Confused in Richmond

A recent email message sent by Paul Jost to Ken Hutcheson was just too good to pass up without sharing it on this blog. As most of you probably know, Hutcheson is Kilgore’s campaign manager. He also served previously as the campaign manger for the following heavyweight, tax-and-spend, State Senate Commissars: John Chichester, Tommy Norment, and Russ Potts. (I’ve received Paul’s permission to publish his message in its entirety.)

Hutch…I’m very confused. You are Jerry Kilgore’s campaign manager and long-time key strategist. The company you own is called Old Dominion Strategies. Jerry’s campaign is being quoted as saying that Russ Potts has “not been a Republican for years.”

Just now, I looked on the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) web site and it shows that you have three clients:

1. Jerry Kilgore who has paid you $237,154 in consulting fees
2. Virginians for Responsible Government (the PAC formed to fund John Chichester and Tommy Norment’s reelection campaigns shortly before they led the fight to raise taxes which paid you $103,859 in consulting fees
3. Russ Potts who has paid you $15,194 in consulting fees.

If Russ Potts has “not been a Republican for years,” why were you recently working for him and taking his money? In fact, you were doing so with Jerry Kilgore’s blessing at the same time that you were working for Jerry. And why were you working for tax hikers John Chichester and Tommy Norment while working for Jerry?

And when Jerry was quoted as saying he would support all Republican incumbents against other Republican primary challengers just a few weeks ago, did he also mean that he would support Russ Potts?

Can you help me clear up this confusion?

Paul Jost

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


  1. Will Vehrs Avatar

    Whoa, Phil, you’ve got the goods to cause some serious squirming.

    I’m all for a big tent and emphasizing common ground as opposed to differences, but eventually one has to choose.

  2. Oh man I love this.

    The GOP will weather this storm, I think. The moderates are all pretty old…once they retire, you’ll be left with an ideologically pure anti-tax party.

    Problem is, there goes their money. Big dollar corporate donors addicted to state funding crack and looking for investment in education and transportation to improve their workforce will shift to the Democratic Party (if they haven’t already).

    As long as our tax rate is relatively low, the state GOP can’t use the anti-tax argument to leverage corporate donors like the national party does with it’s push to kill the capital gains and other industry taxes.

    What can you cut in VA? The BPOL is a likely suspect…taxing pre-profit revenue seems a bit olkd-fashioned…maybe the corporate income tax (currently 6%, I think).

    I think the anti-tax message won’t work in VA until the memory of the service cuts during the recession fade from people’s minds. Too many people endured tuition increases (more of those coming!) and cuts to their children’s colleges. They associate those cuts with tight state spending. Until they forget, I think the small tax increase in 2004 will continue to be popular, surplus or no surplus.

  3. Ooh, that hurt … Kenny is gonna need to deal with that bad print.

    But at least the GOP support GOP candidates, unlike their Democratic counterparts.

  4. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Paul: I don’t mean to pick on you, but you seem to have some notions about the State’s finances that are incorrect. I don’t blame you, because this is the sort of misinformation that guys like our
    Gov. Pinocchio
    love to spread and which are repeated by a friendly and lazy press.

    In a previous post, I pointed that the figures you were using about the additional revenues brought into the treasury by the tax increase were incorrect. You made reference to an impact statement on a bill submitted by Del. Parrish. I believe the figures you quoted were about $350 million for the first year and about $500 million for the second year or somewhere around $800 million for the biennium. Either that’s the incorrect bill or this only counts the General Fund receipts and doesn’t include the non-general funds. Please take a look at the 2004-2006
    Budget Overview
    ; look at the fifth paragraph on Pg. 2. It clearly states that the tax increase will bring $800 million to the General Fund, plus special tax increases of $687 million, for a total of $1.487 billion.

    Now to dispel the myth that Virginia underwent any spending cuts during the recession. That’s another falsehood promoted by Gov. Pinocchio and an accommodating press. This information comes from the VA Dept. of Accounts. The
    2004 Comprehensive Annual Report (CAFR)
    , includes a
    Statistical Section
    . Pages 2 and 3 of this report, depict a ten year schedule of Revenues and Expenditures.

    On the expenditure side, state government outlays have increased each and every year during the last decade, with the exception of 2003 when they dropped a miniscule 0.6%, but this is after spending had gone through the roof the prior year, having gone through a 16.7% jump. Here’s are spending increases over the last 10 years:

    1995: 11.2%
    1996: 2.3%
    1997: 6.4%
    1998: 6.9%
    1999: 10.8%
    2000: 8.2%
    2001: 9.2%
    2002: 16.7%
    2003: -0.6%
    2004: 3.0%

    So where are the spending cuts? There weren’t any!

    Remember a couple of years ago when Gov. Pinocchio was going around telling folks that he cut $6 billion from the state budget? The budget “cuts” were calculated against projected revenue growth and the projections were unrealistic given the recession. Somehow these “paper cuts” have left the impression with well meaning folks that our State went through some drastic spending cuts a few years ago, that debilitated our State’s services. This is a myth that is propagated by the special interests that continue to push for even greater spending increases.

  5. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Steve: I bet “Kenny” will simply ignore this like he has so many other messages from many well-intended folks who want to see the Kilgore campaing emerge victorious in November.

    My questions to you is this: What hold does “Kenny” have over Kilgore? Obviously, “Kenny” is costing Kilgore some serious political capital. I’ve never hear of a campaign consultant that wasn’t replaceable, when his liabilities exceeded the capital he brought to the campaign.

    During the Republican Convention last summer, I witnessed a number of GOP conservatives speak to Kilgore and tell him that “Kenny” was hurting the ticket. Somehow all the criticism has not phased Kilgore.

    Obviously, at this point “Kenny” is hurting Kilgore. So I’m repeating my earlier question: What kind of hold does “Kenny” have over Kilgore?

  6. Who knows? Why don’t you ask him?

    If you have time, Russ Potts has a web site and is looking for contributions from folks who love tax and spend politicians.

    Go to the photo gallery for some laughs, because some images of Potts are tinted BLUE.

  7. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    I doubt that Kenny would answer my message, as hard as I’ve been on him lately.

    Yes, I’ve visited the Potts website–no I didn’t leave any contributions, as they wouldn’t accept an online donation of tar and feathers.

    Did you notice that there is no page on Potts’ positions? Isn’t it weird to be running for office and not have posted your positions on your website?

    On the other hand, if you’re Russ Potts and you take whatever position is convenient at a given moment, it would be mighty difficult to state your core political principles.

  8. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Paul: How can you still talk about spending cuts, when I showed you in black and white that spending has gone up each and every year (exept 2003, but that was after a 16.7% jump in 2002).

    As to the State colleges, since 1979 spending has increase 35% per student and this is adjusted for inflation.

    As to last year’s tax increase, you seem to have made up your mind that the tax increase wasn’t as large as reported even by the Warner Administration factotums. The final impact of the tax increase is after the adjustments you mention. So tax revenues went up $1.4+ billion after all the adjustments you mention.

    Why are you having such a hard time accepting what is plain for all to see? You have bought into the propaganda of budget cuts–when no such cuts have taken place.

    Also, please don’t take us for simpletons. Warner didn’t implement a tax reform. That was a catch-phrase to implement a tax increase, plain and simple. No reforms were enacted, just the fleecing of the taxpayers at a time when the State was racking in the revenues and the tax increase was totally unnecessary.

    For Christ’s sake man, please stop drinking that Warner cool-aid…

Leave a Reply