The Big RINO Lie

The Virginia Club for Growth PAC issued a Press Release today on the “Big RINO Lie.”

RINO (Republican In Name Only) Delegates that voted for the largest tax increase in the history of Virginia last year are again promoting falsehoods in their coordinated defense regarding their vote against hard-working Virginia families.

The mantra being repeated by the RINO incumbents–including some of the State House and Senate leaders supporting them–has been that their vote was courageous and was needed to avoid a government shutdown. Nothing can be further from the truth. This is another flagrant example of RINO politicians speaking from both sides of their mouths.

You see, Sen. Jay O’Brien (R-Fairfax), had already sponsored a bill (SB 5004) during the extended legislative session in 2004, that would have continued operating the State Government at the prior year’s funding level (similar to a continuing budget resolution at the federal level). This bill was also co-sponsored by Senators Bill Bolling (R-Mechanicsville) and Ken Cuccinelli (R-Centreville).

The Senate Finance Committee did NOT kill the bill–they sat on it, just in case they needed it. Thus, the RINO malarkey that they did the honorable thing because shutting down the government would have cost $100 million just doesn’t fly–there was already a bill in place to address that potentiality.

This orchestrated excuse is another example of the duplicitous and dishonest campaigns waged by RINOs, who campaign as fiscal conservatives, but govern as Ted Kennedy liberals. Politicians should be held accountable and not allowed to hoodwink the voters by spewing out half-truths, lies, and falsehoods.

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  1. Dry Throat Avatar
    Dry Throat

    Our friends at the ATR questioned: What did these Delegates Support?

    • Forcing Virginia’s smokers to shoulder a 700% increase in the excise tax on cigarettes. The tobacco tax went up from 2.5 cents per pack to 20 cents and will climb up to 30 cents in 2006.
    • A 14.3% increase in the sales tax on non-food items, resulting in a combined state and local tax rate of 5%.
    • Increasing the state recordation tax on property transactions by 10 cents, raising the rate to $.25 per $100 – an increase of 66.7%.

    Mr. Rodokanakis please stop BS’ing. Tell It Like It Is!

    As for being encumbered with the likes of Grover Norquist, no party really wants him and he’s very tainted by association with those Saudis. I would exercise caution for the anti-tax Conservative Right, as for the Liberal Left, and those asinine pro-tax Virginia Republicans.

    These stupid politicians don’t know who’s really pumping the gas, but consistently feed off foreign and energy-related campaign contributions to be elected.

    I must remind you that the major oil dealers of the World, the Saudis and the Russians, will do everything to disrupt the 2005 Virginia elections because of the state of their affairs and the proximity to DC and our national intelligence community.

    Excuse me for rambling on, but Hayek’s philosophy seems to have consisted in the belief that as long as the State refrains from meddling in the economy, this is the best guarantor of individual freedom.

    Don’t tread on me.

  2. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    dry throat: You conveniently forgot to mention the actual tax increases that made the 2004 tax increase the largest in the history of VA. But to talk about the increases would be paranoid, perhaps?

  3. semantic debate:

    Wasn’t the largest tax increase when we adopted the sales tax? Or maybe when the adopted the income tax? Or maybe the estate tax? Or the gas tax in 86? I could go on and on.

    Inflation adjusted, this IS NOT the largest tax increase in Virginia history. not even close.

  4. Every tax increase is the largest in history because of steady inflation. The 2004 tax increase that the House Republicans proposed in THEIR budget, HB 1488 in the regular session and HB 5002 in the special session, would have been one of the largest tax increases in history. Nobody is complaining about them. The 19 House Republicans who voted at least once for the final compromise bill (which included some of the House Republican provisions) never would have gotten the chance without a couple of key “anti-tax” legislators “taking a walk” to allow the bill to escape committee. Who asked them to take a walk? It’s on the record, Phil — you could look it up. And who in this story at least had the courage of their convictions and recorded the “aye” vote while others quietly thanked them but voted “nay.”

