Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today highlighted the "greatest hits" from Saturday's gubernatorial debate, in which Democratic candidate for governor Creigh Deeds clearly left an increase in taxes on the table. At the first gubernatorial debate hosted by the Virginia Bar Association, Deeds repeatedly left open the possibility that he would seek higher taxes on Virginians to fund his amorphous wish list of a transportation plan...."I'll tell you what I'm not going to do," Deeds said during the debate. "A lot of options are going to be on the table. I'm not going to presume what will and won't pass the General Assembly." ....Following the debate, Deeds was pressed by the media and again refused to rule out an increase in taxes for road improvements, but would provide no further details of his plan for infrastructure or funding. Watch the video here.....
"[Deeds] essentially asked voters to trust that he would succeed where others have failed: persuading the state legislature to cooperate. His strategy seems to be to imply strongly that he would raise taxes -- there are ‘a lot of options,' he said, wink, wink -- without saying so directly."
"‘He's got a wish list. He doesn't have a plan,' McDonnell said, at one point even urging debate watchers to visit Deeds's Web site so they could see for themselves.
"Deeds said after the debate that putting forward a funding plan would be a ‘lightning rod' that would kill reform."
"But when McDonnell asked him whether he would increase taxes, Deeds was evasive.
"‘A lot of options are going to be on the table,' Deeds said. ‘I'm not going to presume what will or will not pass the General Assembly next year.'
"McDonnell hammered on Deeds' answer, telling the Democrat: ‘You don't have a plan. You haven't suggested one dime.'
"Pressed further on the issue by reporters after the debate, Deeds said: ‘I'm running for governor, I'm not running for dictator.'
"‘A specific funding source would be a lightning rod,' Deeds said. ‘I'm not prepared to throw up any lightning rods.'
"McDonnell said he would not raise taxes, saying, ‘I don't think the people of Virginia could sustain another tax increase.'"
Staunton News Leader:
"Following the debate, Deeds said he is ‘open to a lot of different options' to fund new transportation projects and would not explicitly rule out taxes as one of those methods."
"Deeds said he would make transportation his top priority and he refused to rule out a tax increase. He said all options would be on the table when he calls a special session next year."
"All this puts Mr. Deeds in a particularly tight spot," said Chairman Mullins. "Does he try to get all the way from July to November with his ‘no comment' policy and just hope no one asks him any more questions about transportation, the issue he says is the most important one facing Virginia? Or does he reveal what everyone knows to be his true intention: to raise taxes on hard working Virginians during the worst economic period we have seen in decades. That's his call to make. Even if he won't say it, his record makes clear what he's going to do. Wink, wink."
A side-by-side comparison of the two candidates' proposals for transportation reveals that the McDonnell plan is comprehensive and includes funding mechanisms that do not rely on any tax increases at all. The Deeds "plan," by contrast, is nothing more than some vague platitudes with no mention of how the wish list might be funded.
