Virginia House Democrats launched a Web site Tuesday to play up their job creation efforts and highlight the “radical” Tea Party agenda that they say has distracted GOP delegates from that task.
The Web site, called Virginia Jobs First, includes a summary of bills submitted by Democratic delegates during the last General Assembly session.The bills would have created jobs for Virginians if GOP lawmakers hadn’t killed them, the site says.
“In August, Virginia lost over 9500 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.3%,” the site says. “But even as thousands of Virginia families are still out of work, Speaker Bill Howell and House Republicans have been more concerned about nullifying federal law and creating a new system of money.
“That’s not serious leadership when Virginia has lost over 120,000 jobs since December 2007 ... . Job creation isn’t keeping up with our population growth and we’ve even lost one quarter of the few jobs we have gained since February 2010.”
The caucus launched the site on the same day that Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who ran on the slogan “Bob’s for Jobs,” trumpeted news that he’d lured a Utah-based online outdoor gear retailer to open an outpost in Montgomery County.
Backcountry.com, which operates under that name as well as SteepandCheap.com, Dogfunk.com, WhiskeyMilitia.com, CompetitiveCyclist.com, RealCyclist.com, Bonktown.com, HuckNroll.com, Chainlove.com and DepartmentofGoods.com, will create more than 200 new jobs at Falling Branch Corporate Park, McDonnell said.
“This would be a much more effective press release if it had any basis in reality,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said via e-mail when asked to respond to the Democrats’ announcement. “Here are the facts: since Governor McDonnell took office, unemployment in Virginia has fallen from 7.2 to 6.3 percent. That's nearly 3 points lower than the national average, third lowest East of the Mississippi and the lowest rate in the Southeast. Also, CNBC and Pollina just named Virginia the best state in America for business.
“Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I have to assume the Democrats aren't being intentionally disingenuous. Therefore that leads me to believe that either newspapers don't get delivered to their offices in Richmond or no one there has bothered to open one recently. That's a shame. Hopefully they will open tomorrow's so they can read about today's announcement of 200 new jobs in Montgomery County.”