Deja Vu All Over Again Twice In One DayJan. 21, 2010
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 Remember, last year Republicans did the same thing on a bill that would have repealed Virginia's Right To Work Law (see post here and video here).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.
Virginia News Stand: December 21, 2009Dec. 21, 2009
Annotations & Elucidations Like Deeds, Like Marsden; Like Kaine, Like Marsden; Like Deeds, Like Kaine
We're keeping the news to a minimum today: the snow is melting and people are less captive and not as inclined to be in front of the computer as they get back to last minute shopping and other Christmas preparations. Most of the news around the state concerns Governor Tim Kaine's outlandish income tax increase proposal. Easy for him to do — he leaves office in three weeks. Governor-elect Bob McDonnell and the majority House Republicans already say it's a non-starter. So perhaps the big story, or at least the most intriguing, is the turn taken in the special election in the 37th Senate district (in Fairfax County) to replace Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli, between Republican Steve Hunt and Democrat Dave Marsden, currently a delegate. Democrats think, because of recent trends in Fairfax, they can win the seat; the GOP, with its reverberating rebound last month, sense the tide has turned back their way, even in Northern Virginia, where its candidates did exceedingly well in the recent election.
Delegate Marsden, who moved into a friend's house to establish residency in the district, now has pro-abortion allies railing against some old literature a crisis pregnancy center stopped distributing some time ago. Hunt used to serve on the center's board.
Two things are absolutely peculiar about this: First, Delegate Marsden, must not have paid much attention to the top of his own ticket last month as Democrat standard bearer Creigh Deeds (remember him?) clamored about abortion and social issues while the rest of Virginia concerned itself with jobs. Marsden, himself, considered to be in a safe House district, barely escaped to re-election. Now, Governor Kaine wants to repeal the car tax cut and raise the income tax, and Delegate Marsden, given his record, is most likely right there with him. Again, just like Senator Deeds, who recommended raising taxes during a recession (see Jeff Schaprio's analysis in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, below).
The second oddity is that while the pregnancy center has ceased distributing the information, those attacking it and Mr. Hunt are providing this type of sick information (see video of Planned Parenthood abortionist and counselor talking to prospective patient),where "patients" are advised that abortions are safer than giving birth. So, it's mini-campaign redux featuring residency, raising taxes in a recession and old flyers versus jobs and sticking up for the unborn.
Antiabortion pregnancy center figures in state Senate race (Washington Post)
McDonnell, GOP lawmakers assail Kaine’s budget plan (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Kaine proposes 1% rise in state income tax (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
From deep in the red, Gov. Kaine proposes a brutal state budget (The Daily Press)
'Painful cuts' part of Kaine's Virginia budget proposal (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Kaine proposes replacing car tax with income one (Washington Times)
Virginia governor proposes an income tax increase (Washington Post)
At least 7 GOP candidates eager to take on Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
With budget, Kaine leaves tough task for both parties (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)