Driving liberals, dhimmis and illegal alien apologists absolutely insane since 2005...
video production in Manassas and Prince William County

Connaughton To Get Post In McDonnell Administration

By Greg L | 21 December 2009 | Virginia Politics, Prince William County | 23 Comments

Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell will appoint former PWC Chairman Sean Connaughton to be his Secretary of Transportation according to the Washington Post.  While TC is predictably cheering about anything involving Connaughton, it’s got some of us scratching our heads seeing as Connaughton just got off a stint as heading up the Maritime Commission under President Bush.  So far, no one has announced a project to dig canals along Interstate Highway corridors that would offload commuter traffic to barges, but you’ve got to wonder what’s in store for the Commonwealth with a pick like this.

The only other thing Connaughton is known for in Virginia is growing government in Prince William County. I’m hoping it’s his significant and noteworthy maritime experience that’s recommending him for this post, and not his experience in budgeting in Virginia’s second-largest locality.

UPDATE: TQ has more.

The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

BVBL is not a charity and your support is not tax-deductible.

You can follow the discussion through the Comments feed. You can also pingback or trackback from your own site.


  1. wineplz said on 21 Dec 2009 at 11:54 pm:
    Flag comment

    *psst* Tim Kaine hasn’t been gov-elect in about 4 years…. :)

  2. Greg L said on 22 Dec 2009 at 12:03 am:
    Flag comment

    DOH, I guess old habits die hard. Thanks for the opportunity to correct the post!

  3. Too Conservative said on 22 Dec 2009 at 12:09 am:
    Flag comment


    Perhaps you’re forgetting Sean’s 2 terms as Chairman of PWC? His time on the NVTC?

    He has more then enough transportation experience, and it’s time to put the past behind us, and get behind the Governor-elect and his appointees.

    Your post rings of political sourness, and has no merit.

  4. Chris said on 22 Dec 2009 at 1:06 am:
    Flag comment

    I’m okay with it, i was worried he would appoint Jeannemarie.

  5. Anonymous said on 22 Dec 2009 at 6:21 am:
    Flag comment


    I think the Connaughton appointment is a payback to former Rep. Tom Davis espicially since McDonnell will probably NOT appoint Jeanmarie to be Secretary of Technology and will instead choose Delegate Sam Nixon for that post.

  6. NoVA Scout said on 22 Dec 2009 at 8:17 am:
    Flag comment

    This says as much or more about McDonnell as it does about Connaughton. It shows that this Administration is serious about providing competent government. It also shows that McDonnell and his people know how to approach citizens with great experience and convince them to give up high-paying, prestigious jobs in the private sector to offer service to the Commonwealth. An auspicious beginning for the new Governor, I’d say. Let’s hope he can do as well in other sectors.

  7. J. Tyler Ballance said on 22 Dec 2009 at 8:58 am:
    Flag comment

    This revolving door of “used” Bush appointees shows just how short the Republican bench has become. Over on the Democratic side we see a similar pattern.

    Out of 300 million people, logic dictates that we should never see the same faces in these appointed positions more than once, unless the system was corrupt…

  8. O. P. Ditch said on 22 Dec 2009 at 9:04 am:
    Flag comment

    Well well well, jy must be out of computer range, since we haven’t heard his reaction yet. Maybe he is waiting for further confirmation before blasting the appointment?

  9. Just the Facts said on 22 Dec 2009 at 11:58 am:
    Flag comment

    Big disappointment.

    Connaughton’s accomplishments in Prince William County were a massive increase in the size and cost of our County government, and rolling out the red carpet for residential developers. He worked hand-in-hand with Gerhart who resigned recently under the cloud of the multitude of scandals plaguing the County government.

    The overdevelopment during Connaughton’s tenure is the main reason Prince William County suffered more than most jurisdictions during the housing market collapse. I can still remember the first time Connaughton ran for BOCS chair and stood in front of the McCoart Building proclaiming he would not take contributions from developers. Nonetheless, contributions from real estate developers and related interests dwarfed those from all other donors during his campaigns in PWC and for Lt. Governor. See the link to VPAP below.


    Connaughton had nothing but disdain for conservatives who opposed his tax increases and he consistently misled the public by touting his tax rate reductions. Some people were smart enough to understand that when assessed values are rising much faster than tax rates are falling the result is still a higher property tax bill. Taxes in PWC under Connaughton rose much faster than inflation and population growth combined.

