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Anti-tax group lambastes McDonnell for acceptance of $800,000 grant

Anita Kumar

Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group that supports limited government and free trade, blasted Gov. Bob McDonnell for accepting nearly $800,000 for a project designed to make the state Capitol one of the "greenest" in the nation.

The $798,988 grant came from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the City of Richmond and the Alliance for the Bay.

"Taxpayers should be angered to see their hard-earned dollars being funneled toward such silly and aimless projects,'' said Ben Marchi, the group's state director. "It appears that Governor McDonnell would rather spend taxpayer dollars on improving downtown Richmond's aesthetics and investing in pavement techniques to filter rainwater than return the money to the people who earned it."

Americans for Prosperity, usually one of McDonnell's biggest fans, sent out a statement to tens of thousands of supporters statewide, encouraging them to contact McDonnell and "and tell him to stop wasteful spending."

McDonnell and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones broke ground Monday on a project that will "green" Capitol Square and surrounding streets. Several low-impact development techniques are designed to let storm water slowly infiltrate rather than flow over the ground and into the James River. Plans call for rain gardens and porous pavers. The entire project should be complete by spring 2011.

"This project will set a standard for other urban areas and capitols, and is another step forward in our ongoing efforts to conserve and preserve the natural beauty and resources of Virginia," McDonnell said.

Marchi said the group opposes the project both because of the amount of money and because part of it comes from the EPA, which is pursuing "job-killing cap-and-trade legislation" in Congress.

"The thousands of AFP members in Virginia follow state government and public policy closely,'' McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson said. "They know that Governor Bob McDonnell has been a champion of reducing spending and making government smaller and more efficient. AFP members have been consistent partner's in the governor's successful efforts to defeat a massive tax increase proposal, preserve car tax relief for our citizens and reduce state spending to 2006 levels, which required cutting billions from the current budget. This e-mail unfortunately does not represent the reality of the governor's fiscally conservative record."

By Anita Kumar  |  August 4, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

Losers.

Posted by: jckdoors | August 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It's called infrastructure improvement - an investment like this might take 40 years to pay off but it will pay off.

I hope these people's grandchildren know who to blame when they James River catches on fire in 2063 thanks to their insistence that we never spend taxpayer money on anything.

Posted by: antonioeliasiv | August 4, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The sustainable design practices included in this project will demonstrate the viability and cost-effectiveness of urban low-impact stormwater management. As a civil engineer, these designs will allow me to provide my clients with additional alternatives - basically putting more tools in my design toolbox. Ultimately, this will allow for more cost-effective projects that are still providing the necessary degree of stormwater treatment.

To advocate against this project simply because it is funded with a public grant is shortsighted, and not beneficial to Virginia's tax payers. Cities such as Portland, Oregon, that have implemented these practices on a large scale have done so because this is a cost-effective alternative to the available "conventional" stormwater management designs.

The addition of plants in this urban setting is certainly a feature of this type of design, but that is simply an added benefit - not the design purpose.

Posted by: 1civilengr | August 4, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Why, that money could have been spent on naming fire hydrants after Ronald Reagan!!!

Posted by: fluxgirl | August 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I always "enjoy" comments from those that don't know the facts. The grant was awarded and all the planning was done during the Kaine administration, the only decision Governor McDonnell had to make was whether to attend a ceremony.

Posted by: richmond56 | August 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I always "enjoy" comments from those that don't know the facts. The grant was awarded and all the planning was done during the Kaine administration, the only decision Governor McDonnell had to make was whether to attend a ceremony.

Posted by: richmond56 | August 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Gov. McDonnell thank you for standing up for the little people. What your supporters and Republican friends do not understand is that the $800,000 in grant funds will help to keep people employed and should create jobs for the under employed and the unemployed.

Posted by: sun52shine | August 4, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the money will create jobs. These are the same people that would take the money if it were for enhancing hunting and fishing grounds. People are always against spending the taxpayers money until the money is serving their preferred project.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 4, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I always "enjoy" comments from those that don't know the facts. The grant was awarded and all the planning was done during the Kaine administration, the only decision Governor McDonnell had to make was whether to attend a ceremony.

Posted by: richmond56


Kind of like how people blast Obama for giving out the bailout money that his predecessors actually approved and signed off on. This is what politicians count on. Emotional responses that disregard the facts. So you are saying that The Anti Tax group is soo busy posturing themselves that they are going after the guy who did not even approve the funding. Sounds like a group led by people who just want attention for themselves.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 4, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The same Anti Tax group that would approve a tax funded project to preserve the confederacy.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 4, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see Mr. McDonnell acting as a progressive on environmental issues. I hope the momentum carries forward to other state projects like LEED platinum standards for new building construction. It would be nice if the governor shows a progressive attitude on energy as well.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | August 4, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"Green" projects are so much fakery. Find a "green" project and you will find the usual group of environmental grifters, confidence men, and three card montie dealers. McDonnell would be well advised to stay away from them.

Posted by: jy151310 | August 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Typical republican nonsense!

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | August 4, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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