Examiner-com

Louise Lucas: The Aunt Esther Of Virginia Politics

A couple of days ago, Senator Louis Lucas (D-18, Portsmouth) made national news with some over-the-top and incendiary comments on Portsmouth station WHKT-AM's John Fredericks Show about the presidential campaign nationally and how it is playing out in Virginia (see Joe Newby of Examiner.com). Senator Lucas, one of the most extreme members of a predominately liberal caucus, is known for her bombast and bromides. But even this, though not unexpected, is a new low. Per the classic demagogue she is, she didn't list one example of what she accused her opponents of doing. Particularly striking is what she admits to teaching her children about America and for how long she's been doing it.

While the political comments are gutter, the personal comments are sad, even pitiful. Still, the desperation of one of the Obama campaign's Virginia leaders is comical. It reminded me of another hot tempered woman who had little nice to say . . .

Senator Lucas' extreme and incendiary comments . . .

Aunt Esther got mad, too, but normally made a lot more sense . . . 

Any similarities between the two are strictly coincidental . . .

Constitutional Protections At Stake Friday Morning In House P&E

Tomorrow morning, the House Privileges and Elections Committee will consider a number of important constitutional amendments. Please contact committee members at the link above and encourage a vote for all three resolutions. One, HJ 615, patroned by Delegate Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico), will safeguard Virginians' tax dollars by banning tax and fee increases in the budget bill. If those revenues are needed, delegates and senators should have the courage to vote on tax increases separately, up or down, not buried in a must-pass budget with deadline pressure to approve so that state government can continue to function.

Delegate Mark Cole (R-88, Spottsylvania) has two resolutions before the committee. One, HJ 540, will limit the amount state and local government can spend each year to the previous year’s budget, plus the percentage increase in population and inflation. This is a proven way to limit the size and scope of government. His second resolution, HJ 539, would require a super majority vote by the General Assembly and local governing boards to impose a tax increase.

The fourth resolution, and a major priority by several limited government advocates, is HJ 647, patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville). It passed sub-committee by one vote and its full committee vote was delayed a week. In committee and behind the scenes, local government interests, who use taxpayers' hard-earned money to lobby against their own citizens, and large utilities and telecoms, are throwing every resource they have to defeat this proposal. Afraid of allowing Virginians to vote on the issue of protecting their own property, these special interests think property is private only until such time as they need it for their redevelopment schemes or transportation boondoggles. No less than 10 government and corporate special interests testified against the resolution in sub-committee, with only The Family Foundation, The Farm Bureau and the Virginia Agribusiness Council speaking in favor.

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its deplorable Kelo decision several years ago (see Examiner.com's Kenneth Schortgen for a new, heinous eminent domain case), it said federal courts could not protect property owners from local and state governments. But it did rule that states could protect their citizens and basically invited states to enact their own protections. Most states did. Why are Virginians still waiting for their legislature to act?

These much needed policies will protect Virginia families’ homes, farms and businesses; enact honest state budgets; and put a limit on out of control taxing and spending. Together, these proposed constitutional amendments form a unique opportunity to reform state and local government, limit its power and focus it on its proper role.