Ask the Governor
WTOP's Mark Segraves and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell
WASHINGTON -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was a guest Tuesday on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program.
The governor forewarned about Base Realignment and Closure Act changes for military workers, and the resulting heavy impact on traffic.
"The Mark Center is going to be a problem," McDonnell said, adding he will send a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday spelling out his specific concerns, and offering potential solutions.
He suggested delaying any military staff changes until after the state can adequately improve the affected transportation situation. It will be up to 18 months before transportation workers can begin to make improvements, he said, due to having to conduct the federally mandated environmental impact study.
McDonnell also spelled out his intention to fight the $330 million plan to build the Metro rail expansion to Dulles International Airport underground, which he described as an "aesthetic" option and "a significant problem."
The governor has already written to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and D.C. Mayor Vince Gray to ask for their help in changing the decision by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority about the rail.
Listen to the full interview at right, and check out this WTOP live blog:
10:57 a.m., speak about the Republican presidential primary:
We're not even sure who all is in. This needs to shape up pretty quickly. I think a current or former governor would be the best for the position, like Tim Pawlenty.
Donald Trump has some good perspectives on Middle East policy and on the economy. And he's adding entertainment.
10:56 a.m., speak about Obama's citizenship:
The president is a citizen. The problem with the president is not with his birth certificate, it's with his policies.
I think these are all distractions.
10:53 a.m., speak about gay couples adopting children:
People who can adopt are either single people, or married couples. Those are public policy decisions that have been in place for a very long time.
I support a single person, whether they are gay or straight, to adopt, but a two parent loving family is still the best way to raise a child.
I think the current law is working well. There are ample number of adoptive parents, except for special needs children where we still need some help.
10:52 a.m., speak about Virginia 511, a government traffic service, competing with the private sector:
There's a chance WTOP and other stations could go off the air. I don't think it can truly compete.
10:45 a.m., speak about pay-for-performance for teachers in hard to staff schools :
It's the American way. People get motivated by having their performance recognized, and the clearest way to recognize that is by compensation. It's using private-sector initiatives in the public sector.
Fairfax County can opt out of they want, but we're going to make this work.
10:43 a.m., speak about the Supreme Court denying an expedited review of the healthcare lawsuit:
I'm very disappointed. I think one of the reasons the court denied this is because the Justice Department fought us on the suit.
It's going to take me three years in Virginia to set up the health care exchanges. It would save us a lot of time to know if we have to do it.
They know, as we do, that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to make the final decision. It's clearly a constitutional question.
The court might have wanted to delay this until after the next presidential cycle.
10:34 a.m., speak about Bruce Jamerson's death:
It's stunning. He watched after my kids, and came to my mother's funeral. He was an extremely good clerk, with an immense knowledge of the legislature.
We're still grieving for Bruce and he will be very much remembered.
10:26 a.m., speak about redistricting:
I did veto the recent redistricting bill, and I expressed my concerns about the legality of it. I've met with the Virginia Senate Republican and Democrat leaders. I'm optimistic they'll work together and find a way to get this done.
I'm not sure the House of Delegates would adopt a Senate amendment for this. I've expressed that pretty clearly to Senate leadership.
I think we're going to get there this week, but I've told Republicans I expect them to work extensively this week.
If there's no resolution, this could go to the courts. But that's only happened once in Virginia history. I think that would be unfortunate, and an embarrassment.