In a conversation with Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), Phil Cox, who heads McDonnell's political action committee, called leaders in the GOP-controlled House of Delegates "spineless," and he warned that the governor might not support Republicans in next year's elections if they vote against the proposal, according to lawmakers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to anger the governor.Read the rest at the Washington Post.
McDonnell and his staff have grown frustrated that fellow Republicans have been unwilling to back a plan that was part of his gubernatorial campaign last year. And House Republicans have become annoyed that the administration expects them to fall in line behind a proposal many of them believe is flawed.
"What am I supposed to do? Lay down and die for the administration, and do whatever they say?'' said Del. Thomas D. Gear (R-Hampton), who chairs a key legislative subcommittee that will consider privatization. "I can't help it that they don't have a good plan. They will remember who their friends are? That's a two-way street."
ABC privatization has degenerated into nasty intra-party shouting contest. Meanwhile, Attorney General Cuccinelli has built himself a power base separate from McDonnell and has effectively seized control of the leadership role within the RPV. McDonnell is bogged down, stuck advocating for a plan that is already dead on arrival. After next year's General Assembly session and election, McDonnell becomes a lame duck with nowhere to go but down. With no solution to transportation funding, Mark Warner will make easy meat of McDonnell in 2014.