July 07, 2011 - 2:40 pm

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

Tea party Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke has unveiled a proposal to abolish the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, giving the state the option to operate the Dulles Toll Road, Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport.

“It is past time to bring accountability and transparency to MWAA. MWAA’s continued lack of accountability to Virginians or any elected representatives of the people is unacceptable and unconstitutional,” Radtke said.

“MWAA’s spending for the Dulles Metrorail Project is largely funded by Virginians in Loudoun and Fairfax counties and those who use the Dulles Toll Road,” she added. “Yet MWAA is not accountable to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia or their elected representatives, or for that matter to any federal agency or entity.”

Radtke said that if elected to the senate, she would introduce the proposal in the form of legislation.

Radtke said that in 2006, her Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine “gave MWAA unfettered power and control of the Dulles Toll Road and its revenues, without General Assembly or Congressional approval, expanding MWAA’s congressionally chartered role of operating and expanding Dulles International and Reagan National airports.”

The MWAA Board, without public input or oversight, imposed increased tolls on Northern Virginia citizens, she added, and is now mandating union work “in direct violation to Virginia right-to-work laws and benefiting out-of-state union workers to the detriment of Virginia workers.”

The MWAA board’s decision to build an underground station at Washington Dulles International Airport and its escalating cost has led many to second guess the decision to transfer authority of the Dulles Metrorail project to MWAA, though Kaine’s decision had broad bipartisan support at the time, including Republican George Allen, another senate candidate.

As the Washington Examiner recently reported, “Kaine and Allen now agree that the airports authority should heed the wishes of state and local officials who are paying for the project and who want a cheaper aboveground station at Dulles.”

“Gov. Kaine continues to support the position of the local governments in Fairfax and Loudoun counties who have said this project will cost too much if built underground and urges the airport authorities to be responsive to their concerns,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine.