Day has degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke,
prefers dirt road living (on a small farm in
Meadows of Dan), and served, unremarkably, for a
few years in the House of Delegates. His habits
run to NPR and horses, cigars and The New
Yorker, low-stakes cards, Jack Daniels, and
Andy Griffith re-runs.
writes political commentaries for the Roanoke
Times (Mondays, at www.roanoke.com),
the Newport News Daily Press (Sundays), the
Augusta Free Press, the Fauquier Citizen,
in Warrenton, and The Enterprise, in
Stuart. Some people read them.
beliefs? Two. The
right word is worth a thousand pictures. No good deed goes unpunished.
Believes in Religion
(and other true
Day household is addicted to electricity. Our careless
consumption has consequences beyond the light bill:
pollution, mountaintop removal and greenhouse gases
Matter of Exquisite Balance.
a world where the only constant is change, the
State Corporation Commission is the keeper of
economic balance in Virginia. A judgeship is open,
and I would like to fill it.
with a Capital "P".
Republicans' transportation bill is a farce but
fighting it is a political loser. Gov. Kaine ought to
sign it and move on to other issues.
is a slow-motion crippler and killer. But the disease
has given me an appreciation of what is truly good in
a Fire Under the Mule.
Day planned to deliver this speech to a Sorenson
Institute event earlier this month, but the program
changed. Rather than waste a perfectly good speech, he
shared it with Bacon's Rebellion.
Magic Beans. The
shell building approach to economic development is
obsolete. Communities like Martinsville must look to
education, entrepreneurship and unconventional
have a lot to think about when they lick their
wounds at the Homestead this weekend. A little
friendly advice: Think fiscal responsibility.
needs good sportsmanship? Losing stinks! With the
election so close between Bob McDonnell and Creigh
Deeds, why not make everyone happy?
Politics "Winning" is Relative.
McDonnell-Deeds race for attorney general will
likely go down as the closest statewide race in
Without the Ears.
Bill Leighty, who deserves much of the credit for the
Warner administration's success, will help ensure
that the Kaine administration delivers four more
years of the same.
Growth Control Freaks, here's a way to cut down on
all that congestion in Northern Virginia -- stop
recruiting so many new jobs! Turn off the economic
the Guy Some Credit. The
morning-after pundits are attributing Tim Kaine's
victory over Jerry Kilgore to everybody and
everything but Tim Kaine himself. Fact is, the
Timster ran a darn smart campaign.
All Depends on your Perspective.
are wonderful things. Let us just remember that
they're written by the powerful.
Up and Smell the Coffee. Contrary
to the view in some quarters, government isn't the
problem -- it's the solution. Only government can
invest in education, transportation and other
in Our Pocket. That
"huge" state budget surplus you hear about
amounts to a couple of pennies on the dollar. It's
not a big deal.
Me Now, Lord, I
Don't Want to See No More". That
was the week that was -- in quotations.
Imperatives in 2006. It's
time for General Assembly Republicans to get serious
about governing -- and time for Democrats to stop
bailing them out from their mistakes.
Big Lie in the Big Easy. The
Bush administration failed New Orleans and thousands
of people died. It's time for accountability, not
These Campaigns! Sound
bites and e-mail blasts are no substitute for
serious thought. Virginians deserve better from
their gubernatorial candidates.
normally leans Republican. But the 2005 election
isn't normal. Electoral Math + Mark Warner tips the
odds to Tim Kaine.
Weighs In. Former
Baliles has altered the terms of the transportation
debate with a bold new proposal: Raise $1 billion a
year through tolls on Virginia Interstates.
Sprint to November. A
10-Point Survivor's Guide to the Winner's Circle
1865.... Henrico, 2005... The barbarian still lurks within us.
the Mason-Dixon Poll.
Warner is the most popular governor in the history
of the Mason Dixon poll, and voters aren't buying
the GOP flat-earth agenda. Things are looking up for
90,000 veterans receive lower disability benefits
than their counterparts in 49 other states. Someone
needs to hold Washington accountable.
the Washington-based security contractor in hot
water with the feds, has extensive ties to Virginia
Republicans. Who knows where the threads will lead
Debate Debate. Jerry
Kilgore is making a fatal mistake refusing to debate
Russ Potts. Love him or hate him, Potts is a
legitimate candidate, and it makes Kilgore look weak
to avoid him.
Will Wear Warner's Cloak? The
lesson of last week's election was simple: Voters
want pragmatic politicians, like Mark Warner, who
govern from the center. The big question now: Who
will succeed him?
