The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the relationship between Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and a major campaign donor, but that does not mean the governor isn’t interested in convincing the FBI to relocate its headquarters to the commonwealth.
In a letter last week to FBI Director Robert Mueller and Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator for the General Services Administration, McDonnell argued that a federally owned warehouse in Springfield makes the best location for the FBI to consolidate as many as 11,000 employees.
In the letter, the republican governor lays out a range of arguments on behalf of the site, among them proximity to existing FBI , security and military facilities. He suggested that because GSA already owns the warehouse “the transaction mechanism that guarantees federal government ownership of the campus is both clean and easy.”
McDonnell also mentions the relocation moves that companies including Northrop Grumman, Intelsat, Science Applications International Corp., Hilton and Volkswagen have made to the state in part to take advantage of its transportation advantages and educated workforce. Big-name developers own property immediately near the site.
In endorsing the Springfield warehouse, McDonnell backs members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who have been pushing the site since January.Supervisor Jeffrey C. McKay (D-Lee) issued a press release thanking McDonnell “for further highlighting the reasons why Springfield makes the most sense for the FBI.” Officials in Loudoun and Prince William counties, however, are likely to be dismayed that the governor elected to endorse a single site outside of the jurisdictions.
The governor dated the letter April 30, the day after the FBI’s inquiry into his campaign donor was reported. In closing, he invites Mueller to tour the site, which could make for some interesting conversation: “Please accept my personal invitation to you to visit the GSA Warehouse site in Springfield at your convenience to discuss its unique attributes with community leaders and state officials.”
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