The McDonnell Plan
Privatize Virginia's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and dedicate proceeds to transportation
Pass legislation to capture increased revenue from growth in port operations, and invest in regional transportation projects
Take percentage of sales tax collected in Northern Virginia and put in regional transportation account
Issue $3 billion in available bonds for transportation, and support future bond issuance of $1 billion for highly congested areas
Expand 70mph speed limit, currently only allowed on stretches of Interstate 85 in southern Virginia, to sections of other interstates in Commonwealth
Dedicate percentage of new revenue growth to transportation
Spend 75% of future surplus funds on transportation
Dramatically expand Public-Private Partnership agreements for major priority projects
Protect Transportation Trust Fund
Audit VDOT to find and eliminate waste and inefficiencies; Seek greater autonomy from time-consuming federal regulations
Seek federal approval for use of 2nd and 3rd year stimulus dollars for transportation projects now
Support HOT lanes
Enact border tolling of traffic coming into Virginia from North Carolina along I-85 and I-95
Dedicate percentage of revenue from future offshore drilling to transportation
Prioritize transportation projects. Top of list: Widen I-66 in and out of Beltway; Complete, within budget and on time, rail to Dulles; Complete I-495 and I-395/95 HOT Lane Projects; Upgrade Route 460; Find consensus for Third Crossing and move forward; Build High Speed Passenger Rail; Improve I-81; Coalfields Expressway Completion
Provide telework tax credits
Create bipartisan transportation task force, led by former governors and congressmen, to evaluate Virginia's transportation system and propose improvements
Employ smart traffic technologies, light synchronization and new traffic management systems
The Deeds "Plan"
"During his first year in office, Creigh will make it his top priority to find a workable, creative transportation solution." (Deeds economic development plan)
Monday, July 27, 2009
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:39 PM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Kaine Buckles on DNC Travel: More Time than Reported
- Washington Post Reports Governor Absent for Half of June -
- DNC Chair Still Not Fully Transparent on Purpose of Junkets -
RICHMOND - More than a month after Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins issued a Freedom of Information Act request for details of Governor Tim Kaine's travel in his role as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the governor has acquiesced and released his prior schedule to the Washington Post. With the revelation that Kaine was absent from Virginia for half of the month of June, Mullins called on Kaine to return to serious matters at home as the Commonwealth struggles with high unemployment, budget shortfalls and a transportation crisis that shows no signs of lessening...."What is a shame is that it took many weeks of prodding and poking around to get the governor to do what he should have done all along, which is tell us where he has been when he is not doing the work of the people of Virginia," Mullins said. "I firmly believe that if we hadn't made this an issue, Tim Kaine would still be hiding his travel schedule from the people who elected him to do an important job."...Mullins sent the governor a FOIA request on June 19, 2009, which was rejected five days later. At least two media outlets - the Washington Post and the Associated Press - filed similar requests and were likewise denied, until Kaine felt pressure enough to release greater detail to the Post. Nonetheless, the spreadsheet provided gives only dates and locations, not the purposes for the trips. ..."What we find now is that Tim Kaine has been less than honest with Virginia as to the extent of his travel on behalf of his national political party," Mullins said. "Gone for half of the month of June? With unemployment hitting high double digits in Southside? This borders on governmental malpractice. Why was he in Naples, Florida? Why was he in Minneapolis? We want to know that stuff."
Evolution of an Excuse
Kaine's explanation of his job as DNC chairman has undergone a remarkable transformation since his initial emergence as a rumored candidate for Vice President in 2008. Initially, Kaine flatly ruled out taking on the political role as being in conflict with his duties as governor. Since then, something clearly has changed.
Not Interested in DNC Post
"I don't view that, frankly, as consistent with being governor, so I'm going to be governor,' Kaine said in November 2008. "I would view it as taking my eye too much off the ball about things that need to happen here." (Roanoke Times, November 13, 2008)
"To Kaine, who had resisted previous overtures from party leaders to take the DNC post, the deciding moment came in an offer he couldn't refuse from a friend - the man he helped elect - President Barack Obama." (Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 5, 2009)
But it Will be Just on Weekends ... Trust Me
"Kaine said he will do the DNC job on personal time, evenings and weekends," reported the Associated Press on January 6, 2009 ("Kaine Says He'll Limit Time Spent As Party Leader"). "‘I think it will be an electronic gig anyway, using e-mail and phone and others," Kaine added.
"Even the governor is allowed to have a little fun on the weekends," said Kaine spokeswoman Lynda Tran (Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 20, 2009).