This a Great State, or What? The
really consequential votes in the June 14 primary
will take place in the GOP primary. Democrats
can rig the outcome to help in November's general
Day by the Numbers.
the years, more than 1.2 million American soldiers
paid the ultimate price. On Memorial Day we salute
Sullivan was a great university president. William
and Mary will miss him. So will we.
of the Gas and Dust... The
amorphous gubernatorial campaign seems to be
coalescing around one big issue: Do Virginians
really want government by referendum?
Many Ex-Governors. What
a waste. You give a governor expensive, on-the-job
training and he's gone in four years. Then
what does he do with himself?
Virginia's constitutional right to "hunt"
cover the right to sling lead at flying clay targets?
The shaking of sticks and hurling of epithets has
can tell a lot about a person by the friends he keeps.
Makes you wonder why Del. Jeff Frederick, R-Woodbridge,
isn't distancing himself from ethically challenged Tom
We Talk? Tim,
Jerry, a word of advice: Run your gubernatorial
campaigns like grown-ups.
for Larger Times.
communique from Alan Diamonstein reminds us of the
great issues that Virginians once grappled with.
’Ritin’ and Recklessness. Jerry
Kilgore's educational prescriptions just don't add
Cow at the Stoplight.
Where have I seen that look of cud-chewing
vapidity before? There's something
vaguely... Republican... about it.
28: A Primer for
the Feeble Minded. It's spring, the campaign
season. You'll hear a lot of nonsense about local
government spending and taxes. Tape this column to
a Game He Understands.
declaring his independent candidacy for governor,
Russ Potts has infuriated
the flat-earth wing of the GOP. Nothing could help
have filed an unprecedented 76 amendments to the state
constitution this session. Someone needs to rein
28: In the End... Virginia
has survived another session of the General
Assembly. All things considered, it wasn't a bad
Can You Spare a Dime? With a budget surplus
looming, Virginia legislators are abandoning all
fiscal restraint. Big winners could include
beekeepers and Japanese snails.
Political Columnists Do. We talk, we write,
we revel in the power of words.
One Will Save Lives. HB
2742 will save thousands of lives by requiring 15
aging coal-fired power plants to install modern
Howell can't get traction on any of his other
issues, so he's trotted out a frightful
oldie--completing the phase-out of the car tax.
General Assembly is in session -- a time when
otherwise respectable people don clown ears and run
around honking their horns.
Walks the Plank. The
GOP majority in the General Assembly is big enough
to engender intra-party factionalism and payback, as
Preston Bryant discovered after backing last year's
Schizoid Republicans. One
political party, multiple personalities... Can you
say, "Play Misty for Me"?
Warner Gonna Do? Mark
Warner says he just wants to do a good job as
governor of Virginia. But a lot of smart people are
looking down the road to 2008.
the Pig. The
idea of launching a "Marshall Plan for
Transportation" has its limitations, but you
have to give Steve Baril credit for taking the lead
on transportation funding when no one else will.
the Rush? Granting
Virginia's "Big Three" universities
charter status would make them less accountable to
the public. Such an irrevocable step needs to be
and Values. Barnie
Day offers some friendly advice to the Rev. Jerry
Falwell on how to staff his Faith and Values
But Not Forgotten.
don't make 'em like Hardaway Marks anymore.
15: He's Baaack! Coming
out of political retirement, Doug Wilder is back in
the public spotlight as Richmond's new mayor -- with
a mandate to kick butt and take names.
Ross, the presidential election was all about
"moral values" -- not war, terrorism,
scandal, healthcare or the economy.
Leaf Bait and Switch. Culpeper
supervisors offered a novel justification for
closing a meeting to the public: They wanted to get
their stories straight. Incredibly, a judge bought
Cheap Lesson, As Lessons Go. Score
one for the Republicans: Gov. Warner deserved to get
his hand slapped for the way he accounted for staff
expenses. Now, get over it -- it's not a big deal.
Wingers Get One Right. Agreeing
to pay Michael Moore $35,000 was an atrocious
idea. The man can say whatever he wants -- but not
on the state's dime.
Lynchburg. Lynchburg College
has confiscated all copies of the student-run
newspaper. The 1st Amendment doesn't cover private
colleges, but I've got a plan...
to Jim Gilmore. Frankly,
Virginia Republicans have been a mess since you
left. Who else but you can put the pieces back
Andrews was vain and quick-tempered, but also principled,
brilliant and a undisputed master of the Virginia
state budget. His legend will live long after he's gone.
Out on Opening Day. Me
and Ol' Dawg Are Done.
System Was Blinking Red: Read
the 9/11 Commission report and feel the rage.
There were warning signs aplenty, but our leaders
Morning Coming Down. Ruminations
on Ed Schrock, Virginia's torrential rains and the
Republican Party convention in New York.
to Kaine and Kilgore. I'm
sorry, gentlemen, but when it comes to addressing
Virginia's transportation needs, your platitudes
just won't cut it.
