Monday, February 25, 2008

Democrats Throw "Former Democratic" Delegate Under The Bus!

An interesting article worth noting arose in Saturday's Washington Post.

Evidently there is some bickering amongst Senate Democrats and former House of Delegates member Barnie Day over a SCC appointment that was somewhat promised to him over the past 6 weeks.

Barnie Day now says that he is "offended beyond speech" by the democrats and no longer wants to be a part of the Democratic Party of Virginia. Day even went so far as to refer to Senate Majority Leader "Dick" Saslaw as "gutless."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Delegate McClellan Insults Virginia's Gun Owners!

SB 476 came before the House of Delegates on Friday. This bill allows concealed weapons holders to carry their weapon into restaurants throughout the Commonwealth if they notify an employee of the establishment and do not consume alcohol while there.

Delegate McClellan thought that while debating the merits of this bill it would be an acceptable time to INSULT law-abiding concealed weapons permit holders across the state. Not only was I offended to be equated to a "Wild Wild West Gun Slinger" but so was Delegate Todd Gilbert. See video below ...

Food For Thought: This bill passed with a clear majority (62-36), and even the Minority Leader Ward Armstrong was able to see that this was a common sense measure to support...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Third Floor Just Isn’t Good Enough

When faced with a $1 billion budget shortfall, one would assume that Senate Democrats would propose a budget that would cut spending on frivolous projects and protect core services (like the House Republicans did). WRONG! In fact, Senate D’s would have us spend $300 million in new construction on state buildings. The Washington Post has more...

So the Senate Dems are telling us that, faced with massive cuts to K-12 education, they want to spend $200 million on a new Executive Office Building, $85 million on a new Tax Department building, and $16 million on a shiny new General Assembly Building? (Note: to build a new General Assembly Building (GAB), they want to build a temporary GAB, tear down the existing one, then build another GAB, this one for permanent use.) It’s one building for the price of two, but Democrats don’t care as long as taxpayers are paying for it.

Sorry, but Saslaw, Colgan, and the rest of the tax and spenders need to get their priorities straight. We know the third floor isn’t the Taj Mahal, but it will have to do.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Senate Dems: Tax & Spend as Usual

Now that we’ve seen the Governor's budget and the House Republicans’ as well, we turn to the most absurd plan of all. That would, of course, be that of the Senate Democrats.

Sadly, there isn’t much to discuss at all. Basically, the Senate Dems copied Gov. Kaine’s budget and added their own special touch: a five cent gas tax increase. (The tax would be implemented at one cent per year over five years.) We’re sure this was spearheaded by everyone’s favorite Senator, Richard Saslaw. He probably assumed everyone outside of NOVA still rode horses instead of cars, so why would they care, right?

Saslaw and the Senate D’s have a foolish financial philosophy: if the government runs short on cash, no problem. They’ll simply take it from Virginia taxpayers.

Thankfully, Senate Republicans Norment, Stolle, Stosch, and Wampler voted against the Dem's gas tax increase. Good for them. The four also voted against the Democratic budget, along with Senators Hanger, Quayle and Watkins.

On one side of the budget fight, Dems from every corner of Richmond are standing up for the interests of big government. On the other side, Republicans are standing up for the citizens of the Commonwealth. Business as usual at the state capitol.

Hats Off To Senators Norment, Hanger, and Stosch!

In todays Washington Times, Seth McLaughlin had an interesting article about how the General Assembly is no longer House Republicans vs. Senate Republicans. This truth has come to light with the recent budget disputes Senate Republicans are having with Senate Democrats. This all started because of what Senator Wampler referred to as Governor Kaine's "financially unsound" budget.

The House Republicans are proud to have such tight allies on the Senate side this year. In the Washington Times article Delegate Hamilton said, "I think there is a better sense of dialogue between House Republicans and Senate Republicans. There are much more open lines of communication and more alignment philosophically."

Monday, February 18, 2008

House Republicans Propose Responsible Budget

Yesterday, House Republicans unveiled their amendments to Gov. Kaine’s budget. In contrast to Kaine’s budget, which includes numerous new and expanded spending items (like $45 million for his pet project, Pre-K), the GOP budget reflects a more responsible approach. Republicans decided to put the needs of Virginians ahead of the needs of big government. The GOP budget protects core priorities: education, transportation, mental health, and public safety. The result is a budget that is friendly to students and taxpayers, and its central accomplishments are listed below:

*Fully funds core services.

