On January 12, a handful of Fairfax County voters will go to the polls in a special election to fill the state Senate seat (District 37) vacated by Republican Ken Cucinnelli when he ascended to Attorney General.
The Republican candidate in this special election is Stephen Hunt, who would certainly be an embarassment to Northern Virginia if elected. Hunt served a term on the Fairfax Co. school board, managing to LOSE his race for re-election after making a thorough ass of himself on the Board.
Among other things, Hunt used his position to denounce homosexuality, going so far as to suggest that school principals should make gay students interact with former gays who had renounced their homosexuality. Hunt also gave a speech where he expressed his regrets about giving up his virginity before marriage (but, of course, he did it, didn't he, even though his parents probably gave him the same advice he's giving now).
Anyway, Hunt's latest suggestion--one evidently embraced by other Republicans in the state as well--is that the state's transportation woes can be magically cured by a pot of gold at the end of the offshore oil and gas leasing rainbow.
In other words, don't expect ANYTHING on the transportation front for AT LEAST 10 more years, because that is about the soonest the Commonwealth could expect to see a dime from any such royalties. And those royalties are a big IF.
First, the federal government might not sign off on the proposed leases. Second, the Navy, with its large base at Norfolk--of mighty significance to Va.'s economy--may object, or at least hold things up. Third, we don't know that there IS any significant economically recoverable reserve of oil or gas off the coast of Virginia. If there is, it will be many years before anything starts to flow, hence many years before the state sees any revenue.
[And watch what you wish for; if you've been to beaches on the Gulf Coast--in Louisiana and Texas--you know they can be pretty icky as a result of oil deposits. Just what we need is to ruin Virginia's fine coastal resorts in search of more carbon pollution.]
So, when you hear Virginia Republicans--geniuses like Hunt--say they can solve the transportation crisis without raising taxes, bear in mind that what they really mean is NOT IN OUR LIFETIMES.
Unfortunately, these special elections tend to favor Republicans, so Fairfax may just get a new embarassment in Viriginia's upper chamber.