    So all but a handful of the House Rs voted for a tax increase in 2004. At the end of the day it was fairly modest, left Virginia’s AAA rating secure, and a good chunk of it has already been returned in the form of the lowered food tax (a good thing).

    The single biggest reason for the 2004 tax cut is the cash crunch created by the ever-expanding and failed effort to “cut” the car tax. So “the biggest tax increase in history” was the result of “the biggest tax decrease in history” and we’ll find out next week if the voters have caught on. That is the message the incumbents should be spreading, but nobody dares.

    A week from now the Republican Party will still be bleeding badly, to the benefit of Kaine and Cranwell, and Phil and his ilk will have done it. When I started with the state party almost 20 years ago I was shocked to discover the depth of the “I’d rather be right than win” streak and the “don’t confuse me with the evidence” mindset. The people who actually have to do the work, the supervisors, city councillors, legislators and agency heads, know that you have to pay the bills with actual money, and the guy who whines about high taxes may be back the next day demanding some service.

    The Phils and Grover’s have always been with us. Two hundred and fifty years ago they were the ones arguing against state appropriations for George Washington and the starving Continental Army. They were on the nay side when one vote kept the draft in place in September 1939. They had their suspiscions about George Marshall. And they were the ones Ronald Reagan had in mind when he coined the 11th Commandment.

  5. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    The hubris being displayed by these Republicans is unbelievable. The gap between Republicans and Democrats in the HoD is not so large that Republicans can afford eating their own.

    But, Lord, how I love to see it. Keep it up!

  6. Anonymous Avatar


    You’re setting yourself up to be the victim of some gloating if the “RINOS” all win.

  7. Sorry — the draft vote was in 1941, only a couple of months before Pearl Harbor. Hitler was in Paris and the Luftwaffe over London and the vast majority of Americans were ready to end the draft and were desperate to stay out of the war. Might raise our taxes, you know…

  8. Simon Avatar

    It was not until today that I decided who got my vote down ticket. Bolling and Connaughton each had strengths and weaknesses in my mind. As do Baril and McDonnell.

    Bolling is a hell of a nice guy, has worked hard in the Senate, and has been going to every GOP event for three years. Plus, he energizes core Republican votes. Connaughton brings regional balance to the ticket, I am told is a nice guy, and apparently has no trouble raising money from them rich folks up north. Seems to be more in line with my philosophy of the party.

    McDonnell has a strong base, is a good guy, I believe genuinely wants to improve the lot of all Virginians, and most of my friends adore the guy. Baril I do not know, have never met, and couldn’t tell you a thing about.

    In my mind their drawbacks are as follows in no particular order.

    Bolling is not only endorsed by but is influential with VCAP. Given he has been running for so long and has such a great record, he should have whipped Connaughton like a dog by now. Also, I am told he got involved in a Senate primary a few years ago after giving is word he would stay out – yes, it is a rumor but the source for me was pretty good.

    Connaughton is a Northern Virginian. They don’t get the rest us and probably don’t like us either. He is trying to pretend he lowered taxes when we all know that taxes went up. It’s only lowering if the spending decreases and the taxpayer’s bill goes DOWN.

    McDonnell doesn’t recall ever having participated in sodomy. I will repeat that – he doesn’t recall if he has ever been part of anything that violates Virginia sodomy laws. Sounds a bit like Bill Clinton with that one. He let VCAP funnel money to him (while keeping a nice piece cut for themselves) from ATR. Not sure what this was about, but seems odd.

    Baril has that silly Tide box. No one I know has a clue who the guy is. He will have a real tough chance of winning in November.

    So what does a reasonably intelligent guy do with only 6 days left? Who gets the coveted vote? Ultimately I have decided that I am going to take a stand against VCAP and anyone they support. I have not been happy with this organization since they deviated from their original charter of trying to win open seats. I have watched them lie to people, give their house candidates both false hope and bad information, and just plain by an embarrassment. I feel for the poor guy footing the majority of the bills over there. I understand his frustration with the tax increase – I don’t like it either, but this was the wrong way to go.

