Yes Virginia, There Wasn’t a Surplus

July 17, 2010

While champagne corks are flying and toasts of success are being made, it is not yet time to celebrate a supposed surplus of revenue in Virginia. According to Governor Bob McDonnell, the state has a surplus of at least $220 million. But does Virginia really have a surplus?

After the past General Assembly session, many budgetary gimmicks have come to light. One such item of budgetary voodoo was a postponement of funding the VRS by $620 million. This payment, as the General Assembly and Governor McDonnell promised, would be made at a later date. Currently, the VRS has $53 billion in unfunded liabilities, according to a study of state pension plans from the American Enterprise Institute. Not only was the Governor’s decision to not return funding to this boondoggle a sleight of hand, the state is still on the hook to refund the VRS in the coming years.

Further troubling is McDonnell’s claims that he has balanced the budget, and created a surplus, without raising taxes. The budget that McDonnell signed included more than $95 million in new fees alone! Aside from the fee increases, McDonnell’s signature on that budget also revived one of the most reviled budgetary gimmicks seen yet—a requirement for retailers to pre-pay a month’s sales taxes to the state through 2013.

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McDonnell: If You Bash, It Will Pass

April 21, 2010

Today is the Veto Session in the Virginia General Assembly. This is a one-day meeting of both chambers in Virginia’s capitol, to approve or deny changes to bills that passed in the previous session made by Bob McDonnell, the bogged down Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

One thing is for sure when the General Assembly meets today—if you bash McDonnell on a policy you disagree with him on, you will probably be able to get him to agree with you in the end.

Consider that in the nearly first 100 days of the McDonnell administration, he has achieved to receive more national press than any other governor during the same period. The press he received, however, was negative and highly critical of the self proclaimed “Jobs Governor” (there exists no evidence to support that he has created any yet).

McDonnell has become a punch line joke on late night television over his Confederate history month proclamation to muzzling his Cabinet Secretaries from the press—McDonnell has provided such amateur leadership that he is striving to appease whoever criticizes him in efforts to gain their support.

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McDonnell Appears to Be Ignoring Campaign Promises

March 2, 2010

The other day I wrote that Republicans faced a choice in Virginia. This was in reference to newly elected Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell proposing policies that seemed to be the opposite of what candidate McDonnell supported while claiming to be a “fiscal conservative” and “anti-stimulus” Republican.

Voters sent a strong message in November when they elected McDonnell by a landslide margin. However, they did not elect him to go knocking on Obama’s door for stimulus cash on behalf of Virginia. Yesterday, Anita Kumar with the Washington Post covered McDonnell’s latest “stimulus” scheme. McDonnell, along with former Virginia Governor and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, have gone hat in hand to Obama to request $350 million for educational purposes in Virginia. The Federal money would come from the Race to the Top Program.

According to Anita Kumar:

“The $350 million requested by Virginia would be split between the state and the 117 local education agencies that have asked for funding. Money would be spent on charter schools and low-performing schools, finding and retaining teachers, and improving student assessment, among other purposes. All of Northern Virginia’s school systems signed on.”

How does Mr. McDonnell expect to pay for these programs once the “stimulus” cash runs out? And, what happened to the “fiscal conservatism” that Mr. McDonnell sold over the course of his campaign? Activists are paying attention and will hold Mr. McDonnell accountable for his increased spending propositions.

The Typical GOP Rears Its Ugly Head

It looks like Mr. McDonnell is doing the usual GOP two-step routine when it comes to his position on the stimulus. McDonnell has publicly stated that he believes that as long as stimulus money is there, Virginia should have it’s share but states that he is against a stimulus bill in the first place. But does Mr. McDonnell even know what Virginia’s share of that money really is? Doubtful.

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Republicans Face a Choice in Virginia

March 1, 2010

Here is a guest Op-Ed I had published in Saturday’s Suffolk News-Herald:

Republicans and conservatives throughout the country are near giddy as they survey the prospects for the 2010 elections. As the policies of President Obama and the mobbed-up Congress of Nancy Pelosi become more exposed, the American people are running from them in droves.

All predictions are that the GOP will have a banner year and may reclaim a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. And while the odds are that Harry Reid’s Democrats retain their Senate majority, it is certain to be much more narrow a margin.

But scratch the surface of this euphoria and a nagging fear is prevalent. What if, the fear whispers, the Republicans take back the majority and immediately revert to the same weak, vapid, self-destructive behavior that characterized the Republican Congresses that so repulsed the public before? Have they really changed? Are they willing to boldly do those things necessary to save the Republic?

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McDonnell Leads by 17 in Latest Poll

October 27, 2009

Here is the latest poll results for the Virginia Governors Election from WJLA:

The SurveyUSA poll dated Oct. 27 shows McDonnell with a 17-point lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds, 58-41. McDonnell maintains his lead across most demographics, including age, sex and income. Independents are breaking 2-1 for McDonnell, 60-38.

Thirty-eight percent of abortion rights supporters say they will vote for McDonnell, twice the percentage, 19, of anti-abortion voters who say they will vote for Deeds.

McDonnell Holds Double Digit Lead Over Deeds In Washington Post Poll

October 26, 2009

The latest poll from the Washington Post shows that Bob McDonnell holds a double digit lead over Creigh Deeds just over a week before the election.  McDonnell leads Deeds 55-44.

From the Washington Post:

McDonnell holds double-digit advantages when it comes to dealing with the economy (plus 17 percentage points), transportation (16 points), taxes (25 points) and has overtaken Deeds as the one more trusted to handle issues of special concern to women (7 points). On taxes, which has been a focal point of the campaign in recent weeks, McDonnell has stretched his lead significantly, and now holds a better than 2 to 1 lead over Deeds among independent voters.

This race is over. Deeds can pack up and go home.

(H/T WaPo)


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