Recently there have been grumblings on the net accusing candidates of being pro light rail, mostly to create confusion or score points with light rail opponents in the area. I looked up evidence of which candidates in the Virginia races supported a tax bomb boondoggle known as The Tide light rail. I took the time to address each candidate running for statewide office.
Recently internet provocateur James Cohen, along with other Bryce Reeves supporters, have taken to social media to denounce Vogelâ€™s vote on a house bill from 2008. Originated by Virginia Beach Rep. Bob Tata, HB 6028 allowed the locality to study light rail; hence every house member and every Senator voted in favor of it, save Senator Ken Cucinelli. Being a Dillon Rule state, new taxes would need to be approved from Richmond and a study would need to be performed to qualify for state funds.
Little was known about light rail at the time, and The Tide had not yet bombed to the tune of the worst ridership profit loss in America. The need for a study for fact-finding can hardly be construed as a vote of support for light rail, as it was deemed a public interest by locally elected officials and transit authorities, and had yet to become a voter referendum. Though Vogel voted for HB 6028, saying that she is Pro-Light Rail for approving a study is a stretch, and would insinuate that all 99 House members who voted yea were Pro-Light Rail as well. This claim earns the rating of mostly false.
Bryce was not in office when HB 6028 was voted on, nor was he in office when its accompaniment HB 564 was introduced either. The only transportation related bills Mr. Reeves has voted on as State Senator involves opening car doors in traffic and smoking in the presence of minors. Â Reeves effectively never had a chance to weigh in on the light rail issue.
Similar to Senator Reeves, Ed did not hold office at the time of the light rail votes. Hey has at times however offered alternatives to investments in light rail and other infrastructure projects championed by former challenger Mark Warner.
Depending on how you view the government role in funding transportation, Frank Wagner is a friend or foe. He has recommended tax increases on gasoline as an alternative to user-based fees such as tolls. He voted for the 2012 Transportation Bill, which many have correctly identified as the largest tax increase in Virginia History. When it comes to light rail, Senator Wagner voted for HB 564 and Co-Sponsored (then oddly enough abstained from voting on) HB 6028. Statements referring to Wagner as a supporter of Light Rail are mostly true.
Delegate Davis, who prefers an RV to rail travel, has been accused of voting for light rail not once but twice while on Virginia Beach City Council. Glenn Davis not only supported light rail in his campaign and in his votes, but fought against proposals to put a citizen referendum on the ballot. Davis also received campaign money for his 2012 Council seat from the very man who authored HB 6028 and HB 564. Any statements suggesting Glenn Davis supported light rail are mostly true.