    Having Connaughton as Secretary of Transportation will be a huge boon for the developers. Their guy will be in place to ensure construction of roads to undeveloped areas they want to plunder.

    This is a bad start for McDonnell. Maybe he’ll reconsider and appoint conservatives who support low taxes and don’t sell out to corporate interests as Connaughton did as soon as he was elected PWC BOCS Chair.

  10. NovaRep said on 22 Dec 2009 at 12:51 pm:
    Flag comment

    Here we are on BVBL blasting fellow Republicans. If all of you are so disheartened, perhaps you should start a 3rd Party? Sean was a good Chairman and I think he will do a good job as Sec. of Transportation.

  11. Just the Facts said on 22 Dec 2009 at 1:35 pm:
    Flag comment

    Novarep - who are the true Republicans and who should be the people to depart and form a third party? My Republican Party is the one of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Those Republicans fought overregulation by big government but also stood against the amassing of excess power by private interests and big corporations. Corporate power buying political influence to promote their own self-interest that is at odds with the well-being of the middle class, taxpayers, small business and entrepreneurs is as bad as incompetent, bloated big government.

    My Republican Party consists of hard-working middle class families striving to provide a future for themselves and their families. Their main desire is for both big government and big business to stay out of their way and let them succeed.

    The other Republican Party is the one of multi-billion dollar bailouts for corrupt banks and other incompetently-managed corporations. It is the party of handing over control of local government to big developers and subsidizing their plague of countless McMansions and townhouses that don’t pay their own way in taxes, and compound the congestion we face on our roads and in our schools.

    NO – I do not represent those who should depart and form a third party. The corporatists and statists, and anyone else who thinks they know better how to spend my income than I do, and who have far too much power in the Republican Party (that includes Connaughton), are the people who should go.

    I am not blasting fellow Republicans. I am arguing for true small government, fiscally-conservative Republicans to take back their party from people like Connaughton who sell out as soon as they take power.

    Look at the countless scandals that go unaddressed in our own backyard. Go back and reread the posts in this blog about Mark Wolfe (another RINO) who takes tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayers in Manassas and Prince William County to subsidize his private dance school while impoverished seniors can’t get transportation.

    Our government should not be the playground and piggy-bank for people like Sean Connaughton, Mark Wolfe and the bail-out crowd. The Democrats are certainly not going to fix any of these problems. The only hope is for true fiscal conservatives who value their families and their communities more than amassing power to take back the Republican Party.

    I hope Governor-elect McDonnell comes down on our side, but appointing Connaughton is not a good sign.

  12. James Young said on 22 Dec 2009 at 9:39 pm:
    Flag comment

    No, O.P., I’m not out of computer range, and I won’t gratuitously “blast” the appointment. So long as Connaughton is kept as far as possible from making tax policy, he’s little danger. Whether he can get control of the DOT bureaucracy (or is inclined to do so) is something which remains to be seen.

    Nevertheless, with your gratuitous presumption, thank you for once again demonstrating that horses’ asses outnumber horses.

    Looking for a political job in DOT?

  13. Conservative 2 said on 23 Dec 2009 at 10:05 am:
    Flag comment

    Well, it didn’t take long for jy to give us his bunch of Bull Crap! It is amazing how people think they are the greatest but they are the ones who are “horses Asses”.

    Congratulation Sean.

  14. PWCOvertaxed said on 23 Dec 2009 at 11:08 am:
    Flag comment

    Just the Facts - I like the way Repubs today claim Abraham Lincoln…1860 has NOTHING to do with 2009. Lincoln actually grew the Federal Govt. at a HUGE rate and began much of our modern Federal finance system…something any conservative is against. And Teddy Roosevelt enlarged government as well…great Presidents both, but so much has changed since then, you as a Conservative can not realistically “claim” them. Republican in 1860 and 1900 is MUCH different than a conservative today.

    I think Connaughton is a good choice….not overly Conservative, but McDonnell wasnt going to appoint Ron Paul! I think its a good choice and hopefully he will not forget Northern Virginia when tackling the corrupt VDOT. The roads up here are horrible and we pay the majority if the taxes….that needs to be fixed

  15. Just the Facts said on 23 Dec 2009 at 12:21 pm:
    Flag comment

    PWCOvertaxed - reread your history.

    A true conservative does not oppose all government. One proper role of government is to protect citizens from infringement on their rights by excessive private power, just as it is the private sector’s duty to act as a check on excessive government power.

