- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

For the past six years and previously as governor from 1994-1998, Sen. George Allen has ably represented the Commonwealth of Virginia. A vigorous conservative, he is a good choice for both moderate and conservative voters this November. The Washington Times endorses him for re-election to the U.S. Senate over Democratic challenger James Webb.

Mr. Allen’s opponents have tried to obscure his record, which is no surprise. Mr. Allen has voted to cut taxes; opposed illegal immigration; supported the Patriot Act and other tough antiterrorismmeasures; supported our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; and voted for conservative judges. He has also pushed free trade; defended traditional marriage; expanded opportunities for education and health care; aggressively worked to improve benefits for veterans; and sponsored economic, transportation and military initiatives which improved the livelihoods of Virginians across the state. That’s a record the citizens of the Commonwealth can applaud.

Not so well known is Mr. Allen’s record on local matters: Mr. Allen has pushed to widen I-66 inside the Beltway and helped spur the Springfield Interchange and Wilson Bridge projects. He pushed the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project and widening of I-95 between Route 123 and the Fairfax County Parkway. He has secured $3.63 billion in federal nanotechnology funding, the largest such investment in history. He has fought to prevent discriminatory and innovation-stifling taxation on Internet businesses. He has secured greater rates of return for Virginia’s gas-tax dollars, which means more federal money for roads, highways and other state infrastructure.

He has also done right by Virginia’s veterans. He has pushed for active-duty-equivalent health and education benefits for reservists and members of the National Guard. He sponsored legislation to increase the service member’s death benefit from $12,000 to $100,000. He saved the Defense and Veterans Brain-Injury Center from a damaging budget cut and found scarce dollars to improve its treatment of wounded service members. He has also helped finance unprecedented health-care improvements at the Department of Veterans Affairs which has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years.

As governor of Virginia, Mr. Allen cut taxes by $1 billion, abolished parole for violent criminals and swept away years of inefficient government regulations. A decade later these accomplishments still yield dividends for Virginians.

In a Senate with as slim a Republican majority as the current one — one which could shrink this November — there are scenarios in which a George Allen loss would flip the Senate to Democratic control. That would likely mean no more constitutionalist judges, no tough immigration reform, withdrawal from Iraq, a dismantling of tough antiterrorism measures; and paralysis on much of the Bush administration’s remaining agenda. The stakes are high.

James Webb is an intelligent and honorable servant of his country, but he is not the man conservatives remember as President Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy in 1987-88. This estranged Republican-turned-Democrat is now a pro-choice, pro-homosexual “marriage,” anti-Iraq war liege of the Democratic party. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have campaigned for Mr. Webb, and he will be honored by Bill Clinton this week. An intensely negative campaign on behalf of the challenger has partially obscured the chasm between Mr. Webb’s current views and those of conservative Virginia. It can’t be hidden, however. The James Webb of 2006 is too liberal for the Commonwealth.

For Virginians who favor low taxes, strong defense, limited government and traditional values, George Allen is the clear choice for U.S. Senate. This newspaper endorses him without reservation.

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