Gov. McDonnell’s recent troubles should not distract from his successes

Gov. McDonnell’s recent troubles should not distract from his successes

By Ellen Field, McLean

To the editor:

While recent editorials seek to persuade Virginians that support for Gov. Bob McDonnell is waning, I believe that the vast majority of voters are strongly supportive of his accomplishments despite the avalanche of articles about gifts to his family.

McDonnell ran on a platform focused on job creation and a desire to address our transportation woes. His policies have reduced state spending to 2006 levels by cutting $6 billion out of two budgets.

Since February 2010, the state unemployment rate has fallen from 7.2 percent to 6.5 percent. According to the October 2011 National Review, “[McDonnell’s] record, from cutting spending to stabilizing higher-education funding, is about balance more than partisanship — and it’s worked.”

McDonnell’s transportation package in 2011 constitutes the largest investment in transportation in Virginia in a generation, and it passed the General Assembly with broad bipartisan support. When he unearthed millions of transportation dollars sitting in unused accounts in September 2010, The Washington Post wrote: “Give Mr. McDonnell credit for good instincts as a steward of state funds.”

The Lynchburg News & Advance added in February 2011: “Breaking the transportation logjam is a major achievement for McDonnell … through some extraordinary politicking, [he] has achieved a major goal that eluded his predecessors.”

McDonnell launched an expansive agenda in January 2012 to make college more affordable and accessible for Virginia students. At the launch, The Washington Post wrote: “[McDonnell] is on solid ground … His willingness to take on entrenched interests should be applauded.”

Shouldn’t we applaud the notable recuperation in the commonwealth’s economic health and McDonnell’s leadership that led to improvements in transportation and education? History will certainly note how valuable and significant his leadership has been.