Wonks on the Web

Paul Goldman: Rebel With a Cause

Paul Goldman, the Rebel With a Cause, was chief political strategist for the past two winning Democratic governors in Virginia and was credited with leading a "revolution in American politics" by The New York Times for his role in breaking America's 300-year-old color barrier in national politics.




July 21: Warner for VEEP? Virginia pundits and Warner advisors said the governor would be the hot VEEP candidate once his taxes passed. But the bubble burst. Why?


June 7: Does Moran Hate Jews? Of course not. But the Washington Post surely despises Moran and is using a tabloid journalism to crush him with an unsubstantiated anti-Semitism charge.


May 24: Kilgore's Turn. Did the politicians in Richmond redo the Gregorian Calendar? If not, then the tax bill violates the VA Constitution and the budget is not in balance. 


April 26: Liar's Poker. Let's be honest: The culture of Wall Street, as chronicled in the best selling book Liar's Poker, now dominates politics in Virginia.


March 15: Stop Holding Virginia Hostage. The General Assembly need not leave town without a budget. The Rebel hereby offers a plan that will keep government operating. Kaine and Kilgore, pay attention.


March 1: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the WPost columnist who wrote "Virginia Bends to the will of Wall Street" Sunday was praising Goldman's Feb. 16 column. Now our rebel asks... Has the High-Tax Lobby Cost Virginia its AAA Rating?


February 16: Moody's Made Me Do It. Gov. Warner and his allies are playing a cynical and dangerous game: blaming their billion-dollar tax increase on Wall Street bond analysts.


January 19: My Cousin Vinny. The high-tax lobby is treating "Maximum John" Chichester  like a co-governor. But the Republican to watch is low-tax Vince Callahan, the Rodney Dangerfield of Virginia.


January 5: Save VA Dems from Moby Tax. Melville could have spun a whale of a tale out of Warner's tax plan. Unlike the Pequod crew, DEMS cannot let a fish story steal our soul, erode state finances and accept the High Tax label.

- 2003 -


December 15: Warner Goes to China. Historians say only Richard Nixon could have cut a deal with Mao. Is this the political thinking behind Warner's gambit to DROP the CAR TAX Budget CAP, something so fiscally reckless, even "Deficit" Jim Gilmore never tried it?


December 1: White Men Can't Jump... But they can cook -- books, that is. Goldman dissects Gov. Warner's tax plan, showing how all the fun stuff is front-end loaded, while the bad stuff comes after he's gone.


December 1: The Goshfather: An Offer He Can't Refuse.  Here's how the tax battle ends next year, in a smoke-filled room in the General Assembly office building as the dons of Virginia politics divvy up their ill-gotten spoils.


November 17: White Men Can't Add. Move over Woody: Goldman scores a slam-dunk as Gov. Warner projects a $1.3 billion budget shortfall over the next two years.


November 4: Avoiding a Dem Disaster in 2005. Once again, Henry Marsh's race-baiting politics threaten a Democrat's chance to become governor. Democrats need to speak out.


October 20: Warner vs. Allen... Earlier this month I went fishing. Look what the boy landed!


October 6: Mark Warner vs. George Allen. Professor Larry Sabato will tell us in 2007 whether they ran, who won and why. But for a look ahead, we asked Paul Goldman, our fearless prognosticator, to handicap the odds in 2003.


September 25: The Moody's Blues. The Moody's decision to put Virginia on credit watch could prove disastrous to the Democrats' reputation for fiscal responsibility -- unless Gov. Warner turns the tables on the Republicans.


September 8: No Car Tax for Life? Gov. Warner -- and our children -- may be in for a real "Education for a Lifetime" if the Bush jobless recession is really over as some predict. Has the time come for the "Put K-12 First" law?


June 9: Chichester's Unreported Contribution. Is Larry Sabato worth 10 times more than Julia Roberts?


June 2: Fiscal Straight Jacket. Candidates Wilder, Warner bought my strategy of honest talk on fiscal issues. Terry, Beyer didn't. Now comes 2005. VA's budget is not "balanced";  it has a $4.5 billion structural deficit.


May 12: Saving Social Security. It's time to protect social security from the politicians in Washington. It will take a constitutional amendment to do the job.


May 5: The Great Dissenter. Goldman warns Virginia Democrats: Mark Warner is gambling his future -- and that of the state party -- on increasing state taxes under the code name of "tax reform."


April 28: The Twinky Strategy. Revealed here: The GUV's secret plan to hand the GOP its lunch on "tax reform."


