Gilmore Enters the Fray

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore has entered the debate over transportation and taxes. In an e-mail distributed this afternoon, he urged recipients to contact their legislators and voice opposition to higher taxes for transportation improvements.

“The right way to solve Virginia’s transportation problems,” Gilmore wrote, “is to adopt a plan of specific road projects and exhaust all possible options for funding that plan without increasing taxes on hard working Virginia families. You and I must act now to deliver this message to members of the General Assembly.”

“Do not believe this battle is won because our friends in the House of Delegates have already had votes against the tax hike package,” he added. “Just like two years ago, the Governor and the Senate will use every legislative trick they can to pass these taxes during the 2006 Session.”
The e-mail links to a website under the name of Working Virginians for Affordable Transportation. The policy prescriptions listed there are a bit vague:

• Stop using current tax money dedicated for roads to pay for other spending. Lock-up Transportation Trust Funds.
• Pass specific priority road projects using money generated by today’s taxes and economic growth.
• Require VDOT to implement new traffic and mass transit strategies and cut bureaucratic costs.

I’d like to know what those “new traffic strategies” are, and what “bureaucratic costs” Gilmore is referring to. I’ve got some opinions on the subject, but I have no idea if we’re thinking of the same things. The obvious hole in the listed remedies is the lack of any reference to the need for more rational patterns of development. Regardless, with Gilmore acting as a lightning rod, the transportation debate is bound to get more interesting.

Update: Gilmore will appear as a guest at next week’s “Tuesday Morning Group,” a monthly gathering in downtown Richmond of conservative activists from around the state. According to host John Taylor, Gilmore “will address the transportation issue in Virginia as well as what Republicans must start doing to be successful in the commonwealth.” Expect Gilmore to become a vocal factor in the tax debate.


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6 responses to “Gilmore Enters the Fray”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    It was Governor James Gilmore, in the budget filed as he was leaving office, who proposed taking one year’s sales tax revenue out of the transportation trust fund (and replacing it with paper IOU’s to be repaid out of the General Fund.) The last time the TTF was raided, he led the raiding party. To the extent public confidence was further damaged, he whacked it himself. And I won’t even begin to comment on his proposals to reform VDOT in light of the accounting gimmicks he resorted to during his term. He helped get us into this mess and his intervention now is not welcome.

  2. Ray Hyde Avatar

    No one has ever proven that one pattern of development is more rational than another.

    All we know is that some people have a preference that other people live in a manner to be prescribed.

  3. The paucity of commentary here is tribute to Gilmore’s lack of credibility on the subject.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Sen. Edd Houck used the email to provoke Russ Potts when he was presenting an idea for a 1-cent sales tax increase before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday evening. Potts’ response:
    “If you want to find $900 million, we can get rid of the car tax right now! Then we can go down that no-tax road.”
    He then proceeded to go into a 4- or 5-minute rant that closely resembled one of his stump speeches from last year’s campaign trail.

  5. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    Did he poke ed in the chest while doing this???

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Going to Jim Gilmore for advice on budgets, taxes or transportation would be akin to sending a drug addict to the drug pusher for the cure.

    Surely, Gilmore did this as his initial writing of political satire.

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