Monthly Archives: September 2005


As readers of this blog know, I have disclosed that I have been informally involved with the campaign of a friend, David Poisson, in the 32nd House of Delegates district in eastern Loudoun County. I was recently hired to formally join the campaign.

I am excited by this opportunity to help a guy whom I’ve respected and counted as a friend for nearly 15 years. He is smart and indefatigable. In this campaign he’s worked tirelessly on behalf of his vision for the people of the 32nd and Virginia. As some of you may know, he’s been a staffer on Capitol Hill, is a lawyer and consultant representing businesses and associations in state legislatures nationwide, and holds a doctorate in education that is reflected in his thoughtful education platform. So he has a unique and related background for the job. More important, he understands that each generation should be focused not solely on the present but committed to making life better for the next. It’s that overarching commitment that I think makes Dave the kind of legislator Virginia needs.

Due to my commitment to his campaign, posts on this blog will likely decline as they have over the past week. But when I can post, I will, and if it is about the race in the 32nd district, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll remind readers of my role in Dave’s campaign. His web site is

Relief Effort “Not Acceptable”

So Bush thinks the relief effort after Hurrican Katrina is “not acceptable.”

Here’s betting no one in his adminstration will be held responsible and no one will lose their job over this national disgrace.

Transportation Guv’s Simplistic Idea

From what I know of Gerry Baliles, he was courageous when he proposed an increase in the sales tax a couple of decades ago. Now that he’s out of office, why is he proposing such a simplistic idea as collecting tolls on major highways as the sole way of raising money for transportation?

Ok, maybe it isn’t the sole way, but it’s the only way described in today Washington Post article. Rather than be courageous and innovative now, he simply says collect tolls. What about raising the gas, sales or income taxes or implementing land use planning directives that minimize car trips?

Baliles described the state’s deficiencies in transportation as “overwhelming” and the costs for fixing them as “enormous.” He wrote that a lack of political will to make substantive changes led him to the toll proposal.

“Resistance to any form of tax increase remains strong, and the rising gas prices only increase that resistance,” he wrote. But, he said, “the bottom line is that transportation needs must be able to depend upon dedicated revenue sources.”

He’s right about the lack of political will. But why not call for leaders to show some leadership and offer comprehensive solutions?

[Baliles] also is part of a consortium of leading developers who submitted an offer this summer to purchase and upgrade the Dulles Toll Road for more than $1 billion in exchange for toll revenue. The state is considering the offer.

Tolls have their place, but there are costs — in time. Can you imagine what the commute would be like in Northern Virginia if toll booths sprouted up as Baliles suggests? Anyone ride I-95 in Delaware where the toll booth can back up traffic for miles?

$3 A Gallon

With gas prices hitting $3.00/gallon and Virginians like the Grinnages of Chesterfield County not blinking an eye, does it occur to anyone that if Virginians were told that if gasoline prices drop back to 2004 levels, like they were when the increased transportation spending of the budget was scuttled, we ‘re going to raise the gas tax 20 cents but would fix the state’s transportation system that Virginians would say alleluia?