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The Politics of Virginia's Computer Contract

Anita Kumar

In light of today's stinging legislative audit detailing massive computer problems, Democrat Creigh Deeds accused Republican Bob McDonnell, the former attorney general, of failing to help safeguard the state in its 10-year, $2 billion contract with Northrop Grumman.

"Today's news, coupled with previous reports that Bob McDonnell's office knew of problems in the contract, calls his record into question,'' Deeds said in a statement. "McDonnell owes Virginians answers to questions of what he knew about problems in the contract, when he became aware of them, and whether he did anything at all about it."

The state looked for a private company to oversee its computer system in 2003 after a legislative review showed that its technology was out of date and increasingly expensive to maintain. Then-governor Mark Warner, now a U.S. senator, received approval to consolidate computer operations into one agency and overhauled the system to make it more efficient and less costly.

"VITA was created during a Democratic administration, and is run by Democratic governor Tim Kaine,'' said Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman. "We know that Creigh Deeds is increasingly angry as his negative campaign falls further behind in the polls. His latest baseless attack is as wrong as it is predictable."

The Attorney General's Office will not comment on what advice it provided state agencies with regard to the contract because of attorney-client privilege.

Both Deeds and McDonnell pledged to reform the troubled agency and support changes that would force the agency to report to the governor.

By Anita Kumar  |  October 13, 2009; 7:09 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell  
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A pet project of then Governor Mark Warner, the Northrop Grumman deal was entered into back in 2005, before McDonnell became Attorney General.

Anyway, I'm baffled that Deeds is making an issue of this disastrous contract. To the extent Deeds is running a positive campaign, he's arguing that Warner and Kaine were super competent executives, and he will govern in their footsteps. But here he is, drawing attention to the fact that Warner may not have been so capable after all.

Posted by: junomoneta88 | October 14, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

As utterly pathetic as Dirty Deeds is, Anita Kumar may be worse for carrying his water. This is just sad..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 14, 2009 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Now this is a REAL story - many voters will switch to Deeds because of this. Wow, the post reporting is really going downhill.

Posted by: espnfan | October 14, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

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