*Restores $180 million in transportation funds directed elsewhere by the Governor.

*Includes $570 million less debt than the Governor’s package.

*Uses approximately $200 million less from the Rainy Day Fund than the Governor.

*Provides $42 million for Mental Health Reform.

*Significantly increases funding for Mental Retardation Waivers; Kaine proposed funding 150, GOP proposes funding 800.

*Finances two percent pay raise for teachers, college faculty and state employees.

Like Gov. Kaine, Republicans in the House had to find ways to cut government spending. The difference: Kaine wants to cut spending on education; Republicans want to cut spending on government programs. Here’s how:

*Review all proposed program expansions and Governor’s new initiatives.

*Reduce existing funding not dedicated to core governmental activities.

*Consolidate government agencies.

*Review programs for alternative funding sources - i.e., federal funds, fees, Literary Funds.

Basically, we end up with a budget (HB29 & HB30) that radically decreases government spending, while fully funding core services and increasing funds where they are needed the most. The House budget is a victory for the citizens of the Commonwealth, and a defeat for big government.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Democrats Unveil "Indecent" '09 Platform

On days like this, House Democrats must be thankful that session video is not provided to the public. Today, despite budget shortfalls and proposed cuts to K-12 education, House Democrats chose to talk about something else. What could have possibly preoccupied the minds of Democrats more than preserving K-12 funding today? See for yourself:

Perhaps Del. Spruill thought that bringing props would drive his point home.

Thankfully, House Republicans had their priorities straight today. Below, Del. Clarke Hogan tries to remind House Dems that there are more important things to accomplish. Will they get the message? We’ll see.

Governor Kaine is Proposing Cuts to K-12 Education!

Today, House Budget Leaders are up in arms about Governor Kaine's proposal to cut more than $220 million in K-12 education statewide.

It seems quite a coincidence that the Governor's Office happened to announce these spending cuts on the day of the Virginia Primaries... Did he honestly think we wouldn't notice these huge cuts to this core service??

The House budget will not include these drastic cuts that would be detrimental to children and teachers across the Commonwealth.

Below is the press release from House Appropriations Chairman, Delegate Lacey Putney.

House Budget Leaders Decry
Governor’s Cuts to K-12 Education

-- Republicans Dissatisfied with Kaine’s Proposed Reductions to School Funding --
-- $220 Million Cut to Education Spending Harms Every Virginia Locality --
RICHMOND, VA – In response to Governor Kaine’s proposal to address the $2 billion budget shortfall between fiscal years 2008 and 2010 by eliminating over $220 million in dedicated General Fund support for local school divisions, House Republican members of the conference committee on the state budget expressed deep concern over the negative impact on the Governor’s proposed cuts. Yesterday before the House Appropriations Committee, Finance Secretary Jody Wagner outlined the Governor’s proposed strategies for balancing the remainder of the fiscal year 2008 and 2009-2010 biennial budgets. Committee members continue to question Governor Kaine’s spending priorities as he recommends further cuts to educational aid to localities while pushing for new spending items totaling over $300 million.

“There is no doubt that Virginia’s current economic situation presents Governor Kaine and the legislature with difficult decisions on how best to allocate taxpayer funds,” noted Delegate Lacey E. Putney (I-Bedford), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “However, that is no excuse to decrease important funding for our local elementary and secondary schools. Should the Governor’s recommended education cuts be implemented, the negative impact will be felt on school children across the Commonwealth.”

“Eliminating critical state support for our local school children so that the Governor can fund new and expanded programs is the wrong way to build a budget,” commented Delegate Phil Hamilton (R-Newport News), Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “House Republicans are committed to improving the quality of life of Virginia students and adopting the Governor’s cuts to education would be counter to that goal.”

“The Governor’s cuts to education would mean $3.5 million less funding going to the localities’ schools that I represent,” said Delegate Hogan, a House budget conferee. “With our local communities struggling to deal with budgets relying on property taxes, it is ill-advised and the Commonwealth can ill-afford to pull the carpet out from under our schools. Governor Kaine’s cuts would do just that.”

