Obenshain vs. VDOT

Brent Finnegan -- March 24th, 2009

For the past week, Sen. Mark Obenshain has been lambasting Virginia’s Department of Transportation for wasting taxpayer money on things like YouTube videos, among other projects. Today he announced a website of his own, VDOTwaste.com, aimed at exposing what he calls the “central office bureaucracy” and “high level mismanagement” at VDOT.

A longtime proponent of privatization, Sen. Obenshain has also been critical of public transportation pilot programs, like the agreement between Amtrak and the Commonwealth to run two new passenger trains between DC, Richmond and Lynchburg daily. In a statement posted on Facebook, the senator wrote:

At a time when VDOT says it can’t afford to plow, repair or maintain roads, this is an outrage … With the economy and tax revenues in the tank, we could fully fund the restoration of basic maintenance functions if we could forgo just three of these pet projects.

Obenshain has set up a Facebook group in conjunction with his new website to conduct an unofficial audit of VDOT on the social networking site.

If VDOT won’t submit to a formal audit, it falls to us – Virginia taxpayers – to conduct our own. This group has been created to provide a forum for sharing examples of VDOT waste. Use the message board (below) to post your own story, or post a link to an account you read elsewhere … Let’s make a formal outside audit of VDOT a priority – and in the interim, let’s get busy on an audit of our own.

3 Responses to “Obenshain vs. VDOT”

  1. Virginia needs about $1 billion more a year. Does the GOP really think it will find that much waste at VDOT?

    Once upon a time, VDOT was an inefficient department, but not these days. As Gov. Tim Kaine pointed out, eight audits since 2001 transformed the department.

    And Senator Obenshain wants another audit! Eight is NOT enough!

    It is also one of the commonwealth’s most transparent. Its Web site offers convenient access to data about upcoming and ongoing projects. Meanwhile, its companion Dashboard site keeps Virginians up to date about a host of performance measures. Fiscal year spending, for example, is within 1 percent of forecast, and 85 percent of projects are on budget.

    Obenshain can’t even keep his own web site up to date http://www.markobenshain.com. It hasn’t been updated in 1.5 years.

    The fight against waste, fraud and abuse never ends, but this one is but a smokescreen for do-nothing members of the GOP. They know they can get away with inaction because many Virginians do not want to pay more at the pump, the dealership or anywhere else. Lawmakers will not get serious about fixing the oncoming traffic wreck until their constituents do.

    The question is how much smoke can the Valley endure before we hose this fool.

  2. Gene Hart says:

    Was yet another audit required before the General Assembly passed the abusive drivers fees that supposed to bring in $65 million per year beginning in July 2007? I don’t remember that. What have Senator Obenshain and his Republican cohorts done to replace the funding promised by that 2006-07 debacle? Nothing. That is $130 million and rising lost to our transportation efforts. How many years could the rest areas be kept open with that funding that even the Republican House of Delegates acknowledged was necessary?

    What have Senator Obenshain and his Republican cohorts done to replace the millions in funding promised by the 2007 debacle of the unconstitutional regional transportation taxing authorities? Too easy: nothing. If our transportation officials had received that promised funding, how many local VDOT employees would be facing layoffs? Hmmm, I’m betting . . . none!

    Based on those efforts (failures), maybe we should be glad that in 2008 and 2009 the House of Delegates addressed our growing transportation crisis by just doing . . . nothing.

    In infrastructure as in life, you get what you are willing to pay for. Unfortunately, our Republican representatives in Richmond want us to be [insert your preferred name of a lagging state governed by a governor ideologically-arrogant enough to “decline” stimulus monies aimed at helping his citizens). For my part, I choose to fight the fight to restore our proud Commonwealth to a leadership role in the nation. You want to be 48th in a statistic relating to government investment and performance? US 81 heading south will still get you there. Just be careful of all the trucks.

  3. Lowell says:

    You go Gene Hart!
    G to the E to the N to the E H, A R T !!!

    Gohhhh Gene!!! Go Fight Win!!!

    Kick their butt, Kick their butt,
    All over the floor. “Clap clap…”

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