Monday, May 19, 2008

Great Post Over at Bacon's Rebellion ...

An Op-Ed from yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch by Delegate Clay Athey sparked a post on Bacon's Rebellion regarding the unreported land use revolution that has begun in Virginia because of the initiative and leadership of House Republicans.

Check out the full post HERE.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Moran: Donley...couldn't you wait for my body to get cold?

According to Tim Craig from the Washington Post, Kerry J. Donley announced on Wednesday that he is leaving his position as the athletic director for the city's public schools so he can run for the seat currently held by House Minority Leader Brian Moran.

Does anyone else think Brian should be a little ticked that the presumptive Donley should have shown a little more respect for Moran and held off until he officially announced his gubernatorial bid??

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Senator Saslaw lashes out at House Democrats

With Democrats still divided on transportation , Senator Saslaw fueled further inter-party bickering yesterday. It looks like we were right about Governor Kaine lacking support for his tax plan, even from his own party!

Governor's Road Proposals Have Va. Democrats Feuding

By Tim Craig Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, May 15, 2008; B01

RICHMOND, May 14 -- Virginia Democratic leaders are divided over how to raise money to build and fix roads, a rift that threatens to dash Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's hopes of enacting a statewide tax increase this year.

The internal battle between House and Senate Democrats over what taxes should be increased represents a turnaround in Virginia politics. For much of this decade, it has been moderate and conservative Republicans who have been divided, resulting in stalled efforts to enact taxes or fees to relieve traffic congestion and repair the state's aging network of highways.

Now Democrats in the General Assembly are feuding among themselves over the $1.1 billion tax proposal Kaine (D) unveiled Monday. Senate Majority Leader Richard L Saslaw (D-Fairfax)lashed out at House Democratic leaders Wednesday, underscoring Kaine's limited influence with even Democrats when it comes to the transportation debate.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), a likely candidate for governor next year, said, "Governor Kaine wanted the Democrats in the House and the Senate to get behind one set of proposals, and that is just not going to happen."

Disagreements between Senate and House Democratic leaders have been building for weeks, though Democrats are still more unified than the GOP was when it held both chambers of the General Assembly from 1999 until this year.

Saslaw has been pitted against House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) and Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), also a candidate for governor, in trying to lobby Kaine over how he should put together his proposal.

Saslaw, backed by many Senate Democrats, wants an increase in the state's 17.5-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax, which hasn't been raised since 1986. Armstrong and Moran, who are spearheading efforts by Democrats to gain the majority in next year's elections, oppose a gas tax increase, citing the record price of fuel at the pump. Kaine agrees. "

I just don't think we can impose [a gas tax] on the public when they are already paying three dollars and 60 cents a gallon," Armstrong said. "We all have constituents that are struggling to put gas in their car."

Kaine and Democrats commissioned a poll six weeks ago that found more than 80 percent of residents oppose a 15-cent-a-gallon increase in the gas tax. Saslaw shot back at the House Democrats: "I don't run the state on polls, and if Brian and Ward want to run the state on the polls, that is their problem."

To View the full text click here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

House and Senate Democrat Leaders Against Kaines Transportation Plan!

Finally Governor Kaine graces us with his Transportation Proposal only to get little to NO support from his Democratic colleagues.

After announcing his plan yesterday afternoon in Richmond, it seems to me that he preferred more of a vigilante approach to a transportation solution because obviously did not include any of the suggestions from Democratic or Republican, House or Senate Leadership.

Below are a mixed batch of quotes from Republicans and Democrats alike regarding Governor Kaines transportation proposal...

  • "I don't see anything positive in the governor's plan that makes it something that's likely to be considered," Cox said. "It's all tax, tax and more tax." -- Delegate Kirk Cox Washington Post -- "Va. GOP Lawmakers Reject Kaine's Latest Transportation Fix"

  • Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said Kaine's proposal doesn't do enough to hit out-of-state motorists for some of the costs of maintaining Virginia's highway system. Washington Post -- "Va. GOP Lawmakers Reject Kaine's Latest Transportation Fix"

  • Del. David B. Albo, a Fairfax Republican involved in transportation negotiations, said Kaine's plan had a "0.000 percent chance" of winning approval. Washington Post -- "Va. GOP Lawmakers Reject Kaine's Latest Transportation Fix"

  • Virginians will have ample opportunity to debate Kaine's proposal -- as well as competing, or complementary, ideas advanced by others such as Del. Brian Moran, head of the House Democratic Caucus. Moran proposes a 1-cent sales-tax increase statewide, accompanied by a new state agency, the Office of Responsible Growth, that would coordinate transportation planning with local land-use decisions -- a point of concern he and House Speaker William Howell apparently share. Richmond Times-Dispatch -- "A Kaine Mutiny?"

  • "The governor has the prerogative to call us back into special session and waste the taxpayers' money if he so has the desire," said House Republican Leader Morgan Griffith of Salem. Asked if the proposal would ever reach the House floor, Griffith said, "I see it on the floor, but not the floor of the House." The Daily Press -- "GOP derides Kaine's transportation plan"

  • Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, said Kaine has offered a starting point. The Daily Press -- "GOP derides Kaine's transportation plan"

  • "With the housing economy the way it is today, I don't know that adding a new cost is the wisest thing to do," said Del. Phil Hamilton, R-Newport News. The Daily Press -- "GOP derides Kaine's transportation plan"

  • “I am very doubtful that this plan has any chance of passage,” continued Delegate Hugo, “I will not vote for any plan that will tax Northern Virginian’s twice, and continue to send our hard earned money downstate to never be seen again!”