With localities continuously struggling to keep up with the costs for school maintenance and construction needs, Governor Kaine’s proposed elimination of the $55 million of construction grants and the $165 million of lottery profits dedicated for school building projects seems misguided and unacceptable.
# # #

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cheap Tents & Glass Houses

We knew it was coming. When we launched this blog, we knew the Dems would fold like a cheap tent. Granted, it took longer than we thought it would. But now our little blog has apparently touched a nerve with those on the left, as evidenced by our counterpart’s blog linked to this post by Waldo. Check it out.

Perhaps the Dems have forgotten about the countless liberal blogs (including Assembly Access) that do exactly what they claim our blog is doing. Perhaps they’ve forgotten that dirty politics has been the name of the Democrats’ game in recent years.

No, they haven’t forgotten. The bottom line is that Democrats want to throw dirt on everyone else, but they don’t like it when they’re held accountable. Our friends on the other side should pay heed to the old adage that those in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks.

So, we look forward to friendly competition, and we hope our small contribution to the blogosphere doesn’t upset too many on the left. After all, Virginia Democrats invented gotcha politics. They wrote the book on how to make the other party look bad; now they’re whining because we read it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Democrat Del. Jim Scott Compares Sex Show to Civil Rights Movement

We wish we were kidding. This morning, members of the House Privileges and Elections committee questioned members of the College of William & Mary’s Board of Visitors (BoV). The BoV is responsible for, among other things, deciding whether or not to re-appoint President Gene Nichol. Nichol, as we discussed in Tuesday’s post, is an embarrassment to his college and his state. The BoV heard from many Republican Delegates that Nichol should not be re-appointed.

However, Delegate Jim Scott (D-Merrifield) chose instead to defend the recent Sex Workers’ Art Show that was allowed on campus at William & Mary. In the video below, Del. Scott compares the sex show to the civil rights movement, arguing the two events are no different; that in fact, just as resistance to the civil rights movement was wrong, so in Democratic Delegate Jim Scott's mind it is wrong to oppose these sex shows. Truly unbelievable:

Del. Scott should apologize to anyone who participated in the civil rights movement. To compare the sex show, which encourages illegal and illicit behavior, with the noble efforts of the civil rights movement, is a travesty.

Here’s the bottom line: President Nichol removed the Wren Cross, he said, because it offended too many people. Fine. So why host the sex show two years in a row? It’s offensive, too, but apparently those offended can’t get Nichol’s or Scott’s attention.

Senator Saslaw Trashes 75% of Virginia!

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Richard Saslaw has spoken…bluntly. Saslaw has a reputation for being outspoken, but this time he may have gone too far.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Senator Saslaw claimed the state of Virginia may as well be West Virginia, “if we pull Northern Virginia out of the equation.” This statement is a reference to the tax differences between Northern and Southern Virginia.

So why exactly would it be necessary for Saslaw to “pull Northern Virginia out of the equation?” Is the rest of the state really such an embarrassment? Saslaw must think that Southern Virginia is full of hicks in straw hats and over-alls. One would hope the Senator had learned his lesson after his much-talked-about comment when he compared gun owners to the cast of "Deliverance." Apparently not. The senator's quick-to-judge attitude and narrow-minded comments will leave him on bad terms with the rest of Virginia. In boasting exclusively of his region, he has embarrassed the entire Commonwealth...again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Democrat Del. Nichols Insults Virginia's Senior Citizens

Okay, we all know freshman Delegates make simple mistakes sometimes, and we usually give them a pass. But when first time Democratic Del. Paul Nichols took the floor on Monday, he not only made a mistake, he insulted every Virginian over the age of sixty by saying things like “they have lost their desire to work hard,” and that they “have an attitude.”

Let me set the stage for the video of Nichols’ speech. He is speaking in opposition to Del. Terry Kilgore’s HB 783, which would raise the retirement age of judges from 70 to 73. Apparently, Del. Nichols has no use for judges, or people for that matter, once they hit sixty. See for yourself:

I wonder what Del. Nichols thinks of all the members of the House of Delegates over the age of sixty? Does he think his colleagues in the House, including those in his own party, “tend to pass their work” onto other people, or “that they really don’t care?”

