I write this post more in sadness then in anger. Yet I am compelled to write it all the same. I have been patient, regarding Ken Cuccinelli and his position regarding the transportation tax increase. I have been patient since exactly two weeks ago when Cuccinelli’s first response came to light - a maddeningly vague paragraph that did not even address the increase in taxes, let alone oppose it.
During those two weeks, of the nine other Republican candidates for statewide office in Virginia, six of them have spoken out against raising taxes for transportation (including both candidates for Attorney General and four of seven candidates for Lieutenant Governor)…
…and I have waited…
…until today, when Cuccinelli responded to Dick Saslaw’s angry insistence that his party will not pass any transportation tax increase with the following:
Attorney General Cuccinelli Responds To Senator Saslaw’s Attempt To Derail A Transportation CompromiseYesterday, Senate Democratic Party Leader Dick Saslaw responded to the GOP redistricting plan for the state senate saying “Transportation is no longer alive. It is gone,… dead.”
Attorney General Cuccinelli responded to Senator Saslaw’s unrestrained threats to derail any transportation compromise during the General Assembly session: “As someone who has repeatedly supported bipartisan redistricting plans – including when my party was in the majority – I have sought to improve Virginia’s redistricting process. However, the Democrats’ threat to throw away the potential to advance transportation during this legislative session out of pure partisan spite ignores the needs of Virginia. Virginians deserve better.”
Then-Senator Cuccinelli’s first redistricting bill can be found here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?081+ful+SB105.
Derail a Transportation Compromise?!?!??
Mr. Cuccinelli, to quote John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!”
Any “compromise” with Senate Democrats would mean and even larger tax increase than the one from Governor McDonnell. It calls for movement in precisely the wrong direction. Even worse, after Dick Saslaw – of all people – slams the door on tax increases, Cuccinelli tries to pry it open again.
I’ve heard whispers about Cuccinelli taking a page from the Kilgore 2005 playbook - i.e., ignore completely a tax increase that divides the party and hope no one remembers come Election Day - but I refused to believe it. I knew how badly Cuccinelli was burned during the transportation tax fiasco of 2007. Maybe he forgot.
Too bad, because so long as Cuccinelli continues to spin this fog around himself, he is succumbing to political expediency at behest of principle and leadership. He is running scared, and when you run scared in politics, you lose.
In fact, you deserve to lose.