We're as thrilled as the next guy that Virginia continues to rack up victories in prestigious national rankings for business and management. The PR can't hurt, especially in these times. Governor Tim Kaine certainly couldn't contain his enthusiasm this morning on his monthly call-in show on Richmond radio station WRVA when he announced Forbes again named Virginia the best state in the nation in for business. (Never mind the fact that, by Forbes' own admission, Georgia, which moved from 15th to fifth, is the real story this year). This adds to the Old Dominion's CNBC Number 1 ranking, announced last month. Virginia has won so many "Best State For Business" and "Best Managed State" awards over the last 10 years (all without major league sports franchises and new stadiums, by the way) that one has to wonder how much of it is earned and how much is based on reputation. It makes one question whether CNBC and Forbes have even heard of VITA and Northrop Grumman (see Daily Press). How can either one claim the current administration has managed the state well with a massive agency/private sector partnership in meltdown (see Charlottesville Daily Progress)? What about the constantly missed budget revenue forecasts despite repeated warnings from outside sources and the General Assembly? Not to mention four years without a transportation plan. We don't hear the governor championing those aspects of his government.
This afternoon Governor Tim Kaine proudly touted in a press release Forbes Magazine's ranking of Virginia for the third straight year as the "Best State for Business." Interestingly, the Commonwealth maintained this rather impressive position despite:
1) What we have been told is a crumbling infrastructure and transportation system that is in desperate need of massive tax hikes and
2) Our marriage amendment.
Huh? Explain, you ask.
Well, I hate to bring up the lovely memories of 2006, but that fall Governor Kaine and opponents to the marriage amendment claimed that if Virginians voted in favor of protecting the definition of marriage it would surely make Virginia less attractive to business (among the other ridiculous claims of "unintended consequences"), bringing about sure economic ruin.
Such talk was nonsense, and we told everyone that. Of course, 57 percent of voters listened and the rest his history. But, every once in a while it's nice to be able to say well, we told you so.
Oh, and what of the states that have legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions and their Forbes rankings? New Jersey is 34th; Massachusetts and Vermont, tied for 36th; and California is 40th.