    The Civil War had many causes (i.e., tariffs, trade policy, development of national economic institutions, and maintenance of the union) but one of the key issues was slavery. Slavery is quintessential corruption of private and government power. The plantations were the giant bailout corporations of the time and literally enslaved human beings with the protection and support of the government. Small farmers and landowners in the South actually suffered under this system because they could not afford to buy slaves, and thus had to compete at a cost disadvantage because of the plantations’ economies of scale. Nonetheless, government took actions to benefit the most powerful in society who were best connected and provided the most support to the politicians, even though the majority (even of white Southerners) were economically disadvantaged. Lincoln ended that practice and in this sense is a true, modern conservative acting to limit government power and its collusion with private elites.

    American society and the economy had developed to become nothing even resembling free markets up to Teddy Roosevelt’s administration. The economy was dominated by a small number of “trusts” or monopolies as we would call them today. Collaboration by these concentrations of private power with the government was stifling innovation and growth, as well as the freedom of a nascent American middle class. Had Teddy not used government to bust these monopolies and impose well-considered regulation as he did, we would not have any element of a free market responsive to citizens and consumers today.

    By Ronald Reagan’s time, FDR, LBJ, Jimmy Carter (and to some degree other Republican presidents as well) had allowed government power to expand to the degree that it was stifling economic productivity and growth. Reagan’s main accomplishment was to free the private sector as much as he could given constraints imposed by Democrats in the Congress. The result was tremendous economic growth and a reassertion of American leadership worldwide.

    These Republicans, all of whose philosophies were based on creating the most freedom with the least government possible, exemplify the virtues of a modern-day conservative. These three are my Republican role models. They all understood that an appropriate balance of power between the private and public sectors is vital to maintain personal freedom and economic productivity.

    I agree that we don’t want Ron Paul as Secretary of Transportation but at least he’s honest when he speaks to you. He doesn’t parade in front of the McCoart Building preaching the evils of big developers and then take over $1.1 million of their money when he wants their support for higher office.

  16. Riley said on 23 Dec 2009 at 1:26 pm:
    Flag comment

    My Republican Party is the one of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

    If that is the case, then you should like Connaughton as SecTrans.

    Lincoln developed the national railroad system so the West could be developed.

    T. Roosevelt oversaw the construction of the Panama Canal to speed up commerce and enhance U.S. national security.

    Reagan turned the gas tax into a user fee as part of a deal to raise it to fund highway construction.

  17. Just the Facts said on 23 Dec 2009 at 1:46 pm:
    Flag comment

    Riley, I read your blog and have too high a regard for you to believe you just compared a local political hack like Connaughton to Lincoln, T. Roosevelt and Reagan. Please tell me that’s not what you just did.

  18. Just the Facts said on 23 Dec 2009 at 1:52 pm:
    Flag comment

    Everyone - I’m closing shop early today and will be away until Monday. Agree or disagree with my views have a Merry Christmas (Sean included) and we’ll resume the debate next week! This is the time to put aside our differences and wish each other well.

  19. Anonymous said on 23 Dec 2009 at 2:51 pm:
    Flag comment

    Hey Just the Facts, from reading the local paper today I would say that the currant Chairman of the Board is very happy about the appointment and said some glowing things about Sean.

  20. anon said on 23 Dec 2009 at 8:26 pm:
    Flag comment

    JTF -

    If you think that Riley compared Connaughton to any of those guys you are in SERIOUS need of reading comprehension skills.

    I hope Santa gives you a reading comprehension workbook this Christmas!

  21. Robert L. Duecaster said on 24 Dec 2009 at 10:49 am:
    Flag comment


    Good points. Have a great holiday.

    To all who celebrate it: Merry Christmas.
    To all: Stay safe. Enjoy.

  22. Tres said on 24 Dec 2009 at 11:00 am:
    Flag comment


    I think your comment on what the maritime industry is shows your lack of any real understanding of the transportation industry. Maritime companies drive the ports, shipyards, railways, trucking companies and anything else that touches the movement of goods. Major companies like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target actually relocate distribution centers around the logistics networks established by major carriers like Maersk, CGM, APL, etc. In fact, much of the new road and rail work in the Portsmouth area to Roanoke was not driven by commuters, but by the decision of APM and Maersk to open the largest terminal on the east coast in Portsmouth.

    Before judging experience realize that the maritime industry is intermodal and is in the position to dictate to many other transportation segments how the entire supply chain will operate. In many ways, someone who has held a role overseeing the entire industry is best suited for a wholistic view of the system.


Comments are closed.

Views: 2026