Kilgore on WTOP

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Jerry Kilgore was interviewed on WTOP this morning. Since this is a call-in show, I tried to get on the radio to ask Kilgore why he hasn’t signed the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) pledge not to raise taxes–a pledge he had signed when he ran for Attorney General, but which according to the ATR must be renewed now that Kilgore is running for Governor (see: “A Backroom Deal?“)

Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let me ask the question on the air. They told me that there was another person already on hold waiting to ask the same question. I then said I wanted to ask him about Sen. Chichester’s proposals to raise taxes and why Kilgore is not he speaking out against them. They told me that this was too similar a question and they wouldn’t let me get on the air.

Interestingly, I later received an email confirmation that a person from ATR was indeed holding to ask the tax pledge question, but that person wasn’t allowed to come on the air as well. Makes you wonder whether Kilgore’s campaign staff had a role in screening the callers…

If anyone is interested, I recorded the entire interview. It’s about 40 minutes long once I removed the commercials. To listen to the interview click here.


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  1. Will Vehrs Avatar

    This is an example of the power of blogs. How else would this kind of information get out? It’s not the kind of thing a mainstream reporter would be looking to discover.

    The Kilgore campaign would do well to embrace blogs–invite bloggers to call in questions when the candidate is on the radio, or, better yet, go online at the Washington Post and other sites and invite written questions.

  2. It’s rare that you find a candidate any higher than State legislator who will actually answer questions in an unscripted forum without screeners. And why? Because they’re afraid to answer with “I don’t know” or they’re just not that confident in their positions/don’t believe in their positions because they’re purely political.

    “Why didn’t you sign the anti-tax pledge, Mr. Kilgore?”

    “Well sir, it was a political calculation. I don’t want to offend the pro-tax wing of the Republican Party. I’ve struck a deal with Chichester promising not to be too hard on the tax increase last year. It’s called “hedging” or “stradling”. There certainly isn’t any practical policy reason for the decision.”

  3. Well, Phil. I s’pect that ole tax pledge just got lost under a pile of petitions or sumthin’ and I’ll betcha (now that Mr. Potts’s intentions are clear) it’ll get signed right quick by our man Jerry. If there were any principles behind not signing it (and there may not have been – I get real behind in my paperwork too)I imagine the gathering storm clouds will lead Mr. Kilgore to shore up his base. He’s apparently goint to deal with Messrs. Potts and Kaine as if they are a two-headed tax monster.

  4. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    I agree that Kilgore will try treating Potts and Kaine as a two-headed tax monster. But he has lost a golden opportunity of pinning last year’s tax increase on Warner and Kaine. By not speaking loudly against the tax increase, he’s lost the opportunity to morph last year’s tax increase into Kaine’s tax increase.

    I also do not think that not having signed the tax pledge is a simple omission on Kilgore’s part. On the contrary, this is a calculated move on his part. By not signing the pledge, he can continue to seek the support and money of the business interests that are single-mindedly pursuing and campaigning for tax increases. At the same time, he’s winking at the Republican Party faithful, by saying stuff like “well you know me, I always stood against taxes.”

    If we don’t force Kilgore into a position against taxes–a position he cannot retreat from–I can almost guarantee that they’ll raise the gas tax next year. Chichester is on a holy mission to raise the gasoline tax and he won’t give up; he and his tax-crazy Commissars in the Senate will hold the government hostage again and Kilgore won’t be able to stand up to them. That’s why it is essential that Kilgore be forced to sign the tax pledge this year and be locked into a position of no tax increases.

  5. And now for a completely subjective and shallow observation…

    Don’t get me wrong, Kilgore will have my vote, but he just doesn’t do anything for me. He seems so scripted. “Let me spew as much of my resume as I can without really answering a question.”

    As I said, he will have my vote, but it won’t be the enthusiastic one I casted in November for 43.

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