Kaine Looking Good Right Now

You can argue state constitutional theory all day long regarding the right of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to run the government July 1 in the absence of a budget approved by the General Assembly. But 99.9 percent of the electorate is less interested in legalisms than in whether maximum security prisons are staffed with guards, whether the state police are patrolling the highways, whether DMV offices stay open, whether mental institutions remain staffed and the like. In the court of popular opinion, Tim Kaine is not likely to encounter much resistance if he usurps power to keep basic services functioning.

As the Washington Post quotes the Governor this morning:

“I am not going to let Virginians suffer because of inaction,” Kaine said at a news conference. “The Constitution doesn’t contemplate legislative inaction draining all the blood out of the executive and judicial branches.”

We’re already hearing the meme repeated that Republicans have proven they can’t govern. That’s a simplistic statement: The problem isn’t “Republicans” per se, but a deep philosophical division between Republicans in the Senate and Republicans the House of Delegates — a division as profound as that between Republicans and Democrats. But no matter. If essential government services get shut down, few members of the public will make that distinction.

If General Assembly Republicans want to ensure an electoral shellacking next year, they need do no more than refuse to agree to a budget, plunge the state into crisis — a crisis that will, assuredly, generate national attention — and let Democratic Governor Tim Kaine become the savior of sanity.

Twenty-three days left in the fiscal year… and counting…

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16 responses to “Kaine Looking Good Right Now”

  1. Lee Talley Avatar
    Lee Talley

    Why should the house back down? I for one commend Speaker Howell on his courage to stand up for the real convictions of our party. The problem is we have Senators like Potts, Quayle, Stosch, and that dottering old FOOL Chichester who would sell our party ideals in order to stroke their own egos. They do not represent the Party’s wishes or values. In fact they should resign as republicans post haste. I and alot of other republicans do not want them in our party. I pray that the House carries on with its bold embrace of the Regan conservative
    principles that have served our party well.

  2. Scott Avatar

    From: Scott
    Cc: Marty Jewell, Doug Wilder Jennifer McClellan, Benjamin Lambert
    Date: Wed Jun 07, 2006 09:28:11 AM EDT
    Subject: Virginia Performing Arts Foundation

    While jail and schools receive budget cuts from City Council…

    from the news:

    Also yesterday, the assembly returned to the governor a budget for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, which cuts $4.5 million from the promised $8.5 million for the Virginia Performing Arts Complex in downtown Richmond.

    Kaine, a former mayor of the city, is expected to veto the reduction and, in effect, restore all the cash.

    A friend’s analysis:

    The $4.5 in additional state money (subject to matching funds) is less than the loss of private donations VaPAF has raised.

    VaPAF’s 11/29/05 statement showed $25,559,299 in private revenue raised to date. The 2/28 statement showed the same figure to be $20,271,041 – a loss of $5,288,258 in pledged private contributions (20% of their total fund-raising) in 3 months. (VaPAF has not posted their statements for the last three months. Now that the City has given them a blank check, why should they bother?

    The current plan calls for VaPAF to kick in $10 million to renovate the CCPA (Carpenter Center of Perfroming Arts)- they had only $6 million on hand as of 2/28/06. The $20 million additional private funds for the ‘SE Quadrant’ is the same amount they have raised in almost 5 years. At this rate the CCPA won’t be opening in 2 years – it won’t open in 3 years – it’s entirely possible it will never re-open under VaPAF ownership.

    The Mayor’s Task Force Plan is purely speculative. The $45 million figure is a guess – the plans presented in the report are hand-sketched concepts – there are no construction documents and there are no bids. The Task Force proposals have no statutory authority. VaPAF is the sole, fee simple owner of the southern 2/3 of the block. I expect a spirited fight when the Reversion Clause kicks in at the end of the year and the city and VaPAF will tussle over the Broad St. side of the block.

    VaPAF has claimed that their fund-raising woes are the Mayor’s fault due to his lack of support. The Mayor has now offered to essentially bail VaPAF out with millions more than they asked for. There is no indication that private fund-raising has picked up. What will VaPAF’s new excuse be?

    This is OUTRAGEOUS!


  3. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Lee Talley, I’m not saying that the House should back down. I’m just saying that someone, somehow had better find a way to reach an accommodation on the budget or the proverbial doo-doo will hit the fan. I share your embrace of Reaganesque, small-government principles. But a government shut-down, and the ensuing fallout — filtered through a press corps none too sympathetic to Reaganesque principles — will be a political disaster.

  4. Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net ) Avatar
    Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net )

    Glad to see we agree. The party need to make the senators back down. When republicans go liberal and big spending, we lose. Those senators I mentioned in my previous post should face primary challengers and be removed. It is time to cut the chaff from the wheat, the should go back to the party that spawned them and their self agrandizing philosophy, the Democrat Party.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    I’m not paying the government for ideology, I’m paying for good government and good services for the money we spend. If I don’t get it, I’ll remember at the polls.

  6. Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net ) Avatar
    Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net )

    Well the way I see it is that I am paying those senators and assemblymen to do the job according to the conditions I voted for them. There for if you don’t do you job you get fired and I’m saying its time to begin firing those meddling senators who would put their own agenda ahead of the republican party and the state. Also, saying you are paying for good goverment is saying you like burning your money. The only good government is limited government.

