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Clueless in Richmond

Two stories on the front-page of the Metro section of today’s Washington Post raise the possibility that Virginia’s governor and members of the General Assembly do indeed suffer from cluelessness.

In one story, the Post suggests that lawmakers could snag themselves with the bad-driver fees that has led over 174,000 Virginians to sign an online petition opposing such fees even though the money will be used to fund transportation projects. The reporter, Jonathan Mummolo, identified a rather large number of General Assembly members, as well as Gov. Kaine (twice), who have been ticketed for speeding. Two of the legislators, in fact, represent Arlington County – delegates Adam Ebbin and Al Eisenberg.

In an accompanying piece, Marc Fisher writes:

Nobody in Richmond predicted that Virginians would rise up in a hot summer snit, cussing and seething over the injustice of spanking the state's most reckless drivers with big, fat fees.

“See, the politicians thought they were doing what they do best -- threading the needle of transportation funding to make no one very happy but keep the grumbling to a minimum and sort of get the job done.”

Fisher then describes the effort of one legislator who had interns scan all 174,000 names on the petition to identify the 750 in his district. In addition, Fisher writes that:

“It's not just politicians who got slammed. The AAA's longtime Washington area honcho, Lon Anderson, has been trying to calm members who are appalled that the drivers' lobby supported these fees. AAA has long opposed mixing policing with fundraising, but Anderson went along with this plan to avoid a gas-tax increase and get money for new roads.”

Who has been “fanning the fire” then? They’re blaming it on bloggers such as your humble scribe. And, oh, if you haven’t signed that online petition, yet, please do so! Oh, and for information to contact the governor or your legislator, visit Ticket the General Assembly.

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