Senate candidate or no Senate candidate, Chris Saxman still voted for a tax hike

November 30, 2007

By the time my next post is slapped up (or indeed, by the time you read this), Delegate Chris Saxman may already be a candidate for the U.S. Senate (Bacon’s Rebellion and Too Conservative), and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of buzz and plenty of support – including support from the blogosphere.

I, however, am compelled to remind everyone that Chris Saxman voted for HB3202, the transportation tax hike of 2007. As such, he both unreliable on limited government issues and all-but-certain to get crushed in the general election. I don’t care if he’s a “new face” – northern Virginia and Hampton Roads voters will vote against him just on HB3202 alone.

The alternative to Jim Gilmore is not Chris Saxman; it’s Bob Marshall.


I guess I’ll be able to enjoy myself after all

November 30, 2007

I’m taking a big risk by trusting Ben Tribbett (a.k.a. Not Larry Sabato), especailly since this is just too good to be true (CAPS in original):

TOM DAVIS IS BOYCOTTING THE ADVANCE

HIS STAFF IS TELLING PEOPLE HE DOESN’T WANT TO MINGLE WITH PEOPLE THAT WANT TO DESTROY THE PARTY!!!!

Now, Tom Davis was one of the leading movers and shakers behind the HB3202 debacle and the subsequent pasting the party received on November 6. For him to claim that those of us who opposed this nonsense “want to destroy the party” is outrageous, ridiculous, and slanderous.

Still, as someone who’ll be attending the Advance tomorrow afternoon, I’m too happy to care right now, because this means I won’t have to endure Mr. Milquetoast.

So Ben, you better be right.


Constitution, shmonstitution, we’re taking your money now!

November 30, 2007

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (one of the bastard twins spawned by HB3202 – the transportation tax hike of 2007) has decided to starting imposing taxes on northern Virginians before the State Supreme Court rules on the legality of said taxes (Washington Examiner, emphasis added):

Northern Virginians will begin paying new taxes and fees to fund transportation Jan. 1 even though the state Supreme Court will not have ruled on the levies’ legality.

The state’s high court is scheduled to hear arguments in January in a lawsuit challenging the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s power to impose the new taxes and fees.

. . .

We realized we need to start right away,” said David Snyder, who heads the authority’s legal subcommittee. “We would rather have to deal with refunds than give up the revenue we would not collect during that waiting period.”

Thank you, Mr. Snyder, for reminding us all that in a decision like this, bureaucrats like you always err on the side seizing more taxpayer money.

Sadly, even one of the very few elected officials who stood up to this nonsense last spring is standing down now:

“I am still opposed to the taxes and fees being collected, but if they are going to be collected, it seems to me that the NVTA should get on with its work,” said Del. Jeff Frederick, R-Prince William County, an NVTA member who fought the funding package.

I can only assume Delegate Frederick was bored by his 59% victory a few weeks ago and wants the excitement of his 2005 nail-biter race back.

There is one voice of sanity quoted in the article:

“It shows how excited they are to raise taxes,” said James Parmalee, head of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance. “Some of the fees would be easier to refund than others. It is one thing when the government has a record and can send you a refund check, but every single auto repair shop would have the burden of refunding money to all of their customers.”

“It shows how excited they are to raise taxes.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Put away the sharp objects over at Democratic Central – Murtha just complemented the surge

November 30, 2007

Almost a week ago, I noticed Democratic Central blogger cvllelaw making (at best) a stunning mistake on how the military releases information about Iraq.

During that particularly mistaken post, c-law cited the doves’ favorite politician – John Murtha – to justify skepticism about DoD was telling us:

. . . I find myself agreeing with Jack Murtha, who was on camera yesterday challenging a reporter who asked him about such reports. And Murtha’s angry answer was, “And you believe them? You believe what they tell you over at the Pentagon?”

I can only imagine c-law’s reaction to this (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, h/t Bruce McQain at Q and O and Jerry Fuhrman at From on High):

U.S. Rep. John Murtha today said he saw signs of military progress during a brief trip to Iraq last week . . . “I think the ‘surge’ is working,” the Democrat said in a videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the president’s decision to commit more than 20,000 additional combat troops this year.

Now, Murtha still has issues with the Iraqi government, but then again, so do I. The important thing here is that Murtha’s hell-bent opposition to our liberation efforts has literally frozen over. His fellow Democrats are already scrambling (Politico, h/t McQuain):

“This could be a real headache for us,” said one top House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Pelosi is going to be furious.”

To say nothing about cvllelaw.


Party registration bill introduced

November 30, 2007

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter has introduced a measure to bring party registration to Virginia, the very thing i recommended yesterday (of course, Lingamfelter did it before I said a word).

How much of a no-brainer is this? Well, when Greg Letiecq (a.k.a. Black Velvet Bruce Li) and James Young (see first comment) can both support it, the discussion is over.


The "loyalty oath" and the history of Democrats messing up GOP nominations

November 29, 2007

I must confess to being a little surprised at the vehement reaction to the new Virginia Republican half-pledge for presidential primary voters. Leslie Carbone has been particularly scathing, but as she notes, she’s not alone.

This is not to say I think the pledge was a good idea. I think Doug Mataconis (a.k.a. Below the Beltway) hits the nail on the head:

Either change Virginia law to provide that only “registered” party members can vote in primaries or pick your candidate via convention.

Indeed, “closed” primaries (which is where only registered members vote) is the better course.

That said, I am surprised that there seems to be so little concern for Democrats influencing the GOP nomination process. Limited-government supporters in particular have been badly burned by Democratic meddling, which – contrary to the ridiculously ignorant reporting in MSM – has been going on for well over fifty years.