    So, I will be voting for Connaughton and Baril. Two men I wouldn’t recognize on the street and that will probably never speak to me. Somehow, you guys “won” my vote.

  9. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    I’ll repeat the challenge I laid out in my comment on the post immediately preceding this one: Why is anti-tax the defining issue in determining whether one is RINO or not? Ought not one’s position on taxes to be balanced against one’s position on the traditional family and small business? Even if a Republican legislator were to get a 0 VCAP rating, if he has a 100 rating by each of the Family Foundation, Virginia Free, and the NFIB, why must he be a RINO–besides, of course, the fact that it’s the anti-tax faction throwing around the labels?

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Jaded JD,

    I agree completely with what you’ve had to say.

    My family is a perfect example of this RINO labeling, and the republican party eating its own.

    My mother and father have been republican ACTIVISTS (not just voters) for over 40 years. They have been in the trenches and been leaders in the party. They belonged to federal, state, and local republican parties. They have never voted for a democrat in their lives. And yet they’ve been smeared publicly at meetings and in the newspaper (specifically named) as RINOs because they support Sean Connaughton. Why? All because of the taxes. (They are 100% “republican” in every other sense of the word – abortion, schools, states rights, etc.; and they voted against meals taxes and the sales tax increase)

    The local party has even revoked their membership because they couldn’t come to meetings (they are quite elderly).

    The republican party has done such a “great” thing getting rid of these rotten RINO’s! They’ve lost 2 big financial contributors, they’ve lost 2 people they can count on for get out the vote phone calls, they’ve lost 2 people that could be counted on to write letters to the editor all over the state supporting republicans.

    I am anticipating a big democrat victory in November if these right-wing, religious, anti-tax zealots keep up the great work.

  11. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    It is unfortunate but required that an official committee subordinate to the State Central Committee revoke the membership of any member who fails to attend one of any three consecutive committee meetings–it’s in the State Party Plan, by which all subordinate committees are bound, at Article VII, Section D.

    Of course, your parents could rejoin the committee and begin to comply with the Section D attendance requirement through use of proxies, as permitted by Article VII, Section A.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    It’s a little difficult for housebound Republicans to attend a meeting once every 3 months.

    And you’ll note that the state 3 meeting rule applies to a state party that only meets 4 times per year. (That is an entirely different scenario than a local party that meets every month.)

    It’s encouraging that Republicans don’t want elderly members who have no transporation but are still quite active in the party – and give tons o’ cash.

    Speaks volumes about what is important to the republican party.

    I wish they could have proxies, but all of their close friends are dead. More insight into the republican party and their “morals”.

  13. Anonymous Avatar

    Jaded JD –

    Could you have been just a BIT more cold in your reply. I have completely misjudged to this point.

    Rules are EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    People are NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    Article VII, Section D, doesn’t apply “to a state party that only meets four times a year.” It applies to all official committees, including Congressional district, legislative district, and unit committees.

    The justification for the rule is complex and not especially material to this thread. But Section A is the safety valve. Elderly–or youthful–members of an official committee unable to attend in person may appoint anyone as a proxy: the proxy doesn’t vote if he’s already a member of the committee anyone because no person can vote more than once; the proxy is intended to reserve one’s presence at a meeting. The elderly couple in the example could name, for example, their unit chairman as their proxy–they proxy need not be a close friend. One only needs to name a placeholder for purposes of the roll.

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    JD: Thanks for the reply on the state info. In the county in which my parents reside the rules stipulate that the proxy MUST reside in the same magesterial district as the “members”. There are only 4 members in that district in the party – and they have enough trouble keeping track of themselves, let alone assisting two other people with “proxies”.

    The problem is further compounded by the rise of the new republican faction – which much prefers the elimination of RINO’s like my folks.

