I've finally gotten some time to breath and catch up here. Between school work, people quitting at my job causing me to work agonizing hours, and general life, I've had very little time lately. So I'm gonna try and hit a couple of things here.
Over the weekend I saw a good article in the WaPo about Congressman Frank Wolf. Wolf is one of those unsung congressman that is a rare breed. He works hard and doesn't beat his chest about it. For me, the most important work Rep. Wolf does is in the Sudan. Darfar represents to me the absolute worst in this world. We stand still, specifically the UN, in helping this situation. Its the clearest example of how the UN is broken, and I think Wolf's work is one of those humanitarianism that nobody acknowledges because Wolf doesn't try and enter it into politics. I have a soft spot for Wolf because he was on the first ballot I ever voted in (Bush-Allen-Wolf '00). Its cool that he got some ink, and its too bad he doesn't have a louder voice in Congress because the chamber would be better for it.
The WaPo had ANOTHER good article (two in a row--shocking!) about VA Republicans looking at suburbia. Its important that Repunlcians develop an effective election year strategy for the area. Basically we need to run like the state is two-states, northern and southern. Up here, we need to relax the abortion and death penalty issues, and emphasis smart growth, tax cuts, and responsible governing. People up here are some of the highest educated people in the state (though not always the smartest), so to win them over you can't just run death penalty ads. It starts in the legislature, they need to give us good ammunition to use. Earlier I blogged about a series of tax proposals by Sen. Davis and Dels. Albo and Rust--its this kind of creative revenue generation that Republicans need to embrace. NOVAians want the smartest answer, not simply "throw money at it," like the Democrats advocate. Too much tax raising might not work because its expensive enough to live here already. We can't restict growth because that will cause the current housing and property values and prices to skyrocket and then hemmorage. People aren't going to stop moving here, so we need to figure out a comprehensive plan. It should include some form of revenue enhancement, whether that be direct tax increases or not, is up to the voters. The problem is, this has been an issue for 20 years and we have rasied taxes before, and its worse than before! The problem is that the "transportation" issue has been equated with "tax." There are things that can be done that deal with traffic lights, road widening, ending HOV lanes (face it folks, they don't work, I've been on toll road at 7:00am), and careful county supervision of construction.
Let me give you an example. I take the Fairfax Co. Parkway and Lee Highway/Main Street/Little River Turnpike home from Herndon to Fairfax--its murder. The problem is that the roads bottleneck, they go from four lanes to 2, then back. Once your in Fairfax, its actually pretty fast. The worst part is the Route 236/29 intersection. The problem is that each direction gets the light by itself, rather than left turn lights, following by both lines going at the same time. If they let 236 have green at the same time, it will move things along better.
The reason I talk about that is to show that helping move traffic is more than just tax hikes and road construction. Frankly, there isn't much room left for new roads. In old NOVA, like Fairfax, Reston, Arlington, Alexandria, and Manasas, the commerical buildup is to the poiint where you really can't widen things. All you can do is try and move things along faster, improve roads, and improve metro. Now for places like outer Herndon and Loundon county, you have more oppurtunity for growth. Thats why this needs to be left at the foot of the district government. I frankly don't trust people from Richmond, the Valley, Southside or wherever to really know what its like up here.
Well, hopefully i'll be updating more soon, but I don't know. I think things are slowing down for. Remember everyone, WRESTLEMANIA is in 33 days! It should be awesome.
Last thing, I think I'll be heading over to Annandale saturday night for Tom Davis's kickoff rally at the firehouse on Columbia Pike. I'n not entirely certain I'll make it, it depends on some things, but I hope so. I've got to scare up a DigiCam from a friend of my to take some pics if I go. But even if I can't make it, ALL OF YOU IN THE 11TH DISTRICT SHOULD! Btw, TC just let us know the 11th is the most affluent district in the country. I just want to know when am I gonna see some of this money? :-) If Republicans want to develop a sound NOVA strategy, I think Tom Davis should be the first call on everyone's phone.