Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Because he was too SCARED to debate Cuccinelli...

9,000 Dollar Laptops...But No Rest Stops?

Governor Tim Kaine has shut down 19 rest areas across Virginia, places used by tourists and Virginians alike. These rest areas help reduce driver fatigue and improve driver safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration an estimated 10,000 police-reported crashes nationally are the result of driver fatigue each year, resulting in an estimated 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and a total monetary loss of $12.5 million. The reason these rest areas were shut down was that VDOT didn't have the $9 million for their upkeep. AAA has even come out saying they are opposed to Virginia closing these rest areas, they have found that nearly one third of all drivers have fallen asleep or have almost done so while driving. 

BUT the state recently bought 61,000 laptops at the hefty price of 9,000 dollars each, a hefty total of $3.1 BILLION! On top of this Governor Kaine recently announced that the state is buying 1,000 acres of land for $142 MILLION that will be used for a natural preserve. Obviously Kaine does not understand how to properly allocate funds. 

Some advice Governor Kaine: First pay for the upkeep of the things you have already built and bought before you go buying any more 9,000 dollar laptops.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deeds Open to Many Options...

Creigh Deeds is open to a lot of options when it come to fixing Virginia's problems. He stated that a governor brings people together and should create consensus across the aisle.  He grinned as he responded to a reporters question if he was open to tax increases stating he is "I'm open to a lot of options". He failed to say he was against tax increases which in not so many words means that he is willing to use tax increases. I'm not sure if that will bring people together.

Debate Wrap Up Bob Wins

-McDonnell Surges Ahead Deeds In Alomst Every Issue In Debate-

This weekend the future of the Commonwealth has spoken, and it was through McDonnell’s vision at the first gubernatorial debate. Transportation and jobs were the hot topics and it was clear that McDonnell out staged Deeds in both. McDonnell unveiled his plan for Virginia’s transpiration issues by thinking outside the box by using a collection of bond revenues, setting aside a percentage new revenues from general revenue growth, revenues received from privatizing ABC stores, and using revenues from future offshore drilling to pay for the project. Importantly, the plan establishes regional accounts where revenues generated in certain regions stay in that region to support the region’s transportation projects. Deeds had no such plan.

On jobs McDonnell certainly stuck to his campaign slogan “Bob’s 4 Jobs” when he called for Virginia’s two US Senators – Jim Webb and Mark Warner – to vote against “Cap and Tax”. Deeds at the debate was “non-committal”. Deeds gesture does not stand well for someone who will hold the highest office in Virginia. To add insult to injury, thousands of Deeds’ own constituents work at a Mead Westvaco plant in Covington which faces closure if “Cap and Tax” passes. To quote McDonnell,

“If you won’t take a stand for 1,500 jobs in your district, people in Virginia can’t be confident that you’ll protect jobs statewide. A governor needs to take a stand and say if it’s wrong for Virginia, I’ll oppose it (cap and trade).

Bob McDonnell appears to be right. Virginians shouldn’t be too comfortable about a Gov. Creigh Deeds, unless they think that growing government is the way to grow an economy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is Tim Kaine Governing Via BlackBerry?

New Released Travel Plans Show That Tim Kaine’s New Gig Is Still Taking More Time Away From His Day Job.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine rejected Republican charges Wednesday that he is spending too much time traveling the country as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Kaine's comments came a day after he released records that catalogued his whereabouts since he took on the second job in January. After weeks of resisting calls to be more open about his DNC travels, he promised to release a similar summary each month until the end of his term in January.
The records showed that from March 5 to the end of June, Kaine spent all or part of 30 days outside Virginia on DNC business, including 14 trips to 12 states and the District. He picked up the pace of his travel significantly in June, when he spent some or all of 15 days outside the state on DNC business.

