Last night Governor Bob McDonnell gave his final state of the Commonwealth address. The speech was equal parts legacy touting and apologies for the gift scandal that has engulfed his term. Somehow, quite a few notable “accomplishments” (many of which Virginians probably deserve an apology for) didn’t make the list. Lucky you, we’re here to round them up today!
- McDonnell earned the nickname “Governor Ultrasound” in 2012 when he signed legislation mandating ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion. Faced with the opposition of 55% of Virginians, 33,000 petition signatures, and thousands of protestors on Capitol Square, McDonnell chose to answer the calls of extremists in his own party rather than those of his constituents.
- McDonnell stumbled right out of the gate when he declared Confederate History Month (and forgot to mention slavery). The outrage was swift and severe. McDonnell cancelled Confederate History Month.
- McDonnell’s Star Scientific gift scandal was so long and ridiculous, it required not only a timeline graphic to keep up with all the gifts–but then we had to make updates!
- McDonnell cut billions from health care and education–and bragged about it. Just a day after McDonnell’s Education Department admitted that federal stimulus funds saved or created at least 7,715 Virginia teacher jobs threatened by state budget cuts, McDonnell took to CNN to brag about the “billions of dollars” he cut from education and health care.
- McDonnell kicked off our Turkey of the Year awards! Somehow this honor didn’t make the cut for inclusion in last night’s speech, but Governor McDonnell was the lucky recipient of ProgressVA’s first-ever Turkey of the Year award. The illustrious honor recognized of his use of budget gimmicks to mislead and confuse Virginians while bolstering his reputation. ProgressVA delivered a frozen turkey to the Governor’s office to commemorate this honor.
- McDonnell gave us plenty of work to do, debunking his bogus budget claims. McDonnell’s budget proposals budget proposals did a lot of things, but few of them resulted in progress for Virginia families. Instead he disguised budget realities by moving funds from one program to another, surreptitiously raiding the General Fund to generate headlines, and stealing from Peter to pay Paul.
- McDonnell gave our local communities plenty of heardburn. His massive budget cuts meant ur communities had to cope with even less support from the state. Unable or unwilling to meet the state’s commitment to fund quality public services, McDonnell simply shirked the responsibility responsibility and passed financial burdens on down.
McDonnell may be out of the Governor’s Mansion on Saturday, but he shouldn’t fear Virginians will forget him anytime soon. In fact, it looks like we’ll be paying his legal bills for quite a while. The bills have already topped three quarters of a millions dollars don’t look like they’ll stop any time soon.
Have a lowlight from the past four years you think should have made it into last night’s speech? Share it with us in the comments!