(Cross-posted at Dem Bones)
Latin for “where are we going,” it’s a question that should be floating around many offices on Capitol Hill. For freshman Democrat Tom Perriello, the challenge is even more daunting. Tom promised a different kind of politics on the trail through the Fifth, a promise he followed through on by staying above Virgil Goode’s false, negative attack ads. The old kind of politics that Goode had waged in his 12 years in office was most notable for his tendency to secure appropriations earmarks for certain community projects, giving him the opportunity to go to a ribbon-cutting and drum up goodwill, and then quietly vote against the federal programs that would make those projects last long into the future.
Tom faces the difficult task of not getting sucked into Goode’s old, tired tactics, while still getting himself the notoriety within the district that will get him reelected so he can keep fighting the good fight. With his seat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he’s well positioned to provide Southside and the Danville/Martinsville corridor with the framework they need for future economic development. Below are two short-term and two long-term initiatives that will both do real good, more than just a Band-Aid fix, and give Tom the chance to stand beside “his” projects in the District.