The Potts Report

What is the Potts for Governor campaign up to? Until now, it seemed to be based exclusively on the media’s fascination with Republicans trying to oust Potts from the party. While that’s “good copy,” as they say, I’m rather old-fashioned, believing a campaign ought to be about the candidate, his or her ideas, and his or her organization. I’ve been scanning the news for some dispatch that might illuminate any real substance in the Potts campaign

As if in answer to my prayers, an April 6th Brian McNeill story in the Fairfax Connection sheds a keyhole-sized light on the Winchester Senator’s ideas and progress.

Potts has priorities and a hierarchy of values:

Should Potts be elected governor, one of his top priorities would be to overhaul the state’s tax code, which has not been comprehensively revised since 1938. By ensuring all Virginians are paying their fair share, he said, revenue could be generated for long-term transportation and education solutions.

He also said that he, unlike Kaine or Kilgore, is open to increasing the gas tax, which has remained at 17.5 cents per gallon for nearly two decades.

“I hate taxes, but I love Virginia more,” he said.

He doesn’t think much of the Kaine and Kilgore proposals to help lower local real estate taxes:

“I’ve seen this whole no-tax, no-roads, no-schools, no-hope vision play out,” he said. “They’re adamantly opposed to any investment in Virginia.”

The Potts organization appears to humming right along. They have collected “roughly” 5,000 signatures to get him on the ballot.

McNeill’s apparent take? “One thing is certain. Potts plans to stir things up over the next seven months.” That view is based on this Potts observation and declaration: “The most dangerous candidate is the one who isn’t afraid to lose. Believe me, I’m not afraid to lose.”

Tax-happy warrior Potts indeed poses a danger, but right now I’d say it’s more to his own campaign’s viability than to Kaine or Kilgore.

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  1. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    I’m not so sure. I thought Fauquier County would turn down a bond authorization for a gold plated high scholl locate in a place no one seems to think is the best.

    It passed more than two to one. So much for anti-tax sentiments. I think people want what they want, and they are willing to pay for it.

  2. Ray:

    Bonds have a 90% success rate or something like that. People don’t mind borrowing money. Often times they look at the ballot, see “schools!” or “parks!” and mindlessly check “Yes.” If the ballot said, “Increase your taxes for X purpose” it would have a lower success rate. Maybe bonds should contain a disclaimer that says, “If we borrow this money now, future generations will pay for it.”

    Will: Potts seems to be a joke so far. But if he somehow raises money and gets on the ballot, he could interject some honesty into this election. Right now the two other candidates are lying to voters about what they can and can’t accomplish. There’s no other way to put it.

    Like his policies or not, Potts is being honest. Maybe he’s wrong and we don’t need a “marshall plan” for transportation or education. (Personally, I think K-12 needs some fine tuning, but overall it’s not too bad.) But at least he’s not saying, “Education will be funded at 150%. And I will cut your taxes as well”. That’s what we’re hearing from the other candidates.

  3. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Paul, could Potts accomplish all his tax-raising if he was elected? I think he’s out of the “mainstream” of both Democrats and Republicans, so I don’t think he’s any more equipped to “accomplish” his agenda than Kaine and Kilgore are to accomplish the “Education will be funded at 150%. And I will cut your taxes as well” agenda.

    Potts, it seems to me, is more clear on the taxes he’d raise than he is on what those taxes will purchase. Is that any more noble than being vague on how you’ll fund stuff but be clear on what taxes you’d try to lower or keep constant?

    Nobody would like a vigorous third-party challenger with a robust policy message than me. Unfortunately, I don’t think Potts fits the bill. In my world, Fitch would be in a third party and Potts would challenge in the primary.

  4. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    I agree, but Fauquier citizens have twice previously rejected bond issues on the first go-around.

    Growth is frequently argued against on the basis it requires increased infrastructure, but if the money is borrowed and future residents (that is the new ones) pay the cost, then who cares?

    We care, because we know government is inefficient and we all share the costs.

    “But at least he’s not saying, “Education will be funded at 150%. And I will cut your taxes as well”. “

    I agree again, when I hear a candidate talk like that, I assume he is lying and won’t vote for him. Usually, the choice comes down to two liars, so you choose the one with the most innocuous (or least expensive)lies.

    I can’t support Potts, because he was ineffective in helping me when I needed help, but in general I think we need more candidates that the Dems and Pubs provide for exactly the reasons you say – keeping things honest.

  5. Will:

    On the gas tax…yes, I think he could do it. Chichester is behind it, and we’ll still have at least two more Senate sessions with pro-tax Republicans.

    Reinstating the car tax? That’s a laugher. No way. But I think he knows that.

    I haven’t seen his proposals for education. As far as transportation goes, his rhetoric seems to point towards road building.

    He DOES have a point about our tax code. As I pointed out a few days ago, our income tax brackets were last indexed in 40 years ago. The top bracket for individual income is $17k! We don’t need an income tax increase…but perhaps we could reallign the brackets so that they don’t look like they’re based on 1950s dollars?

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