- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 5, 2009

RICHMOND | Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell said Wednesday that he plans to transform his campaign proposals into law, relying on a mandate from the Republican sweep that he led.

From selling the state’s liquor stores as a way to raise transportation money to restoring budget cuts to public safety, Mr. McDonnell was unflinching during his first news conference since his landslide victory Tuesday in pledging their enactment.

Relaxed and smiling after his bruising campaign against Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, Mr. McDonnell said he would begin work in earnest on policy issues and appointments to his transition team and Cabinet after a weekend family football trip to his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. McDonnell discouraged current Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, from weaving tax increases into a new state budget as a way to deal with a projected shortfall topping $1 billion.

“I would hope we could work together so that whatever the governor is able to propose [are] things that I could support, but he’s governor. We only have one governor at a time,” Mr. McDonnell said. “We may or may not agree on that.”

Mr. McDonnell said he would appoint a panel to begin drafting major campaign pledges into bills, particularly transportation funding plans that include privatizing Virginia’s state-owned liquor stores and greater use of public-private road-building ventures funded by tolls.

Mr. McDonnell said President Obama called Wednesday to congratulate him on a campaign that won 59 percent of the vote in Virginia. Mr. McDonnell said he reciprocated by praising the president’s teacher merit-pay and charter-schools initiatives.

He introduced a slate of advisers that includes Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman and CEO of Dominion Resources Inc., the state’s dominant electrical utility, and a 1972 high school classmate; Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling; and William C. Mims, who took over as attorney general after Mr. McDonnell resigned in February to campaign full time. He also said his campaign manager, Phil Cox, will direct his transition team and campaign spokesman J. Tucker Martin will be its communications director.

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