Heresy Spreading!

In a Richmond Times-Dispatch front page story on the increase in Virginians seeking post-secondary education, the Chancellor of the Virginia Commmunity College System had this to say:

[Glenn] DuBois said he’s pursuing increased state financing but also contemplating innovative ways of raising money through public-private partnerships, local government contributions and even regional taxes agreed to in referendums (emphasis mine).

Remember what Russ Potts has told us over and over again: “Referendum is spelled C-O-W-A-R-D.”

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  1. Norman Avatar

    Oh the humanity!

    Whatever will Potts do now that someone from his beloved education ranks is considering the yellow-bellied highway to hell?

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Norm, you crack me up.

  3. Steven Avatar

    Pass the Kool-Aid and say Amen?

    ~ the blue dog

  4. This is a subtle point, but try to follow me here:

    I think the idea is that if you want extra revenue and can’t get legislators to raise taxes, you send it to the voters as a last resort and hope that they’ll aprove it.

    In Kilgore’s case, he’s afraid to face legislators because if HE raises taxes, HE’LL be blamed for doing it by the Grover types. So he’s finding another way around that by throwing it to a referendum and hoping that they vote for tax increases.

    I’m sure that if Russ Potts was given a choice between: (1) no new taxes and (2) the chance for new taxes using referendums, he’d take that chance. But he’d fight like hell to get the legislature to pass gas tax increases before doing that.

    In Kilgore’s case, he wants new taxes but is afraid to get tarred and feathered by the right-wing. So he’s throwing it to a referendum. Punting the issue. He wants the taxes…BADLY…DESPERATELY…but he’s afraid to suffer the political consequences.

    Why else would he hire Chichester buddy Ken Hutchinson?

  5. Ben Kyber Avatar
    Ben Kyber

    Since there is no link to my blog on Bacon’s Rebellion yet, i’m going to plug it again.

    PLEASE check it out.

  6. TheModerate Avatar

    Like I said in an earlier post, if we start having referendums for transportation funding, it will open the flood gates to everything being on the ballot, it would be the end of the Commonwealth as we know it.

    If the General Assembly wants to give localities more wiggle room under the Dillon Rule to increase taxes via referendums, then so be it.

  7. TheModerate Avatar

    Oh, by the way, I remeber reading a few weeks ago how blogs may or may not influence elections…..I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on the Dillon Rule.

    Let’s see if we can force all 3 candidates to address this issue and tell us if it’s a good or bad thing for localities via blogging.

  8. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    What shall our name be now, Caliginia or Virginiafornia?

  9. Sorrel Avatar

    I’ve no use for Mr. Potts in the context of this election, but his point about the referenda proposal is well-taken. It is a cop-out and it is a sign of failure mode in Richmond. Kilgore (I could as easily include Kaine)has been fearful of fiscal issues for a long time now. His initial call for incurring state debt and his fallback to advocacy of a referendum on the budget were amazingly timorous responses to the financial debates of the previous GA. Especially when coming from the Attorney General of the State. If I thought the idea of local referenda on tax issues were sincerely motivated by some sort of populist enthusiasm for small government, I could afford the concept some respect (although I would still think it a bad policy idea). But it is a dodge of the tougher issues and cannot be a better answer than statewide political leaders who are candid, tough, intelligent, and determined about their approach to the fiscal health of the Commonwealth. Potts spelled it correctly.

  10. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Barnie, I’d rather be one of those two options if the third is “Pottslyvania.”

  11. Anonymous Avatar

    I have to agree, and this is about the only issue I agree on with Mr. Potts. I lived in CA for almost 7 years in the late 80’s – early 90’s and this was in my belief the cause of all the problems that state has reaped in the last 10 years. It is also a completely inefficient way of conducting state policy, but it does make alot of issue proponents and political consultants rich.

    “I think the idea is that if you want extra revenue and can’t get legislators to raise taxes, you send it to the voters as a last resort and hope that they’ll aprove it.”

    The above quote to me also reflects the problem among our politicians today. The state certainly has enough revenue. What we have is a state government that is much too broad in power and too large in bureacracy. I personally would find it more acceptable to say the following: “…the idea is that if you want smaller government and can’t get legislators to cut programs, you send all new spending legislation to the voters as a last resort and hope that they’ll disapprove it.” If you’re going to send legislation to the people via referendum because legislators cannot lead, I for one would prefer to as Mr. Potts would say, “go all the way” and send the actual legislation instead of a choice to raise or not raise taxes and trust those same cowardly legislators to spend the money responsibly.

    As to the Dillon rule, I am all for giving localities the right to tax themselves, but only at the divestment of responsibility from the state level with an equivalent reduction of State taxing authority for those items moved to the localities. I realize this would be a complete restructuring of the VA code, but in my opinion it is needed. However, it would never be approved because the rest of VA would never allow the cash cow of NOVA to stop sending their annual welfare payments to the rest of the state.

  12. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    In California, ballot measures can be approved without any funding mechanism attached to them. That’s a good reason to oppose a California type system.

    This proposed plan for Virginia is different. Voters approve the funding for a project, not just the project.

    In a California style referendum, the measure would say “Rt. 66 shall be widened.” In Virginia, we’d say, “shall a sales tax levy of 1% be used to raise $50 million to widen Rt. 66.”

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