"I am working pretty much all the time. I never am anywhere where I'm not working on state business. I'm taking material with me, on the cellphone, on the BlackBerry, looking at the computer," he said at a news conference Wednesday. "While I understand that people might say what they want from a political standpoint, I'm not running into any people who are questioning the amount of work I'm doing in the state, and I think the results we're showing as a state government in very, very tough times demonstrate that."

Kaine insisted he has always been open about his travels, despite the repeated refusals by his office to release a work schedule or an account of his party activities.

House of Delegates Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) said Kaine released the records only because he was forced to do so by public pressure.

"The people in my district do consider him to be a part-time governor who is more concerned about raising money to help Democrats on a Washington agenda than he is on pursuing a Virginia agenda," Griffith said.

Kaine Calls Special Session; Shannon Looks Foolish

Legislature to Fix Prosecutorial Mess Against Steve Shannon's Sage Advice
Cuccinelli Had Called for Special Session; Shannon Called it a "Stunt"

RICHMOND - Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today praised Governor Tim Kaine's decision to agree with Ken Cuccinelli to call the Virginia General Assembly into a special session to fix a prosecutorial morass following the U.S. Supreme Court decision Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. The ruling has caused chaos among Virginia Commonwealth's Attorneys regarding the difficulty in having forensic scientists who test material evidence personally testify at trial. As a result, many criminal cases are having to be dismissed or are lost at trial.

"Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, initially called Ken Cuccinelli's request for a special session a ‘stunt,'" said Mullins.

"Well, I guess the governor from his own party disagrees with him. I don't think that's the kind of thing you want to pull if you're arguing to be the state's top lawyer."

In response to Ken Cuccinelli's first call for a legislative fix, Shannon said it was a "stunt," a position he continues to trumpet by posting a supportive editorial on his website

Perhaps even more embarrassingly, Shannon criticized Cuccinelli for supposedly opposing a bill that never reached the Senate, in which Cuccinelli serves. Inasmuch as Cuccinelli was never able to vote on the legislation, it further reveals that not only is Shannon ignorant of Supreme Court precedent vis-à-vis Virginia law, but he also does not understand the legislative process.

Shannon's House Bill 3086 died in committee in the House of Delegates and was never communicated to the Senate, where Cuccinelli might have had a chance to weigh in on it.

"This is astounding," Chairman Mullins said.

"This guy seriously wants to be the attorney general of the Commonwealth, but doesn't get the severity of a Supreme Court ruling and doesn't know that his own bill died in committee. That's almost too funny to make up."


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Billionaire Co-Founder of BET Backs McDonnell

Democrat Billionaire Endorses McDonnell

Shelia Johnson is a billionaire co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television network and an influential Democratic donor , and on Monday she endorsed Republican Bob McDonnell for governor. Johnson was the second-largest individual donor to Gov. Kaine , with 600k, and a benefactor of prominent Democrats including Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb, appeared with McDonnell in Richmond.

Johnson said she favors McDonnell over his Democratic opponent, Deeds, because she thinks the Republican can turn around the state's ailing economy.

"From the beginning, Bob McDonnell has been very concerned about the economy," she said. "He has really laid out a roadmap for solving these problems."

With no limits in Virginia on how much donors can give or candidates can spend in state elections, Johnson's backing potentially puts a rich source of funding at McDonnell's disposal, sending a signal to black voters that was already a concern for Deeds and his backers. This endorsement brings good news to the McDonnell Campaign as his opponent Deeds had the weakest showings in largely black communities in the primary.
Along with Johnson endorsement former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, said in an interview Monday that political operatives for President Barack Obama are urging him to get behind Deeds.

"I told them, `You need to tell me why,"' said Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor and author of Virginia's one-gun-a-month law, which Deeds opposed as a legislator.

Frustrated Governors Speak Out Against Healthcare Bill

Will Washington wise up and listen to the governors?

During a summer meeting of the National Governors Association governors on both sides expressed deep concern about the shape of the healthcare bill emerging from Congress. The overall concern being that the federal government is about to hand them an expensive new Medicaid obligations without providing the money to pay for them.