    They aren’t the only elderly people tossed out like this in the last year – there are actually quite a few. They can’t physically make it to the meetings – and the new guard wants them gone anyway, so they won’t help with the proxy situation.

  16. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Anonymous: I too have been kicked off the local Republican county committee. Every year I join the party and after a few missed sessions I’m off. That is the stupidest rule that the RPV has on its books. You cannot build a party organization when you constantly keep on losing members.

    Anyway, that’s fine with me, because of the other silly RPV rule, which I like to refer to as the incumbents’ protection rule. It’s stupid for the party to try to silence any debate in order to protect the incumbents. And the idea that the party supports all incumbents regardless of the policies they espouse is pure folly, especially when some of these incumbents go out of their way to violate some of the fundamental creeds of the party.

    By the way, folks like your parents should be supportive of what we (fiscally conservative activists) are trying to accomplish. In some counties older folks on fixed incomes are being squeezed out of their homes because of skyrocketing property taxes.

    I’m sure you’ve all noticed that in the last few years tax increases (both local and state taxes) have been growing at double digit rates, while personal incomes are only growing by about 3 to 4%. In other words, tax increases can’t continue year-after-year to outstrip the growth in personal incomes, because if you carry out this argument to its logical conclusion, eventually taxes will eat up 100% of personal incomes. What will the government do then to feed its insatiable appetite?

    John Taylor of the VA Public Policy Institute and the host of the Tuesday Morning Group, points out that it took 386 years for Virginia to have a $30 billion biennial budget. It took only 10 years to add another $30 billion. If all of you that support higher taxes and more government spending don’t see something wrong with this picture, I’m really wasting my time in this blog…

  17. Larry Sabato's Hairpiece Avatar
    Larry Sabato’s Hairpiece

    OK Phil…question for you…

    Two VCAP challenged incumbents, May and Reese, received Family Foundation scores in the high 80’s. So did Bryant although his challenger is not VCAP endorsed.

    Two other Republicans who are not VCAP endorsed, Wardrup and Purkey have lower scores than the three RINOs, as you call them, above. Are Wardrup and Purkey RINOs too? How about Suit with a 67 score although she voted against a tax increase?

    What I want to know:

    1. Do you consider Purkey, Wardrup and Suit RINOs too?

    2. Is Speaker Howell a RINO for supporting the re-election of those your group opposes?

    3. If all of the so-called RINOs (assuming that everyone on Grover’s poster was a RINO) left the party tomorrow in the House and the Senate and became Democrats, wouldn’t that just prove that a party that only aligned with your specific views is a minority party?

    4. Is it more important to hunt RINOs than it is to hunt liberal Democrats who vote against your philosophy far more? After all you raise the average rate of agreement with your views far faster by eliminating Democrats with 30 scores than so-called RINOs with 88 scores.

    5. If you took the “surplus” this year and spent it rather than fight tooth and nail to give it back to the taxpayers, doesn’t that make you a tacit RINO? Isn’t every Republican–including Bolling, Cuccinelli, Frederick, etc.–who voted for this year’s budget–and who spent every penny and are now talking about all that new road money and so on in their campaigns–aren’t they really RINO’s too? Shouldn’t they have refused to pass the budget until they gave the money back? Or are they just WHORE’s?

    Spin away, Phil.

  18. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    Re: The Debate on the “Three-Meeting Rule”

    Actually, there is good reason for the rule, and it is that official Party committees serve a leadership role in the Party, which is made up of more than just Committee members. It is necessary for a number of reasons — not the least of which is to prevent “shadow” members who only show up to make mischief, which is the usual modus operandi of at least one such individual that I can think of who fits the description of one of her parents — but also to insure that those responsible for conducting the business of the Party between conventions (the ultimate authority) are those who are actually engaged and involved. Committee membership isn’t just membership in a club; it’s a leadership role. With leadership roles come leadership responsibilities. Requiring attendance at one meeting of every three is hardly onerous, and I would contend that anyone who complains about such a requirement and furthermore, won’t vote Republican because of it, aren’t very committed to begin with. That a fit of pique trumps ideas on the issue of governance reflects badly upon such an individual.
    Of course, my experience with the rule is that it is irregularly enforced, and that it’s existence is used mainly to flog the dominant philosophy of the GOP by those whose commitment to the GOP arises more out of their recognition that it is the dominant force in the political life of the nation and Virginia and therefore, the path to political power.

