On Welcoming George Allen to Montgomery County’s Lincoln Dinner
By MCGOP Chairman, Mark Uncapher, MCGOP Chairman
This year we are especially pleased to hear at our Montgomery County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner from George Allen, the former governor of and Senator from Virginia.
We Marylanders enjoy a very healthy competition with business-friendly Virginia. Our two states’ proximity to each other within the Washington Metropolitan area has provided a useful testbed to the impact that competing economic policies can have on job creation. Maryland has too often allowed itself to be on the losing side of that competition. For the past several decades, both jobs and population within the Washington metropolitan area have shifted to the west side of the Potomac River.
The resulting trends paint a very compelling picture of the consequences that state and local government policies have on communities. In fact, a significant component of our region’s traffic challenges can be traced to commuting patterns as Virginia’s long-term growth has allowed it to become a major employment center within our region. The majority of Montgomery County residents now must travel more than 10 miles to reach their jobs.
During the past four years, however, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s common-sense approach has dramatically improved our own state’s competitiveness. His laser-like focus on making government more responsive and more job growth friendly has helped Maryland go from one of the least attractive states for new job creation to one of the best.
In making these improvements for our state, Governor Hogan has followed policies which as governor, George Allen pursued himself.
A self-described “Common Sense Jeffersonian Conservative,” Allen had the distinction of holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia General Assembly. As governor, he put into practice many of the ideas and concepts that he worked on while serving in Mr. Jefferson’s seat.
Sworn in as governor in 1994, Allen set about to bring sweeping reform that would make Virginia a national model for economic development, public safety, education accountability, welfare reform, and creative government. He challenged critics and public sentiment that suggested it couldn’t be done, reining in government spending and substantially reducing the size of the state’s workforce. Moreover, he accomplished his reform agenda with bi-partisan support.
Elected to the U.S. Senate to represent Virginia in 2000, he advocated for the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that spurred opportunities for more job creation and created the Competitive Caucus to keep America the “world capital of innovation.” Senator Allen was one of about a dozen senators to vote against the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” He worked to make Congress live like families do – within its means – by introducing and advocating for real budget reform including a balanced budget amendment, line item veto, and a paycheck penalty for Members of Congress when they fail to pass appropriations bills on time.
We Maryland Republicans proudly promote “Hogan-style” government as a model worth replicating throughout the state. Yet, the playbook that Governor Hogan follows is very much a model that was been tried before. And it has worked before. Governors such as George Allen have demonstrated as much.