Detaching from Reality at the Roanoke Times

The balance of power in the taxes-and-transportation debate must be shifting in favor of the House of Delegates. What do I base that on? The fact that some Virginia’s editorial writers are so distraught that they’re practically foaming at the mouth.

I’ve already commented upon the Washington Post’s characterization of House Speaker William Howell. (See “William J. Howell: The Face of Evil.”) But those epiteths were almost mild compared to what you can read today in the Roanoke Times.

The Roanoke Times lauds Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for vetoing legislation that would have given Republican legislators power to appoint a majority of the members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Sure, it was a raw power grab, and no one in their right mind expected Kaine to sign it. But the only people who seem to have worked themselves into a froth are the editorial writers at the Times. Here is the Times storyline:

“Miffed” that Kaine, a Democrat, won the election, the Republicans, “sore losers” that they are, “vindictively went after Kaine,” despite the Governor’s”genuine gestures” of bipartisanship. (No word from the Times about Kaine’s principled about-face on tax increases.) The ‘Pubs tried to “strip” Kaine’s appointment powers, and they “stepped over the line” in refusing to appoint a former AFL-CIO official to Kaine’s cabinet. They still hope to “wound the governor” and “slap around Virginians” who support tax increases. Every step of the way, the Times characterizes the motives of the House GOP as vindictive or venal.

What’s interesting here is that the Times writer is so over-wrought that he/she seems unable to draw distinctions between the courageous, fiscally responsible, tax-raising Republicans in the Senate and the pandering, short-sighted obstructionist Republicans in the House. But both chambers had to pass the power-stripping legislation in order for it to reach the Governor.

Guys, the next time Gov. Kaine decides to reach across the aisle in a display of bipartisanship, I doubt he’ll be calling on you for help with his speech writing.

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2 responses to “Detaching from Reality at the Roanoke Times”

  1. Roanoker Avatar

    Naw…the next time Governor Kaine wants to “step over the line”, he can call on you.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Here’s another Op Ed from Chris Jones of the 76th House district (parts of Chesapeake and Suffolk) in the Hampton Roads Daily Press (another paper with almost daily Editorials on the issue).


    “During the last impasse in 2004, I was one of 17 House Republicans who supported a compromise to end the stalemate.”

    “How, then, can someone who supported the 2002 referendum for transportation funding and the 2004 budget compromise support the current House plan for a budget and its approach to transportation?”

    “As an advocate for improved transportation in our region, I know the proposal being advanced by the House, which envisions a special session of the General Assembly to address transportation, is the correct approach to achieve real, sustainable progress on this critical issue.”

    “Right now, Gov. Timothy Kaine and the Senate want to enact a series of tax increases to pay for transportation improvements.

    Collectively, their proposals would increase the price of gasoline, the sales tax on vehicles, the tax on automotive insurance policies and the tax on selling a home. They are trying to pass their proposals to hike taxes at a time when homeowners across Virginia are receiving notice of their property assessments – and staggering increases.”

    Then.. he goes on to advocate a separate special session where:
    ….” We set aside a portion of the (this years) existing transportation dollars and budget surplus to increase transportation funding by creating a Transportation Reserve Fund. These monies would be allocated separately, during a special session of the Assembly devoted to transportation.”

    Huh? I didn’t realize the current dust-up was about allocating the monies…

    I must have been not paying attention.. I thought it was about funding or lack thereof.. and how to generate new funding but without affecting taxpayers?

    It’s clear now there are two separate planets and two (or more) parallel universes.

    I guess this is what happens when there is not only no low hanging fruit but, in fact, no consensus options for moving forward.

    I don’t envy them. VDOT is broke. They’re 100 billion in the hole and these guys in Richmond have to find significant new money but not from taxpayers. 🙂

    It appears that Mr. Jones believes that the real issue is how to divy up the 500 million chump change that the House is serving up as a “solution”.

    May oh by – I’m not sure I would have “shared” such thoughts in such a public way even if I admired my own written words.

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