There's been a lot of noise about the silence of Congressional Democrats running for re-election this year not mentioning their votes on the infamous health care bill in their campaign ads (see LifeNews.com). It's been documented, despite what the propaganda hacks in the White House and DNC have said, and what Bill Clinton proclaimed, that not one Democrat anywhere has run an ad promoting his or her vote on the health care bill. WRONG! In fact, some Democrat incumbents are advertising their votes on the health care bill — and the "stimulus," too (see Raw Story). They are the few, the proud . . . the ones who voted NO!
Four years ago, only a few weeks after taking office and proposing (against his campaign promise) the largest tax increase in Virginia history, Congressional Democrats chose then-Governor Tim Kaine to deliver their party's response to then-President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address. Yesterday, it was reported (see Washington Post), that Congressional Republicans have chosen newly sworn-in Governor Bob McDonnell to give the GOP response to President Barack Obama's January 27 State of the Union. How about that for asymmetrical karma? But there's more.
Yesterday, House Republicans brought to the floor Delegate Bob Brink's (D-48, Arlington) HB 1155, legislation that would enact former Governor Tim Kaine's proposed income tax increase (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee, which alone has the authority to report bills to the floor without recommendation. Thus it did with HB 1155 in order to put Democrats on the spot — vote against their friend and national party chairman or be on record for higher taxes in a recession. Delegate Brink requested that the bill be pulled, normally a pro forma request that's granted at the will of the patron. Not yesterday!
Instead, it was put to a vote while Democrats vehemently protested. As if they couldn't have anticipated it. Remember, last year Republicans did the same thing on a bill that would have repealed Virginia's Right To Work Law (see post here and video here). They forced a vote by bringing that equally controversial bill through a no recommendation vote on the Rules Committee. The Democrats reacted by abstaining, but through a parliamentary procedure that says if a member is in his seat but not voting, and another member points that out, the vote must be recorded in the negative. Thus, Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-8, Salem) forcibly recorded no votes against the bill which put Democrats at odds with their Big Labor allies.
With this as background, certainly they knew something was coming with a monstrous tax increase bill, and they knew they couldn't abstain. On the first day of session, when the rules package is adopted, Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville) said as much when he objected to the Rules Committee exception. As it turned out, it was a unanimous blowout, with the House voting 97-0 (with Delegate Brink abstaining) to reject one last Tim Kaine tax increase, sending it down with all his others, this one posthumously, in the political sense.
So, the question is, why file the tax increase bill to begin with? Only Delegate Brink knows for sure, but we suspect some members of the General Assembly like to give a peek of their colors to satisfy certain constituencies, but seek to conceal them altogether from the greater electorate. Increasingly, however, these lawmakers get found out.
Annotations & Elucidations Who's Controversial Now?
Our top story's headline is misleading and is an excellent example of media bias. The abstinence-only speaker invited to a Henrico County high school is not causing controversy. She was invited and people may or may not attend. No student or parent said a word. It is 10 teachers and two outside groups — radical pro-abortion and homosexual advocacy organizations — who got wind of it and raised a stink. So, who's being controversial?
On another front, Governor Tim Kaine now is staking his legacy to pre-K. It will be anything but that, but what's amazing is that even as he shuns the liberal tag, he takes credit for a large expansion of government in the face of a backlash to that philosophy. Accordingly, Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights), the majority whip and senior member of the Appropriations Committee, broached eliminating it today on a Richmond radio station. Good for him.
Nationally, James Pethokoukis of Reuters uncovers a backdoor method Congressional Democrats and President Obama hope to raise taxes by three trillion dollars! It's a very short, but revealing, read. Also of note, the Washington Post published a lengthy feature on Family Foundation friend Bishop Harry Jackson, who has become, perhaps, the nation's leading defender of traditional marriage. Very much worth the read.
Finally, in news that must horrify liberals (other than an abstinence-only speaker at a high school) a CNN poll has found that 61 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funded abortion, 51 percent oppose allowing insurance policies to cover abortions, and — sit down for this liberals — between 63 and 73 percent oppose legal abortions under any circumstance except for the 2 percent of abortions done each year in the cases of rape, incest and when the mother's life is endangered. No wonder they're reduced to protesting abstinence speakers.
Abstinence-only speaker stirs controversy (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Virginia budget outlook poor; shortfall could grow (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Va. might have to cut $2.9 billion more by '12 (Washington Post)
Kaine cites pre-K success during his term (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Hamilton case ignites calls to overhaul ethics rules (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Allen tax plan backed by Crusade (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Is Obama planning a $3 trillion income tax increase? (James Pethokoukis/Political Risk Blog Reuters.com)
Internal Results of CNN/Opinion Research Poll on Abortion, Health Care (CNN/Opinion Research)
Seeking to put asunder (Washington Post)
D.C. vote on gay marriage denied (Washington Times)