VaPilot: Senator Warner Quietly Helping Dragas

Either Dragas has friends in high places, or the rest of Virginia is ready for UVA to get over itself:

Helen Dragas has some prominent allies in her fight to remain on the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors.

Chief among them is U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat who has spoken on Dragas’ behalf with several state legislators who have a say in her fate.

Dragas, a Virginia Beach real estate developer, faces a tough road to confirmation in the General Assembly after spearheading a controversial effort last June to oust U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan.

As is typical among university board members, Dragas is an active campaign contributor. She and her company have made more than $125,000 in contributions over the past decade, including $10,600 to Warner and $6,000 to Kaine, according to data compiled by the Federal Election Commission and the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit tracker of money in politics.

Warner did not comment about his pro-Dragas advocacy when asked about it Thursday.

Dragas didn’t address it directly but said by email: “Most people to whom I speak and listen, including President Sullivan, say that no good can come to the University from rehashing past events.”

The bottom line is that this effort isn’t going anywhere in the General Assembly.  UVA would do better as a community to do as President Sullivan and Rector Dragas have done — patch things up, focus on the big picture, and prepare UVA for a rapidly changing educational and economic environment.

Certainly, if Warner and McDonnell can do so, can’t the rest of the world?  Or at least the world that revolves around Charlottesville?