Not-so-breaking news: George Allen likes having the Redskins in his home state.
The former governor and current Senate candidate said during a visit to a Sterling hardware store Wednesday that he supported the recent $6.4 million deal struck by Gov. Robert McDonnell (R) to keep the team’s training facility in nearby Ashburn, even though the agreement has sparked some controversy in Richmond.
Of course, Allen isn’t just the Republican nominee to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D). He’s also the son of former Redskins coach George Allen and the brother of current team GM Bruce Allen. So he almost deflected a question on the subject. Almost.
“I’m not going to comment on it,” Allen said, before deciding to do so anyway.
“I understand what the governor did,” he said. “I understand why he wanted to keep the Redskins training facility here. I do know Prince George’s County, Maryland, as well as … the District are trying to get them to move. … I don’t want to get into matters that are close family issues, but my father brought the Redskins down what’s now Route 28 41 years ago to Virginia. So I’m happy the Redskins are staying.”
McDonnell’s deal has caused tension with the General Assembly, as some lawmakers have complained that they should have been consulted. And some fellow Republicans believe such economic incentive packages amount to corporate welfare.
But Allen made the case that keeping the team would be a boost to the state’s economy.
“These folks are really happy the Redskins are staying here,” Allen said, referring to the employees of the Sterling hardware store Tart Lumber, “because they were talking about the economic impact of players getting things done on their homes. … Having the Redskins in Virginia, you get the income tax revenues in the state, and you get the economic impact of the sales taxes from them.”
And Richmond will also benefit from having the team’s yearly training camp, as the media will visit the city and give it a public relations boost, Allen said, before summing it all up: “Obviously, I like having the Redskins in Virginia.”