Speaker Howell: Go Ahead, Make My Day

By John Fredericks

House of Delegates Speaker William Howell (R-28) puts his money where is mouth is.

On our statewide syndicated John Fredericks radio show today, Howell said he will actively campaign and fund-raise for any GOP Delegate who gets a primary challenge due to his / her vote in favor of the transportation compromise. “I’ll come and campaign for them and send a check,” Howell promised.

Despite all this Tea Party inspired jumping up and down, I doubt any Republican delegate who voted for the transportation bill is in serious electoral jeopardy as a result. Those Republicans who voted for the roads package did the right thing for the future economic viability of the Commonwealth.

Here is an example: if someone from the far right challenged freshman Newport News Delegate David Yancey for his “yes” vote, the newcomer would likely garner 80 percent of Republican primary ballots cast.

Why? Because his conservative constituents in Newport News understand the stakes of another year of inaction — and they want this bill. They can’t get off the peninsula without sitting in hours of tunnel and bridge gridlock.

What Gov. McDonnell did took shear guts…and now he is enduring an onslaught of vile and vicious right-wing invective by many respected national conservative journals and blogs, like WSJ, National Review and RedState.com.

McDonnell had nothing to gain politically for endorsing this bill. Like his vociferous critics, he could have joined the chorus, and stood on a milk box with a megaphone bellowing: “no new taxes!” Had he done that, he’d be the key note speaker at next month’s CPAC and would probably win their 2016 presidential straw poll. But that would have been political grandstanding in lieu of leading.

McDonnell’s real upside was embedded in the sincerity of his knowledge that he did the right thing for Virginia under the circumstances.

That’s what a real statesman does.

While others mock McDonnell, I’ll celebrate his courage, and name a new highway after him — when its built.


John Fredericks is syndicated radio talk show host in Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C., and Virginia and can be heard M-F 6-9 a.m. on WTNT –AM 730 & 102.9FM in D.C., WLEE AM 990 in Richmond, WHKT AM 1650 in Tidewater and WBRG AM 1050 & 104.5 FM in Lynchburg – Roanoke or streaming online at www.thejohnfredericksshow.com. The opinions expressed in sponsored posts are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Virginia Line Media, LLC or its officers.