McDonnell calls Europe trip a success, defends ABC privatization
Governor Bob McDonnell believes that in order to close a deal you need to see a potential client in person. It is one of many reasons that he went to Europe for 6 days to pitch companies to either open or expand their business in Virginia.
“You have to go and look the CEO in the eye,” said McDonnell “(and) tell them about the benefits of investing in Virginia, and ask for the sale.”
We spoke to the Governor today live on NBC12 First at 4 from the last leg of his trip in Frankfurt, Germany. He said that he is poised to announce a number of deals that were hatched as a direct result of the trip.
“I know, like many things in life, having a personal contact, talking to people and asking for their business is very successful and we’re hoping to have a number of announcements in the next 60 to 90 days,” he said.
McDonnell also responded to criticism from Senator Mark Warner, a former Governor himself who at one point explored privatizing the Commonwealth’s ABC stores. During a press gaggle this week Warner called McDonnell’s projections of a $500 million windfall from the sale a “wild optimistic” estimate. The Governor believes the Senator is looking at the wrong numbers.
“I don’t know if Senator Warner has done as much research on this as we have,” said McDonnell. “I will say he’s looking at numbers from Ohio which is a different model than what we’re proposing in Virginia.”
McDonnell claims that Senator Warner’s model was based on a version of privatization in Ohio that was “agency” based. In the Ohio model, the state still owns the inventory and controls its sale, but private companies act as “agents” for the state. McDonnell’s proposal would surrender government control completely and in his opinion create a free market model that would flourish.
“We believe government shouldn’t be in the business of alcohol distribution at anyway rate,” said McDonnell. “But to generate $3 to 5 million for transportation is something people ought to embrace.”
You can see our entire interview with Governor McDonnell below-
You can read the transcript on our main page NBC12.com.