Va Governor Bob McDonnell Talks About VP Possibility & Dulles Rail

10:30 PM, May 29, 2012   |    comments
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Gov. Bob McDonnell

ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va.  (WUSA) - Governor Bob McDonnell answered several questioned in a one-on-one interview with 9 News Reporter Peggy Fox.

PEGGY: Are you or are you not being vetted to be a vice presidential candidate?
GOVERNOR: Only by the media. There's only one list that matters and it's Mitt Romney. My goal is to help Mitt Romney and win as many governors as I can because I'm the chairman of the Republican Governor's Association.

PEGGY: But you wouldn't say no if they ask, right?
GOVERNOR: I'm not interviewing, expecting it or thinking that it's going to happen.

PEGGY: It's got to be flattering, you've thought about it, haven't you?
GOVERNOR: You know what I think about? I think about how I can make Virginia better and more prosperous. And, honestly, I tell people I learned this as a young lieutenant in the Army. If you don't worry about taking the hill in front of you, you never get to that next hill. And I really believe that.

Governor McDonnell was in Northern Virginia congratulating Marymount University's newly named Malek School of Health Professions for creating more educational opportunities to help meet the growing need in the health fields.

But as students practiced their life support techniques on dummies, the largest project underway in Northern Virginia is on life-support itself. The $2.6 billion Phase 2 of the Silver Line, from Reston to Dulles and two stops into Loudoun, is in limbo. Yet the Governor has no specific plan to get it on track, other than to pressure the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) board which is building rail line.

"We just got to have more transparency and more accountability in the way the this board so that Virginia taxpayers are protected because most of the money to pay for that Silver Line is coming from those toll payers on the Dulles Toll Road," the Governor said.

The governor wants MWAA to drop the project labor preference (PLA) for Phase 2, which gives a bonus to contractors with labor union. The governor says the PLA preference will make the project too expensive, but he couldn't say how much more expensive.
"If you're putting a preference on union labor it's generally going to be more expensive than labor that you purchase in the free market through the contracting process, its going to exacerbate the cost of the project... and we can't have policies in place that violate Virginia's Right To Work laws, which I believe the PLA does, " said the Governor.
Even though Virginia has set aside $150 million for Phase 2, that money can't go anywhere yet because of a new law passed in the last legislative session. It prohibits state money from going to PLAs.
Loudoun County is also threatening to opt out of the project. if it does, that could force up to a year or more of a delay to restructure the project.
PEGGY: If Loudoun says no, won't a delay cost more than the PLA preference?
GOVERNOR: It may or may not. I'm encouraging Loudoun, Fairfax, I'm encouraging all of them to stick with this, lets get this done, lets see this through.

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