But I'm Not Telling
"The letter of the law clearly provides that the office of Governor Kaine need not provide documents related to his personal schedule under FOIA." (Tim Kaine Letter of Response to RPV FOIA Request, June 26, 2009)
Well, Maybe I Will
"I just think the easiest way to handle it is for folks to ask, and I'll answer it," Kaine said. ("Kaine on Travel," Washington Post, Virginia Politics Blog, June 23, 2009)
Or Maybe I Won't
"But repeated attempts to review Kaine's schedule -- in Richmond, around the state or across the country -- before and after he became DNC chairman in late January have been unsuccessful. The Washington Post has requested Kaine's calendar through the governor's office, the DNC and his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward. The requests have been denied or gone unanswered." ("Va. Governor Is Really Going Places," Washington Post, June 25, 2009)
Okay, You Got Me
"According to newly released documents, Kaine's out-of-state travel has accelerated substantially as he has taken on a more visible national role in selling President Obama's agenda, but it has also come as the economic crisis has worsened in Virginia, where the unemployment rate has been rising and state revenue has been falling...."Kaine also reversed course on Tuesday and announced that he will provide a summary of his daily whereabouts at the end of each month until he leaves office in January. That decision came after his office resisted weeks of pressure that he be more transparent about his travels for the DNC." ("Kaine Pledges to Publish Daily Travel Records Every Month," Washington Post, July 22, 2009)...."This whole thing has become absurd," Chairman Mullins said. "If he'd just been up front with us from the start, none of this nonsense would have been necessary. Now, if he'll just tell us why he's going to Chicago or Beverly Hills, then we'll be getting somewhere. Meanwhile, we still need jobs here in Virginia, we have to close the budget gap, we have to fix our roads, we have to address college tuition. There's a lot to do here, and you just can't do it when you spend fifteen days a month doing the bidding of your national political leaders."...The Republican Party of Virginia has produced an Internet video spotlighting Kaine's travel schedule and his reluctance to disclose to Virginia citizens where he is at any given moment. (Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg1kqenUyyI)
Republican Party of Virginia
Pat Mullins, Chairman
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:42 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
At 6:30 am this morning, I boarded a plane to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Over twelve hours later, I am back in Washington D.C., my resolve to stop suspected terrorists from coming to the United States further cemented. ...This morning news continued to surface about the captured U.S. solider in Afghanistan. Yet as I observed the facilities at Guantanamo and questioned the leadership there, I was struck at the contrast in the high-quality treatment and facilities that our government affords enemy combatants at Guantanamo verses the unknown circumstances and fate of this American soldier. ....The decision of where and how we handle detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be monumental to the security of our nation in the near and far term. The precedence we set today will have impacts generations from now....Many of you know that I have introduced legislation to prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil - and specifically to Virginia where analysis indicates they would be likely to be held. ....In May of this year, Federal Bureau of Investigations Director Robert Mueller told Congress that bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States could pose a number of risks, even if they were kept in maximum-security prisons. “The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others,” Mueller said, as well as “the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States." ...High-ranking officials I spoke with at Guantanamo today echoed the potential harm that these detainees pose to U.S. citizens. Even families of the 9-11 victims have urged the administration to drop its plans to close Guantanamo and have advocated for terror trials to restart there....Tomorrow morning I plan to take my case to my colleagues again both in the media and in the halls of Congress. Politics aside, bringing detainees to the United States is a risk we cannot take.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 7:37 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
RICHMOND – Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today drew attention to Governor Tim Kaine’s publicly-stated self-defense of his inability to draw computer giant Apple to jobs-strapped Mecklenburg County for an investment that might have approached $3 billion and employed over 3,000 people. In response to criticism of his mishandling of the hi-tech jobs deal, Kaine cited his success in luring Hilton Hotels and MeadWestvaco to locate their headquarters in Virginia. The main flaws in that deflection include – but are not limited to – the facts that members of the Democratic statewide ticket joined big labor picketers against Hilton in Arlington earlier this year and have implicitly supported so-called “Cap and Trade” legislation that leaders of MeadWestvaco say will strangle the company and put 1,500 Bath County-area workers out of a job. .... “I understand that Tim Kaine has his sights focused on Washington politics these days, given his role as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee,” said Mullins. “There’s not a doubt that he’s taking his orders from somewhere that is a little bit north of Richmond. But you’d think he might consult with his people back home before he threw the entire Democrat ticket under the bus.”..... Earlier this month, Mullins and three Virginia legislators held a conference call for the news media to highlight the fact that Apple Computers had personally approached Tim Kaine and expressed their interest in building a data center that would have been an investment in Southside Virginia of at least $1 billion and perhaps as much as $3 billion. Word of the proposed development rapidly spread around communities and the promise of the 3,000 potential jobs was welcome news to an area of the state that is experiencing high double-digit unemployment rates in this difficult economy.....Unfortunately, Kaine fumbled the ball near the goal line and North Carolina picked it up and ran the length of the field for the winning score. A more full accounting of exactly what happened can be found here. ....In response, Kaine’s press office chirped that Kaine has indeed been at the helm on economic development issues, citing luring Hilton Hotels and MeadWestvaco to bring their brass to the Commonwealth. Raising those two entities immediately presented unusual and particular problems for the candidates who seek to follow in Kaine’s footsteps and serve the people in Richmond.....
