns in Virginia: "No."
10:16 a.m., speaking about the Pentagon closing the Joint Forces Command in Hampton Roads:
It is "very disappointing," that Defense Secretary Gates has declined to meet with the governor and a Virginian delegation, despite a promise in writing for a face-to-face meeting.
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