RICHMOND, VA – Longtime conservative leader, 2014 U.S. Senate candidate and 2017 Republican candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie released the following statement Monday on Governor Terry McAuliffe and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed reforms to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
“The McAuliffe-Northam proposal is too little, too late. Their reforms tinker around the edges of VEDP operations and fail to address the more fundamental issues with the administration’s approach to economic development. And these modest changes come three years into the administration and only after an embarrassing public report. This legislative package, like most of the McAuliffe-Northam economic strategy, was designed to be a press release, not a solution.
“Reform is desperately needed at VEDP, but Governor McAuliffe and Lieutenant Governor Northam had their chance and they blew it. In fact, Lieutenant Governor Northam left early or failed to attend 73 percent of VEDP board meetings before the JLARC report. We can’t change things by electing the same people who’ve been part of the problem.
“There are positive steps that can be taken to improve VEDP, and Chairman Dan Clemente is deeply involved in that process already. But it will take the leadership of Virginia’s next governor to impose coordination across state government, hold people accountable, and develop a comprehensive strategy to get Virginia growing again. I will put forward a serious, substantive plan that does just that because Virginians deserve better than the last four years. With the right policies we can and should be among the top states in economic growth again.”