...In January, just a few weeks before Tim Kaine proudly announced the movement of Hilton executives to Fairfax County, two of the three Democratic statewide candidates took part in a big labor picket line at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City in Arlington County. Democrats at the time were gleeful as “Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner, handing out coffee and popcorn -- and being generally cheerful and supportive -- during a union-sponsored picket line” toed the big labor line against those employers who actually create jobs.
MeadWestvaco & Cap-and-Trade: Economic Disaster
None of the three Democrats for statewide office has been brave enough to buck Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to come out against the known job-killing legislation deceptively called the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES Act, H.R. 2454), which proposes a “Cap and Trade” scheme in which entities that exceed a government-imposed emission limit would be forced to buy “credits” from entities which emit amounts under the limits. Many analysts and employers have concluded that the idea would increase costs to consumers and severely limit the ability of private companies to create jobs. The bill narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate. ....No member of the Democratic statewide ticket has yet taken a position on it, which implies implicit support given their required obedience to national Democratic dogma. Each Republican statewide candidate – Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli – has expressed opposition to the legislation.....“If the ACES Act passes Congress, MeadWestvaco's Covington mill operations, which provide 1,500 jobs in the Alleghany Highlands, will definitely be one of the losers. The economic future for our area will be severely impacted,” MeadWestvaco Covington Vice President Mark George wrote (“Kill the Climate Bill: Legislation Ignores Critical Factors…,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 25, 2009).....“Isn’t this rich?” said Chairman Mullins. “Here we have Tim Kaine attempting to defend his own dismal record of economic development by holding up Hilton and MeadWestvaco as mighty achievements for himself, but it takes only a bit of reflection to recall that his own acolytes are on the opposite side of these very employers.” ....
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:23 AM
Friday, July 17, 2009
Joe Biden: ‘We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt’
Vice President Joe Biden – Vice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported health care plan becomes law the nation will go bankrupt and that the only way to avoid that fate is for the government to spend more money....“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”....“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.....“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:04 AM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- Pro-Big Labor, Pro-Card Check, Anti-Coal VP Sides with Deeds -
RICHMOND – Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today extended appreciation to Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States, for his willingness to headline a fundraising event for Democratic candidate for governor, Creigh Deeds. Biden will appear at an event in a private home in Richmond Thursday, a decision that underscores the close connection the Vice President and Deeds have on many issues important to Virginians. Mullins gauged that the vice presidential foray amounted to a campaign contribution to the entire Republican statewide ticket of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli.
“Joe Biden’s presence in Virginia this week is very illuminating,” said Mullins. “When someone like Creigh Deeds won’t answer questions about where he stands on important issues, the only thing you can do is examine with whom he associates. In this case, his chummy relationship with a national Democratic leader makes all of these things pretty clear. This joint appearance makes all the arguments that our campaigns would have had to spent money on to make to the public. This amounts to an in-kind contribution for us.”