Perhaps Del. Nichols should be reminded that when the Speaker recognizes him as “the gentleman from Prince William,” he should put his insults aside and at least try to live up to his title.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

William and Mary's Embarrassing President Urged To Retire

The College of William & Mary, the second oldest institution of higher education in the country whose alumni include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe, has again been embarrassed by its current President, Gene Nichol.

Yesterday, thanks to President Nichol, William and Mary hosted the Sex Workers Art Show on campus.

Despite outcries that the College was highlighting and promoting illegal activity, Nichol defended the show.

You may remember Nichol’s decision to remove the Cross from the college’s Wren Building – the oldest academic building in continuous use in America. Apparently, the cross offended too many people.

That was the last straw for Delegate Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), who is, by the way, a William & Mary alum. Delegate Hugo said that for the “good of the College, President Nichol should not seek another term as President when his current contract ends this Spring.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Democrat Delegate Calls Democrat Leader “Mean-Spirited”

On Friday, Democrat Del. Mark Sickles spoke on the floor of the House in opposition to HB 14, sponsored by Del. Chris Peace. The bill prohibits illegal aliens from attending Virginia colleges. In his speech, Del. Sickles stated that the bill’s proponents were “mean spirited,” (see video below.)

Today, the bill passed the House 73-26. According to Sickles, we’ve got 73 mean-spirited legislators, and guess who’s among them? House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, along with 14 other members of the Democratic caucus.

There were also quite a few .... how do you say .... "sweet spirited"??? individuals who think that legal Virginia students should have to wait in line behind ILLEGAL immigrants in order to attend in-state, taxpayer funded, colleges and universities. This list includes the Minority Caucus Chairman Brian Moran and 25 other colleagues of his.

Del. Armstrong better reign in his Democratic colleagues; this is not a good way to build a Democratic majority. A caucus cannot function when a member of that caucus calls one third of its membership “mean-spirited.” To see a full list of the split Democratic Caucus click here.

Republicans, on the other hand, don’t have the problem the D’s do. They were unanimous in support of the bill because it is the right thing for Virginians. This is yet another victory for the House Republicans, and more importantly, another victory for the people of the Commonwealth.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Republicans for Democracy, Democrats for…Civil Disobedience

We all remember the Democrat's public relations campaign early this session to push for recorded votes in subcommittee, in an effort to appear as the party of “open government” in Richmond. (Of course, we also know that subcommittees and votes taken there are very public, but that’s beside the point.) Additionally, recent posts on the Democratic Caucus blog have complained further of subcommittee voting practices, citing examples of Democratic bills being defeated.

Given these recent posts, it’s important to point out the hypocrisy of the House Democrats, best illustrated by the action on the House floor on January 24th. House Bill 852, sponsored by Democrat Del. Adam Ebbin, would have made it legal for government employees to collectively bargain with labor unions. So, you would assume the Democrats would be falling all over themselves to vote for it, since unionized labor is a tenet of the left, and given their self-proclaimed righteousness on voting procedures this session.

Wrong. Del. Ward Armstrong, the Democratic leader, called on his caucus, in an act of “civil disobedience,” to refuse to vote (see below). WHAT? So, let me get this straight. The D’s spend the first three weeks of session complaining about unrecorded votes in subcommittees, but when recorded votes are taken, they refuse to vote, on a bill sponsored by a member of their party, on an issue that is central to their platform!!

Come on, Del. Armstrong. You can do better. We all know why you didn’t vote for this bill. The House Democrats do not want the public to know that the Dems put the interests of organized labor ahead of hard working Virginians. This bill would have destroyed Virginia’s Right to Work law, which House Democrats have been attacking for years. Del. Armstrong and the Democrats know Virginians would not be happy if they knew how committed the Dems are to labor unions. It’s clear that Democrats want the light of open government to shine on Republicans, but when it’s shone on them, they will hide in the shadows.

Thankfully, the measure was defeated by business-friendly House Republicans. Below is the floor speech by Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-Salem), calling on the Democrats to do what the people elected them to do: vote. Apparently, that request is too much to ask when everyone's watching.