The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Friday, February 20, 2004

You've Got To Be F'ing Kidding Me, Part IV

Well, things seemed strange enough when the Republican controlled Virginia House proposed a $520 million dollar tax increase. (See also, here). Now they have really turned bizarre as the Republican controlled Virginia Senate approved a $3.6 billion dollar tax increase that dwarfs both the Houses proposal and the tax plan favored by Virginia's Democratic Governor, Mark Warner.

Even the Washington Post thinks this is bizarre. Together, the week's events showcase a remarkable change in the commonwealth's politics.

The Republican Party seized control of state government in the late 1990s, promising to end the annual tax on cars, support business and reduce government spending. Now, Senate Republicans are pushing a tax increase that dwarfs one offered by the Democratic governor, Mark R. Warner. The House GOP is targeting businesses, insisting they pay their fair share.

And it is Warner alone who would hasten repeal of the car tax, a promise made by his Republican predecessor, James S. Gilmore III.

"The whole thing has gotten so weird," said Robert D. Holsworth, a professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University and a longtime observer of politics in Richmond. "It's been mixed up in any number of ways."

If it weren't for a few brave and honorable souls like Ken Cuccinelli (who, btw, the Fairfax County Republican Party establishment tried hard to keep off the ballot when he first ran) I would lose all hope. Luckily, Sen. Cuccinelli has the courage to point out that any of these proposals will suffer a devastating defeat on the ballot.

This whole affair makes me wonder why I don't just move to the District of Columbia, or Maryland, or even worse, back to the Peoples Republic of New Jersey (well, it might not be that bad).

Gov. Warner summed up the situation pretty succinctly: "Heck," Warner told an audience of about 100 at the Pittsylvania County Courthouse last week, "we've got the Republican Senate now. I'm the conservative alternative!"


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