Biden and Deeds: Big Labor’s Dance Partners
Biden: “Then, he [Vice-President Biden] added to huge applause, ‘You all brought me to the dance a long time ago, and it’s time we start dancing.’” (Steven Greenhouse, “Let’s Dance, Biden Tells Labor,” The New York Times, March 5, 2009)
Deeds: Following his endorsement by a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO, Deeds proclaimed, “When I'm Governor, you won't just have a friend in Richmond-you'll have a partner.” (Deeds Press Release, October 3, 2008)
Deeds: Deeds has received at least $1.1 million dollars from major unions AFSCME ($500k) and SEUI ($100k), also including sizeable donations from the Democratic Governors Association – a major recipient of national labor money. (http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/home/5637)
Biden and Deeds: Supporting Card Check
Biden: “[Biden] said that bargain has broken down since the 1980s as unions have grown far weaker. ‘We must reinstate that bargain,’ he said, referring to the card-check proposal. ‘I think the way to do that is the Employee Free Choice Act [Card Check].’” (Steven Greenhouse, “Let’s Dance, Biden Tells Labor,” The New York Times, March 5, 2009)
Deeds: Voted To Stop A Resolution (Senate Joint Resolution No. 347) To Amend The Virginia Constitution To Include A Right to Work Provision. On January 27, 2009, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee, on which Senator Deeds sits, voted to “pass by indefinitely” the resolution (9-Y 6-N), with YEAS from all Democratic Senators (Howell, Deeds, Whipple, Puckett, Edwards, McEachin, Petersen, Barker, and Northam and NAYS from Republican Senators (Martin, Stolle, Obenshain, Blevins, Smith, and Vogel. (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+vot+S08V0056+SJ0347)
Biden and Deeds: Killing Coal, Jobs with Cap and Trade
Biden: “We’re not supporting clean coal,” Biden said at a rally in Ohio. “No coal plants here in America.” (http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0908/McCain_seizes_on_Biden_coal_gaffe.html)
Deeds: “A Deeds spokesman, Jared Leopold … said Deeds doesn’t have a position on the cap-and-trade bill.” (“Independents Edge Away from Obama,” Politico, July 9, 2009)
Silence on Issues Equals Support
“I think it’s great that Creigh Deeds is bringing in the world-renown comedian Joe Biden, which I guess means that Al Franken wasn’t available,” Chairman Mullins said. “But when you boil it down, the fact that Creigh Deeds is welcoming Joe Biden into the Commonwealth tells you an awful lot about where he stands on the issues.”
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 6:21 PM
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
GOP Ticket Leads in New Poll
- Public Policy Polling Shows Clears Leads for McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli -
RICHMOND – Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins today noted the results of a new poll released by the firm Public Policy Polling, which shows each of the three Republican statewide candidates with a clear lead following the Democratic primary election. Candidate for governor Bob McDonnell leads Creigh Deeds by a 49-to-43 margin; Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling leads Jody Wagner by 46-to-40; and Sen. Ken Cuccinelli bests Steve Shannon 45-to-38 in the race for attorney general.
“Several polls conducted immediately after the primary had shown Deeds moving into the lead but it appears his bounce has worn off,” reported PPP in a press release from Dean Debnam, president of the firm.
Additional good news for McDonnell in the poll is his 21-point lead among self-described independents: 54-to-33.
“It’s pretty clear that any boost the Democrats may have gotten from the publicity surrounding their primary election has disappeared,” RPV Chairman Mullins said. “It’s also obvious that the more Virginians tune into the race, the more they like our impressive slate of candidates.”
The poll was conducted between June 30th and July 2nd and contacted 617 likely voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“It’s clear that voters are hungry for candidates who have innovative ideas for how to bring jobs to Virginia and inject some energy into the economy,” Mullins said. “Our Republican candidates best represent those ideas.”
Details of the poll can be found here: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_VA_707.pdf
“While this is good news, we are aware that this campaign is a marathon and not a sprint,” Mullins said. “We intend to run hard and strong and continue to spread our optimistic message of jobs and economic opportunity for all Virginians.”
Paid for and authorized by the Republican Party of Virginia
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 2:29 PM
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all
ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes,
it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar
every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one
day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good
customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer
by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so
the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.
But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could
they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair
share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and
the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So,
the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's
bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the
amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the
men began to compare their savings.
'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He
pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'
'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. ' I only saved a
dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'
'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back
when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'
'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine
sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the
bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough
money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how
our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the
most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them
for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact,
they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Georgia
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:19 AM