The governors’ backlash creates yet another healthcare headache for the Obama administration, which has tried to recruit state leaders to pressure members of Congress to wrap up their fitful negotiations. Although many governors said significant change was needed, they said their deep-seated fiscal troubles made it a terrible time to shift costs to the states. With the recession draining states of tax revenues even as their Medicaid rolls are surging, the National Governors Association projects that states will face aggregate deficits of $200 billion over the next three years.

Because the states and the federal government share the cost of Medicaid coverage for low-income people, any increase in eligibility levels, benefits, or payments to doctors would impose new costs on the states unless Washington agrees to absorb them entirely. In at least one of several bills circulating in Congress, the states would eventually pick up a share of the new costs, and the governors fear they cannot count on pledges in other bills that they will be held harmless.

But the sentiment among those who were could not have been more consistent, regardless of political party. The governors said in interviews and public sessions that the bills being drafted in Congress would not do enough to curb the growth in health spending. And they said they were convinced that a major expansion of Medicaid would leave them with heavy costs.

As a governor, my concern is that if we try to cost-shift to the states, we’re not going to be in a position to pick up the tab,’’ said Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington, a Democrat. “I’m personally very concerned about the cost issue, particularly the $1 trillion figures being batted around,’’ said Governor Bill Richardson, the New Mexico Democrat who served in the Clinton Cabinet and ran for president against Obama.

Many governors expressed frustration that the prolonged negotiations in Washington had made it difficult to gauge the potential impact on their budgets. In the latest draft of the Senate Finance Committee’s bill, still being written, the federal government would pick up the extra costs for perhaps five years, but states would then have to pay their normal share. On average, the federal government pays 57 percent, and states pay 43 percent.

This list of indulgences by the governors just adds another log on the fire to Obama's healthcare crisis, and it seems that the Obama Administration has pushed the governors' concerns aside. As state leaders, the President and members of congress should consider the impact that this bill will have on all of the 50 states.

For full text-

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tim Kaine’s Rotten Apple: Jobs Lost in Southside

- Kaine Rubs Elbows with Millionaire Athletes in L.A. While Southside Hurts -

RICHMOND – On the same day that Tim Kaine jetted off to Los Angeles to attend the annual ESPY awards with multi-millionaire athletes and celebrities, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins condemned the governor’s failure to secure a deal with Apple to bring much-needed jobs and investments to Southside Virginia residents struggling with the sagging economy. During April’s reconvened General Assembly session, Kaine made an ill-fated attempt to lure the computer and technology employer to locate a new data center in the Commonwealth. Mullins has been critical of Kaine’s distracting double-duty as governor and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

“Tim Kaine can hop on a plane and head off to Hollywood to hang around with A-Rod and Chris Berman, and who knows who else, but the people of Southside Virginia still need good jobs,” Mullins said. “Maybe if he spent less time doing the bidding of national Democrats and their millionaire donors, he might have some more time to make sure the work of the people of Virginia was getting done.”

Kaine constructed a faulty amendment to legislation from Creigh Deeds that resulted in North Carolina winning a pitch for an Apple data center that would have meant $1 billion in investment and as many as 3,000 jobs for Southside Virginia. Kaine amended the Deeds bill in an effort to lure Apple, but the governor’s own Department of Taxation ruled that the language did not encompass all the necessary components, thus allowing North Carolina to swoop in and rapidly seal the deal with the employer.

Mullins made his remarks during a telephone conference call with reporters along with members of the General Assembly: Del. Scott Lingamfelter (31st), Del. Tommy Wright (61st) and Sen. Frank Ruff (15th).

“This is a rotten apple of a deal for Southside Virginia. It’s a travesty, particularly for a part of the Commonwealth that is seeing unemployment rates of above 20-percent in some areas,” Mullins said. “One has to wonder: is Tim Kaine spending too much of his time working for his national political party and taking his eye off the ball here at home?”