With the blessing of Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia’s General Assembly recently passed a transportation bill has upset huge numbers of conservatives across the state. Labeled as the largest (or second largest) tax increase in Virginia history, many activists see the move as an outright betrayal of McDonnell’s election pledge to find other ways to fund transportation without a tax hike.
Rumors circulate that after leaving office in November, the governor will set his sights on either the 2014 U.S. Virginia Senate seat or even the 2016 presidency. In order to thwart McDonnell’s higher political ambitions, a group called the Patriot SuperPAC recently ran an ad in Iowa warning voters in that state that McDonnell is not the fiscal conservative he pretends to be. Today, the PAC released another ad targeting the people of New Hampshire.
Although the 2016 presidential race will not begin in earnest for at least another year, these sorts of messages clearly illustrate an important reality. Bob McDonnell has upset a whole lot of Virginia conservatives and his effort to cement a legacy for himself through transportation tax hikes likely makes it almost impossible for him to ever win back the support of this key constituency.