Wash Post: Connaughton to be Sec Transport

By Too Conservative

If this is true..it would be great news for the Commonwealth!


Comments

  • Brian S. says:

    I’m going to have to give Sean a hard time about this one. I heard the rumors but I’m glad to see he’s back in government. I hope the commute from PWC to Richmond is easier than his commute to DC was!

  • Chris says:

    Meh.

    I would like to see an actual transportation expert, an engineer perhaps, someone in the profession rather than a political appointee. But whatever, I guess its better than JMDD.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    This story, if accurate, is an indicator that McDonnell really does intend to provide substantive governance. That was the winning theme of the campaign, and it looks like the new Administration is taking things seriously enough that they are reaching out for talent. Connaughton did a masterful job as head of the Maritime Administration. That agency had been moribund for years and he made it respectable. It seems a little bit of a retrograde movement to go from being a federal Administrator to being a a state Secretary of Transportation (with a stop in industry in between). But if this is true, McDonnell deserves a lot of credit for finding a way to lure a very able executive into a very difficult job. Connaughton deserves credit for giving up a great international job with good pay to go back into public service. Let’s hope a lot of this happens in the McDonnell Administration. There are a lot of talented people in Virginia. Unfortunately, most of them never come near the state government.

  • Brian S. says:

    Sean is a transportation expert. His sector may be maritime, but you’d be surprised how intermodel maritime is. We tie in pretty much every other mode in some way, and his experience at MARAD is easily applicable to VDOT. You don’t need engineers in a job that is 95% management and politics.

  • Brian S. says:

    NoVA Scout, Sean would have stayed in government – he was appointed to the Federal Maritime Commission by President Bush in mid 2008, but the Democrats never allowed his nomination to come to the floor of the Senate and it lapsed.

  • Dan says:

    Connaughton is a capable guy. This seems like a solid appointment.
    .
    I wonder if his accepting it is an indication that he may have future plans in elective politics? He is better than many on your team.
    .
    Frankly, I wish he had won the Lt. Gov. primary in 2005.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    The FMC could have used him, Brian. It was sheer partisan politics that caused that confirmation not to get to the floor of the Senate.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    Dan – it would be nearly miraculous to take being Secretary of Transportation in Virginia and use it as a platform for elective office. That job will be virtually impossible to do well. Connaughton is more talented than most, but if he tries to do things that are creative and meaningful in a time of budgetary collapse, he will make a lot of enemies. If he trims his sails to economic and fiscal realities and opts for a more limited program, he will make lots of enemies. Realistically, anyone taking that job is doing so out of a passion for public service. It will be like grabbing a cactus every day.

  • Dan says:

    NoVA Scout, you are right about it being a thankless task in which pleasing everyone (even most) will be impossible. But sometimes doing a good job and doing what you think is best is ultimately rewarded (Life sometimes screws up and is fair). And the economy may be somewhat more cooperative than expected. There are signs of life. The wheels are beginning to turn. Albeit slowly.
    .
    Considering all the substandard types in politics it would be nice to see someone with Connaughton’s ability have a future.

  • Brian S. says:

    NoVA Scout – you’re right. It was just politics, which was sad because Sean had bipartisan support on the committee. It was simply a leadership decision that no Bush appointees would be considered after a certain point.

  • James Young says:

    It wasn’t unique to Connaughton. Senate Dems did the same thing with National Labor Relations Board appointments, and phonily (?) stayed in session to prevent recess appointments. ‘Course, Senate Republicans lacked the testicular fortitude to call them on it by asking for quorum calls….

  • The Professor says:

    Thank God. Someone who has experienced the horrors of VDOT (from his time as a local official) and knows that it needs massive reform. Please, Sean, clean house. Stop the wacky regs. Enact process improvement. You’ll save a ton of money with just those steps.

  • RABBLE ROUSER says:

    Another Prince William County person leading VDOT (Pierce Homer being the current head)? I guess he knows shipping! Ahoy, Maties!

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