Second Letter to Kilgore. It's
been a tough summer, hasn't it? That squabble with
your mama... Electronic eavesdropping...
The BIG money... Where do I begin?
We're Up Against. Virginia
faces a $100 billion - with a "b" -
shortfall in transportation funding over the next 20
years. What do our presumptive gubernatorial
candidates have to offer?
Paul Harris. The
Democrats unveiled a new African-American superstar,
Barack Obama, at the national convention. A Virginia
Republican, Paul Harris, could be his match.
26: 1957. It
was simpler then. It was a time for heroes, a time
of optimism, a time when vital truths were uttered.
Pay heed, Mr. President.
a religious rite, not an institution that should be
regulated by government. The traditional American
family is in free-fall, and denying equal rights to
gays won't change that.
Spot" Government. Virginians
don't want too much government or too little. The
challenge of governing is doing a good job of
providing basic services -- but no more.
Margraves of Conservatism. The Democratic don of dialectical
discourse tips his
hat to the Richmond Times-Dispatch for its
characterization of Del. Steve Landes.
Absurdities. Malpractice insurance and
Medicaid reimbursements are pushing Virginia to the
brink of a medical crisis.
Letter to the Speaker. With
all due respect, sir, how does the Republican Party
propose to run on an anti-tax platform? Only eight
House Republicans steadfastly held the line against
taxes this past session.
Against Hope. Jim
Gilmore sounds like a man who wants to run for office
again. If you're a Democrat, cross your fingers and pray
that he does.
the Hand. Their
criticism of Virginia FREE puts William
Howell and Morgan Griffith neck-and-neck in the
for the Dimwit Hall of Fame. VA FREE donates to Republicans two to one over
Heathen Mischief. Looking
for a good summer read? Pick up Martin Clark's novel
about the escapades of renegade Roanoke minister
after their recent legislative victory, state
Democrats are savoring the next election. A wealth
of talent could mean a strong ticket in '05.
Were Liberated. What
Brown vs. the Board of Education meant to a
small-town North Carolina school 37 years ago.
me, what just happened? The Republican
legislature finally passed a budget but I'm getting
cross-eyed trying to figure out what they did and
best thing coming out the 2004 General Assembly was
the cap on car tax relief -- a subsidy for
inefficient local government and a running sore on
warring tribes that call themselves the Virginia
Republican Party had better settle their differences
over taxes or else there could be a big shake-up at
Will Inman. You'll
see him on the cover of Sports Illustrated one day.
But you read about this Danville pitching prodigy in
this column first.
General Assembly could use a little help with its conflict resolution skills.
Demand a Refund! You
bunglers, you incompetents, you wattle-headed
hens! Your empty, anti-tax ideology has embarrassed
Virginia, made a
mockery of the General Assembly and made you look
the Hothouse and
Looking In. Political
junkies, it's time to lighten up: The fate of the
world does not revolve around the tax reform debate
Begins the Republican Descent. In
an act of unparalleled arrogance, Republicans in the
House of Delegates voted to exempt the legislature
from the Freedom of Information Act.
Flat-Earth Society Rides Again. The
fiscal geniuses who brought us the VDOT retirement
fiasco and the state's largest budget shortfall are
lining up to attack Gov. Warner's tax reform.
One Side Will Prevail. In
Warner versus Howell, bet on Warner. The governor has two big advantages: the veto
and John Chichester.
Milk? Virginia will always have milk in
grocery stores, but it may not be long before we
lose our dairy farms. The regulatory system
supporting milk producers seems broken beyond
Christmas Letter to Jerry
Claus knows who's been naughty and nice. And, Jerry,
I'm betting that the eavesdropping thing will get
written down twice.
Comes out Swinging. The
governor's bold tax-reform proposal faces long odds
in a legislature dominated by the GOP. But, if
passed, it would fund his pro-education platform and
bolster his national profile.
Hanging Tough. Look
past the headlines about all the partisan wrangling
and you'll realize that Mark Warner has accomplished
a lot during his nearly three years in office.
GOP Loses. Gov. Warner is in a no-lose position in the
debate over tax reform.
University's president had no justification for
confiscating a recent edition of the school
newspaper. The sorry episode was a blatant
violation of the First Amendment.
on Ice. Jerry
Baliles makes the job of being an ex-governor look
easy. When's he's not running Hunton & Williams'
international legal practice, he's reshaping the airline
industry or transforming education in Patrick
Just Half-Assetted. Working
hard to build your estate? If you discount your
share of local, state and federal government debt,
you’re not worth as much as you think.
McKenzie's recent jab at me is best seen as a
back-handed maneuver to distance himself, and the Times-Dispatch,
from Bob McDonnell and the far right wing of the