April 21: 400 Years Later. Money alone won't fix up Capitol Square. Despite  four centuries of history, Virginians don't have a single statue honoring a woman or African-American on the Capitol grounds.


April 14: Reading Dickie Cranwell's Mind. The former Democratic Majority Leader is said to be considering a run for state senate, and Gov. Warner regards him as key to his 2003 strategy. But there's more to this political chess game than meets the eye.


April 7: Wilder Aide Questions Bush/Warner Accord
Education Secretary under Wilder says: "Some of us absolutely disagree" with a Bush/Warner Accord on the presence of racial discrimination in Virginia.


March 31: Who Scared the VA Tech Board? Warner, Kilgore blamed each other. But the NYTimes says Virginian Linda Chavez put the hocus pocus on the Hokies over racial preferences.


March 24: Marquis De Lafayette, Call Home. French legal objections? Come on, they're just smarting over Lance Armstrong owning the Tour de France. The U.S. is enforcing the violation of cease-fire terms of the 1991 Gulf War.


March 17: Warner vs. Kilgore on Racial Preferences. AG says Guv favors giving blacks illegal preferences over whites. SB 863 presents AG with the proverbial "money vs. mouth" test, especially after his VA Tech bombshell.


March 10: Playing Hardball with the Kilgore Brothers. Del. Terry Kilgore's vote sets up political crossfire over renovation of Capitol Square. Goldman offers a way to avoid the trap -- and for Dems to win big.


March 3: Governor Warner's "Peculiar Priorities"? A Washington Post column, so entitled, calls Gov. Mark Warner a "wealthy dilettante without a cohesive political agenda." His campaign strategist responds.


February 24: Candidate Warner vs. Governor Warner. With today's Washington Post pointing to Gov. Warner's use of the fiscal gimmicks he denounced in 2001, a campaign advisor reviews the record and offers a way out of the dilemma his current advisors have created.


February 17: Teaching the Facts of Life. First graders get punished for not doing their homework. But the governor, his advisors and editorialists get to beat their breasts and praise themselves despite costing the state millions.


February 10: The Moment of Truth. Governor Warner, the state Democratic Party and 10 Democratic senators face a defining moment once the facts get out about the GOP plan to repeal Virginia's estate tax.


February 3: Boucher or Scott in 2005? Backers of the Two-Term Governor law, including Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, need to remember the Chinese proverb: Don't wish for something,  you might get it.


January 27: Have They No Shame? In the name of decency, the Dead Heads in the General Assembly should apologize for using the manicured lawns of the State Capitol as if it were an overflow parking lot for a Grateful Dead concert.


January 20: Hidden Agenda? The arguments of Virginians for a Two-Term Governor are so easily refuted that a political commentator must ask the "T" question.


January 13: The Car Tax Scam. Most Virginians should be paying no car tax in 2003. But Gov. Jim Gilmore pulled a bait and switch that leaves average families paying more than promised in his campaign five years ago.


January 6: Putting K-12 Education First. Stop the paralysis in Richmond. Here's a plan that tests whether the Governor and General Assembly really believe in putting our children first.


- 2002 -


December 16: King Kong Kilgore. Mild-mannered Jerry Kilgore may not roar and beat his chest, but he has become Virginia's most powerful first-year attorney general in modern times.


December 9: Legislator, Heal Thyself. If the General Assembly wants to balance the state budget, it should start with its own bloated finances.


December 9: Disorder in the Court. Judicial spending is out of control, increasing 1,000 percent faster than the rate of Virginia's population growth over the past two decades.


December 2: Show Some Backbone. State Democrats should set their own priorities, like K-12 education, rather than follow the agenda set by the GOP Senate Finance Chair.


November 25: Lies, Damn Lies and Polls. How a privately funded voter poll, which should have sent off alarm bells to the local media, was used to manipulate the political system and set in motion the Hampton Roads Tax debacle.


November 18: Highway to Hell. Transportation has been a defining issue in Northern Virginia since the late 1980s, when local elites revolted against the Richmond establishment and protested inequitable funding formulas.


November 18: First Skirmish. The pundits say Mark Earley's stand against the NoVa road-tax referendum hurt him in his losing campaign against Mark Warner. The evidence is less than convincing.


November 11: Reading Jim Gilmore's Mind

From HBO's new Series, "The Mind of a Political Man."


November 4: Shedding Heat, not Light. A "Jews unhappy with Moran" article in a Northern Virginia paper presumes a proper "Jewish" response to issues. A person's faith should not be a tagline, not a headline.


October 28: Chichester vs. Callahan. "Maximum" John beats "My Cousin Vinny" in the first 2003 budget battle.