  19. “it’s existence is used mainly to flog the dominant philosophy of the GOP by those whose commitment to the GOP arises more out of their recognition that it is the dominant force in the political life of the nation and Virginia and therefore, the path to political power.”

    Yikes. That sent shivers up my spine.

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    James Young —

    Rise, Lord Vader. [cue imperial march]

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    JD –

    I’m the anonymous who wrote about my folks. I was re-reading your post and I have a question.

    Are you saying that a member of the committee can be present at the meeting and count as both himself and as the person for whom he holds the proxy? I understand that the only person he could VOTE on behalf of is himself, but under state rules can he “be” two people? Can a local committee rule be more stringent than this?

    I have tried to get answers from the state, but I’ve never had an email or phone call returned in the last year or so.

    Phil —

    This quote is interesting:
    “You cannot build a party organization when you constantly keep on losing members.”
    That is exactly what IS happening by labeling people RINO’s over one issue.

    James Young–
    I know where you are from due to reading your other posts. Believe it or not, this behavior occurs all over the state, not just where you live. Although my folks are (were?) active I don’t think their activity is sufficient to give them any name recognition in other parts of the state. I’m not sure – were you referring to my post when you said something about no longer voting for republicans — because I never said such a thing. My folks will be die hard republicans ’til the day they die. But the party won’t be getting anymore of their cash. And they’ve effectively turned their backs on 2 very elderly folks who were quite good an making many, many get out the vote phone calls.

  22. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD


    Yes, I submit that a person can be present as two or more people by proxy but only vote as one. It somewhat depends on how the committee takes roll.

    Your question is essentially whether Article VII, Section A, is a ceiling or a floor. I would argue that it is a ceiling, and that unit committees may not impose more stringent requirements on proxies than the State Party Plan. However, Section A.2 does require that the proxy holder originate within the same “Election District” as the proxy grantor. “Election District” is intentionally vauge because it is intended to mean as wide an area as a Congressional district for a Congressional district committee, legislative district for a legislative district committee, &c. One could argue that “Election District” could mean so narrow an area as a magisterial district within a unit, because magisterial districts are election districts for the purposes of electing some candidates (as opposed to bare precincts, from which no candidates are elected).

    But for purposes other than magisterial district conventions, construing “Election District” to mean a magisterial district is, in my view, incorrect because for all other purposes “Election District” refers to the district from which the constituency of the relevant official committee is drawn.

    The process for getting formal rulings from RPV, or appealing unit actions, is laid out in Article X, and discussion here would unbearably strain the relevance of this comment to its parent thread.

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    Thank you Jaded JD. I will look into Article X. I appreciate your responses & insight.

  24. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis


    Reference the quote you highlighted. As I said in another post, my job is not to build the Republican Party. The VA Club for Growth wants to replace as many pro-tax legislators with anti-tax legislators. And please keep in mind that we’re non-partisan, although we usually gravitate toward Republicans because finding an anti-tax, pro-economic growth Democrat is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

  25. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    Really wish I understood that anonymous post with the Star Wars reference. 🙁

    Kinda afraid to ask.

  26. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    James, I believe that the implication is that you’ve joined the dark side.

    Gosh, I wish Phil would answer The Jaded JD’s question. It’s a mighty good one.

  27. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    Well, I had an idea (never mind), but I guess if I were as personally politically ambitious as some of my critics should suggest, given the Star Wars mythology.

    On the other hand, perhaps you’re right, and it’s just one more disparagement as “evil” those who outrageously believe that the taxpayers are more qualified to spend their money than the government is.

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