RICHMOND – Likely Democratic and Republican rivals in next year's U.S. Senate race actually agree on something.
In a rare joint statement, Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine lamented the decrepit condition of all five school buildings on military bases in Virginia and pledged support for congressional efforts to improve them.
They singled out Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner, who joined 11 other senators from both parties petitioning Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to upgrade the school buildings beset by leaking roofs, overcrowding, corrosion and mold that children of military households attend.
"Don't we as a country have a responsibility to these men and women – and their families – to ensure their children are provided for as their parents fight for our country?" the joint statement rhetorically asks.
"The simple answer is `Yes,' and neither of us sees this as a partisan issue – or will allow it to become one," they said in a coordinated release from both campaigns.
The statement continues by touting a proposal to allow private contractors and investors tax credits as incentives to renovate dilapidated public schools.
A similar model was used to revive an inner city high school in Richmond when Kaine was mayor, has Warner's support in the Senate, and has been advocated nationally by Allen jointly with Virginia Democratic strategist Paul Goldman.