Former Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen is sounding an awful lot like candidate George Allen these days.
Allen is expected to mount a 2012 challenge to U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, the Democrat who defeated Allen in a close 2006 election. A statement Allen issued this morning — criticizing Webb for supporting a bill that would give police officers and firefighters collective bargaining rights — suggests the Republican already is in campaign mode.
You can read the statement below. Interestingly, Allen is quick to note that Webb “canceled out” the vote of Virginia’s junior senator, Democrat Mark Warner. The bill failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Warner was one of only three Democrats who voted against advancing the measure.
“No one expects both of our Senators to agree all the time, but when one persists on negating the other, the will of a vast majority of Virginians is ignored, and the Commonwealth is bumped from a leadership role and onto the sidelines,” Allen says.
It’s hard to imagine that Allen would campaign as a candidate who is more closely aligned with Mark Warner than Jim Webb is. But take a look at what he has to say here:
“For the second time in barely a week, Senator Webb has canceled out Senator Warner’s vote on an issue of great importance to Virginians and our Commonwealth’s economy.
“This week, Virginia had no say in the Senate when Senator Webb sided with Washington liberals, like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, cancelling out Senator Warner’s vote by supporting the forced unionization of public safety workers. Just last week, Virginia had no impact on runaway spending when Senator Webb again broke with Virginians and negated Senator Warner’s vote on banning costly earmarks. These votes denied our Commonwealth a voice in the Senate on two key jobs and spending issues and are hopelessly out of touch with the views of the vast majority of Virginians.
“Virginia has long placed the safety of citizens ahead of the interests of Big Labor by preventing the forced unionization of public safety workers. This unionization intrusion is a direct attack on our law and the abilities of local governments to adequately protect their citizens according to their needs and fiscal resources. Senator Webb’s vote would open the door to the stifling and costly inevitability of increasing the local bargaining authority of union bosses.
“As a former governor, I am keenly aware of the value of Virginia’s Right-to-Work law in attracting and keeping jobs in the Commonwealth. Senator Webb either does not understand our Right-to-Work law or willfully ignores its value in deference to his big labor benefactors.
“No one expects both of our Senators to agree all the time, but when one persists on negating the other, the will of a vast majority of Virginians is ignored, and the Commonwealth is bumped from a leadership role and onto the sidelines.”