In 1952, the party faced an enormous and painful task. With the Democratic party divided and foundering, American voters were looking to the Republicans for leadership for the first time in twenty years. The GOP itself faced a dramatic battle between General Dwight Eisenhower (the candidate of the party’s pro-New Deal “left” wing) and Ohio Senator Robert Taft (the pro-limited government candidate and the favorite of the party’s right).

During the nomination battle (as noted by Stephen Ambrose in Nixon – Volume I: The Education of a Politician (1913-1962), Southern Democrats took over some state GOP conventions in order to send their own delegates (who supported Eisenhower) to the national convention. The state leaders (mostly loyal to Taft) disallowed them because they were Democrats. Eisenhower – who didn’t have a majority at the convention without the questionable delegates – convinced delegates from the other GOP candidates (Earl Warren – yes, that Earl Warren – and Harold Stassen) to support seating his delegates. He carried the vote, got his delegates, and cruised to the nomination on the first ballot.

Taft supporters were livid (many refused to support Eisenhower at all); more to the point, the best chance for a campaign on the wisdom of the New Deal (let alone the possibility of returning to the more limited government of the pre-1933 era) was gone. Eisenhower won the general election in a landslide, most of his southern “Republican” delegates went back to the Democrats, and the Eisenhower Administration largely aligned with the southern Democrats throughout the 1950s. As a result, federal spending began an upward spiral (it doubled – at least – in every decade from the 1950s to the 1980s).

For the record, I make no implication about Earl Warren’s subsequent appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. As hard as it is to believe now, Warren had a right-wing reputation back then (he had been a strike-breaking Governor of California), and his appointment was widely supported.

For Republicans worried about Democratic interference (at least those of us with long memories or an above-average knowledge of history), there is no better example than the convention of 1952. However, there have been other Democratic shenanigans. Fairfax County’s history is replete with Democrats using the open primary to get the weakest GOP candidate nominated. Conversely, in the 54th House of Delegates District (my home district), supporters of tax-hiking Republican Bobby Orrock openly invited Democrats to vote for him in the GOP primary against his low-tax, limited government challenger (Full Disclosure: said challenger was my close friend, Shaun Kenney).

So the concern about Democratic interference is hardly paranoid or imaginary; on the contrary, it has a long history that should not be dismissed.

That said, the cure looks worse than the disease here. Since the VA Democrats are holding their own primary on the same day, cross-party interference is not very likely. Also, our primary is on the 12th of February, one week after the Super-Duper Tuesday of February 5, which just might settle both nominations. Finally, even if the GOP race is the only competitive one on the 12th (a scenario that is hardly impossible), it would take a lot of work for the Democrats to organize to the point of overriding the wishes of GOP voters, and it would be impossible to do so without it becoming public, and thus greatly devaluing the entire exercise. The conventions of old and local primaries were and are small enough for a concentrated group of outsiders to gum up the works; a statewide primary is, in my view, to big for something like that (otherwise, George Fitch would have done far better in the 2005 gubernatorial primary against Jerry Kilgore).

So, IMHO, the party should ask the state to change the voter law and allow voters to register with parties – on the condition that they can’t change their registration until the following year (which is how it was, and I think still is, done in New Jersey, where I grew up). You’d be surprised how many Democrats will stay away from a Republican primary so they don’t get labeled as a Republican for the ensuing twelve months (and vice versa).


Shaun Kenney returns

November 29, 2007

The fellow who helped bring me into Spotsylvania politics (for which I’ll never forgive him – just kidding) and the VA blogosphere (for which I’ll always be grateful) is out of the straitjacket – ahem, position – of RPV Communications Director and back in the blogosphere.

Welcome back, Shaun.


Huckabee called to the carpet . . .

November 28, 2007

. . . by, of all people the Associated Press (via Yahoo):

Huckabee likes to say he was tough on taxes in Arkansas, noting a $100 million tax cut in 1997 that until this year was Arkansas’ largest. When asked about a fuel tax increase he backed in 1999, Huckabee says incorrectly that he joined 80 percent of Arkansas voters in approving it.

Huckabee in 1999 supported a $1 billion highway bond program, including costs for interest and lawyers’ fees, but the question on the ballot was only whether the state could take on the debt, not how Arkansas would pay for it. Huckabee had signed the fuel tax increase two months earlier.

Shortly after taking office, Huckabee took a four-day trip by bass boat along the Arkansas River to tout a 1/8th-cent sales tax increase for outdoor programs. (Two nature centers now carry the names of Huckabee and his wife.) Taxes went up $40 million in the months before the $100 million tax cut Huckabee touts.

Ask not what your Governor can do for you; ask how much you have to pay for your Governor to immortalize himself on a “nature center.”


I am not a Redskin fan . . .

November 27, 2007

. . . but who cares?

Sean Taylor, Rest In Peace.


More reasons to oppose Mike Huckabee

November 26, 2007

Reason #1 – Mother Jones likes him (Jonathan Stein, h/t Jim Geraghty):

The DNC is joining the GOP chorus and slamming Huckabee for being a tax-and-spend politician. I think that’s just lame. Democrats support the sort of fiscal responsibility that Huckabee was able to demonstrate: he spent on the right things (mostly), taxed when necessary, cut taxes when possible, and managed the budget in a way that left the state’s finances better off. I know the Democrats aren’t going to praise a Republican, but at least they can withhold their fire on a pol with such a respectable record.

Especially here: “As Governor, Huckabee implemented an increase on everything from cigarettes, to gasoline and even on driver’s licenses,” a DNC spokesperson said. Democrats support taxes on cigarettes and gasoline! Can it, DNC!

Reason #2 – Bill Howell (a chief architect of the transportation tax hike of 2007) is his Virginia campaign chairman (Shad Plank).

Need I say more?


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