Press Club

The Right Note: How Hard Would Ralph Northam Work as Governor?

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com. 

The Washington Post reported that the Democrats’ nominee for governor Ralph Northam ran a recent television ad where he encouraged voters to compare his tax plan to Ed Gillespie’s.

The problem? Ralph Northam has never published a tax plan.

Back in April, he promised to put out tax reform principles within a week, but he never did. At one point, the Northam campaign  removed the promise to release the principles from the campaign website according to the Post report.

Northam confirmed he would run for governor over 30 months ago. The logical question to ask is what has he been doing to formulate ideas on tax policy, a key factor in economic growth, between February of 2015 and last month when he cut his TV ad? We do know he attended less than half of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership meetings in his role as Lieutenant Governor.

Virginians are tuning in with less than eight weeks to go to Election Day. Right now, it doesn’t look like Ralph Northam is working very hard to earn their vote.

Metro Reforms

Yesterday’s report of a possible fire at or near the Rosslyn Metro station, and the resulting single tracking of trains, reminds us once again that WMATA is still in need of major reform and real accountability.

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) met recently and recommended principles for WMATA reform, including reducing the number of members, changing the representation and eliminating some committees and meetings from the Board.

The NVTC also called for the development of proposals to address labor costs, unfunded retirement costs, safety improvements and other operational improvements.

The NVTC’s efforts to push for substantive reforms should be applauded. Unfortunately, we should remain skeptical that WMATA is ever going to get the job done unless forced to by a change agent much greater than an NVTC resolution.

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