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Baltimore Sun declares war on Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

Our newspapering friends from Maryland have come up with a 10-point plan to help their state's top officials lure Northrop Grumman to the Old Line State over Virginia. And the paper's editorial staff has come up with some fightin' words.

They entitle their online column, "Virginia's for Losers, Northrop Grumman." Suggestion 1 from the Sun: "Force Northrop executives to experience commuter rush hour in Virginia - say, 6 a.m. on Telegraph Road in Alexandria. I-95/Capital Beltway interchange in Springfield should also do nicely."

Suggestion two: "Express mail them a copy of Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell's college thesis and highlight his views on "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." And you thought Virginia was for lovers."

And it goes on.

You can read the whole action plan here.

So, Virginians, how about it? What to offer suggestions for convincing Northrop Virginia is the place to be? Offer them up in the comments section.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 7, 2010; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Dear Northrop: There's a reason "The Wire" was set in Maryland, not Virginia or D.C.

Posted by: DCSoxFan | January 7, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I've heard most of these retread arguements and they do not have merit. I hate to break it to the Sun, but I-270 during Rush Hour is no picnic either. Both places have lots of good available talent and traffic problems.

However, Virginia has a much better tax code for business; better labor laws; no computer tax; and lower income taxes.

In the end, these should win out. Sorry Sun; Virginia IS Santa Claus.

Posted by: SpotsySteve | January 7, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Possibly the worst editorial I have ever read.

I guess the Redskins are only a Maryland team now...never mind the Ashburn headquarters or the fact that the only reason that the Redskins and the Nationals are playing in Maryland and DC is because they were rejected by the local governments to play in Arlington/Alexandria and the state government never made much of a push to bully the localities around.

I guess Maryland has also become traffic free, but tell that to the Northrop execs as they try to commute around the Beltway or through the city to get from any Maryland office to the Pentagon or their infinite number of offices in Northern Virginia.

Clearly Maryland is the underdog, or an idiotic editorial like this wouldn't be necessary.

Posted by: rocotten | January 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Dear Northrop Grumman,

Two words: taxes and regulation.

Come to Northern Virginia.

Posted by: NoVAredsox | January 7, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Aaah Baltimore!
That shining sea of clean government, safe streets, and spectacular public schools! Seems like they're sipping a little too much of that clean, pure inner harbor water!
As for Maryland vs. Virginia, there's no comparison. Just compare the tax rates, schools, and quality of life. Traffic might not be great, but at least Metro is expanding - and in areas where people actually want to live - like Fairfax County and the Dulles area. Seriously. Who wants to live in Greenbelt, and Bethesda and Potomac are seriously overpriced. Sorry, Maryland but I'd rather put up with the Right Wingers in Richmond than live in Maryland any day. Oh yeah, and the Pentagon is also here. Makes sense for a defense contractor to be close to the pentagon, doesn't it?

Posted by: arlingtonliberal | January 7, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the Sun. They should move to Maryland. Lockheed Martin, the largest corporation in the area is already here. So the taxes are less, and the government is conservative. So what? It just goes to show that the state is still a Southern "redneck" state under the skin (i.e. outside NoVa). Those "labor laws" touted in a comment above includes the state being a backwards right-to-work state like every other state in the South.

Maryland has a more intelligent workforce, higher median income, and quality of life is far better (unless you love living in dull, sterile, history/culture-lacking, cookie cutter, car-dependent sprawl in Fairfax). For those attacking Baltimore, firstly Northrop would likely move to Bethesda, Chevy Chase, or Rocvkille, not B'more. And The Wire could have just as easily been filmed in Richmond. Therefore Northrop should look North to MD (past DC).

Posted by: one4all | January 8, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah the fact that Virginia has no major league teams at all is just sad and pathetic. Especially when Maryland has 2 NFL teams, a MLB team, previosuly NHL and NBA teams (until they built MCI/Verizon Center), and a MLS team (in the future).

Posted by: one4all | January 8, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Where's the Pentagon located and that's how far from Capitol Hill?

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | January 8, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

@one4all: Your comment re: "(unless you love living in dull, sterile, history/culture-lacking, cookie cutter, car-dependent sprawl in Fairfax)"

Have you not been to Potomac, Rockville, Bethesda? If you have, then maybe you'd direct your comment there as well.

As cookie cutter as FairCo and LoudonCo are, the same can be said for MoCo. The same cannot be said about PGC however since the most likely thing you'll see there is crime.

Taxes lower, regulation lower, quality of life is better, schools are better - NoVa is the clear choice.

Posted by: NoVAredsox | January 8, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

As if anyone would consider moving to a state based on is household income or educational attainment rate numbers!

Since it will most likely be Fairfax VS Montgomery lets see: Fairfax $105,241/58.8%, Montgomery $91,835/56.4%.

Since I am a snobby French Fortune 500 company executive, I will just choose Fairfax in Virginia since it has the numbers. That must be why many other major companies have moved to Fairfax from California instead of Murderland!

Posted by: proudFrenchman | January 8, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

this decision comes down to the incentives for NGC's hq relo as much as, if not more than, location itself. truth of the matter is, historically, md has levied high taxes on biz. nova has received much of the priv biz hq's because of this single factor. what is little known is how much dev is taking place in md and how md caters to existing primary biz in the state in terms of tax breaks, etc. md has more at stake to turn the tide in their favor and can offer incredible incentives, especially if md learned anything from the saic move. in terms of location, md is a premier state for public sector investment, quality of labor force, national sec funding, military funding, brac realign, aerospace, cyber sec, commerce. an NGC hq in moco puts it close to dc.nsa.nasa as it would be to the pentagon. dc area md has invested several bil$ in brand new sec-ready office dev..including national harbor facilitate biz growth. these should be of interest to NGC. i do believe nova has a better hand in this due only to historical track record. however, NGC should not put all eggs into one basket when it comes to relo here in dc area. nor should NGC limit its presence and investment too heavily in just one state. for private biz in the area is too top heavy in nova. believe or not, the next burgeoning area with now cheapest digs, best proximity, most room for growth is pg, charles co. md

Posted by: ONEDCMDVA | January 8, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

There is about twice as much office space built and under construction on the Virginia side, see my above post on the Montgomery and Fairfax numbers, these reflect the entire DC area suburbs. There is no shortage of talent or space on the Virginia side!

See the recent Rents signal rise of DC, fall of NY Wall Street Journal article!

Posted by: proudFrenchman | January 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

decision will be incentives based. no amount of rhetorical/bias commentary about either state should/will be taken into account on ngc's executive decision for relo. guarantee there are other factors in the mix that qualify all localities in the dc area. much has changed in the previous 5 years in terms of quality of living - including gang/violent crime stats increasing in NoVA as would be expected by its exacerbated urban sprawal.

Posted by: ONEDCMDVA2 | January 10, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

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