  7. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    10:38 Where do these facts fit? The state auditor found, for example, that VDOT completely lacks any internal cost controls or that the CTB funds transportation projects without regard to their relationship to a statewide transportation plan. The stronger evidence suggests that Kaine and certain senators are the ideologues. They seem to want to raise taxes for the purpose of raising taxes (or to prove they can once again) and to continue the waste of taxpayer money instead of first making reforms in a very broken system. The current situation clearly does not reflect good government by anyone’s standards. Thank goodness for Vince Callahan.

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    go ahead…Lock it up. Then it’s bye, bye…and good ridance.

  9. Frank Avatar

    Lee, that’s all well and good. You hold the senators and delegates *you* voted for accountable to the conditions *you* voted for them…leave mine alone.

  10. Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net ) Avatar
    Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net )

    As a republican, I feel that all republican officials work for me and all republicans, we (the republican party) are their boss. I support the party based upon its princibles and I find it hipocritical that ANY delegate or senator would run as a republican and allow their actions to be contrary to the party from which they recieve support. Either they LIED when they said they were republicans or they changed parties, so be honest with yourself and your constituants and be a democrat. You can’t claim the “R” at the end of your name on the ballot and not hold yourself accountable to the party that put you in place to do your job.

  11. Charles Avatar

    Minor Quibble: None of the delagates or Senators will be shellacked this fall, because they aren’t up for election until next fall.

    I am certain they will pass a budget before July 1.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    “Also, saying you are paying for good goverment is saying you like burning your money. The only good government is limited government.”

    Well, from what I can gather from doing a bit of legwork, what they ‘re talking about shutting down are things like UVA and Tech and VCU – which are pretty good government in my book.

    Plus the DMV and the courts and the department of vital statistics and the state corporation folks that have to register new corporations before you can get a business license.

    Don’t forget MCV and UVA hospitals. And all the state parks and museums.

    And let’s not forget the state police, and the folks who run our state prisons.

    All of whom are supposed to go home and their departments to close 6/30 if we don’t have a budget.

    How, precisely, do you think we are better off without these? How, precisely, do you think anyone who’s measurably sentient ISN’T going to notice that they shut down?

    How, precisely, do you think shutting down these vital services is going to make us look like good stewards of the Commonwealth?

    The more I find out about this, the worse it seems. Driving the Commonwealth off a cliff does not engender faith in the drivers.

  13. Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net ) Avatar
    Lee Talley ( alt11@cox.net )

    Well thats a great list of things that should be taken from public to private commercial management. If we had non-government management of all those things perhaps they would be run a bit better. Government is for governing. Not running schools, hospitals, and such. Also, essential services like police and prisons can not be shut down… they may not get paid but thats the breaks when you work for the government. The thing that really amazed me is how the world was so unaffected during the federal shutdown some years ago. Again, I believe in limitied government… Very limited government.

  14. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Charles, mistake duly noted and correction made on the original post. Thanks.

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    “Well thats a great list of things that should be taken from public to private commercial management.”

    No, it’s a great list of things that are done for the common good.

    Whether they are done by state employees or by contractors paid by the state, IT’S STILL UNAUTHORIZED SPENDING IF IT’S DONE WITHOUT A BUDGET.

    If it’s illegal to pay state employees to do these things without a budget, it is EVERY bit as illegal to have private contractors incurring expenses on behalf of the commonwealth.

    “Government is for governing. Not running schools, hospitals, and such.”

    Governing includes running schools, public hospitals, and such. Every state has a state university system. Virginia’s system is a big engine of development and growth in the commonwealth.

    Every state medical school has an associated teaching hospital. The two I know about, UVA and MCV, are major research centers and again, major engines of growth for the commonwealth.

    “Also, essential services like police and prisons can not be shut down… they may not get paid but thats the breaks when you work for the government.”

    Nope. Indentured servitude was outlawed in this country. Look up Constitution, 13th amendment, in Google.

    ” Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

    I do not think you can legally force people to work without pay. Government employees or not.

    ” The thing that really amazed me is how the world was so unaffected during the federal shutdown some years ago.”

    The Feds affect a small number of people – and had they stayed shut down, they would have affected a LOT of people. Everyone on Social Security, everyone on Medicare, all the National Monuments and National Parks, etc.

    We need government. It needs to be as small as possible, and as economical as possible, but some shared services and regulation are essential for a modern society.

    I’ve been a Republican a long time, but if the party keeps going down the “it doesn’t matter how we run government because all government is automatically bad” path, I’m going to be a Republican voting for Democrats. Whoever I vote for has to be a good steward of the Commonwealth.

    This is embarassing to the party and to the state.

  16. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: governing

    hmmm.. wouldn’t governing be assuring that services vital to citizens are provided in the most cost-effective manner possible?

    I don’t think that rules utilizing private enterprise; after all we DO have a process for contracting services and usually to the best bid.

    I do not associate with those that believe that most all services are the responsibility of individuals and not the government but I do believe that government has proven over and over that unless the money you spend comes out of your own pocket… that issues such as cost-effectiveness are… at best.. afterthoughts unless imposed.

    VDOT is the best example in Virginia – and consequentially – at the root of the disagreement about roads and funding.

    VDOT handling of finances is scandalous… absolutely no reputable private enterprise would conduct business the way that VDOT does – and yet – the issue de jure is to give them more money… with the comment that “we’ll get them to do better”. And this is before we ever get to any discussion about priorities and accountability.

    As pointed out before – citizens routinely approve transportation referenda in Va IF they ARE ASSURED that the money will NOT go to Richmond/VDOT but instead will be allocated by locally elected officials who – contract out the roads to private enterprise – on a set timeframe and dollar cost.

    What advantage is it to citizens to raise their taxes and send those taxes to Richmond/VDOT? How does that help?

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