Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine has dragged Virginia into 51st place - out of a possible 51 - in expending federal funding intended for transportation projects. Virginia placed behind all other states and the District of Columbia, earning a harshly-worded letter from the Democratic Chairman of the House Committee that oversees transportation issues.
On Monday, Congressman Frank Wolf (10th District), Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity, candidate for the House of Delegates Barbara Comstock (34th District) and Virginia Beach City Councilman Ron Villanueva, candidate for the House of Delegates (21st District), blasted Kaine's slow-footedness in accessing funds already available to the Commonwealth.
In a letter that was a striking reprimand to Kaine, Rep. James Oberstar (D - MN), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, wrote in no uncertain terms that Virginia had been negligent in ignoring available funds for transportation.
"Based on the State progress reports submitted to the Committee in September 2009, Virginia has fallen far behind other States in putting to work its Recovery Act Highway formula funds. According to submissions received from all States and the District of Columbia, your State ranks last among all States (51 out of 51) based on an analysis of percentage of Recovery Act Highway formula funds put out to bid, under contract and underway.
"As of August 31, Virginia had begun construction of projects totaling only 17 percent of the State's funding.
"I strongly urge you to refocus your efforts to implement the Recovery Act and use the available funds to create and sustain family-wage jobs. These jobs are critical to Virginia's and the nation's long-term economic growth."
Oberstar pointed out that Kaine had been warned in August that Virginia was falling behind other states.