On the charter bill…

Doesn’t look anything like it did in the beginning. Now called ‘The Restructured Higher Education Administrative and Financial Operations Act of 2005.’ The longer version of this bill is…well…long. Here’s the short take: all the schools are in, all will remain state agencies. A three-tiered relationship is set out…sort of like the Mary Kay cosmetics business plan. If you reach the top, I suppose you’ll get a pink Cadillac. Or whatever. There will be different levels of ‘freedom’ from state interference and expectations on both sides of the relationship are in writing at each level. Here’s the thing of significance: for the first time ever, the Code of Virginia will spell out its expectations for higher education! That’s a big one. Bill numbers are HB 2866 and SB 1327. Look’em up. Read all about it.

On Kilgore…

Refusing an invitation yesterday to meet with the leadership of the Virginia AFL-CIO. Says they’re partisan. Excuse me. I didn’t realize we’d taken partisanship out of politics.

Speaking of partisanship…

My appointment to the tobacco commission cleared P&E 21-0 yesterday. On second reading today. Floor vote Friday. Remarkable turn. My appreciation to every single member. Republicans who went hard to bat: Dick Black, Bob Marshall, Riley Ingram, Jim Dillard. Probably others. You all understand that there is absolutely no quid pro quo here. But I am appreciative.

And in sports…

Does it get any better and Duke and Carolina basketball? Always conflicted when they play each other. Love’em both. Last night it was the Dookies, 71-70 in another classic.

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  1. Will Vehrs Avatar

    Glad things turned around on the Tobacco Commission. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

    I think we’re starting to see a trend among Republicans not to appear in front of groups that consistently have shown they will not give them a fair shake. In our partisan, polarized climate, why spend time trying to convert the unconvertable when your real worry is that your own base might not vote?

    I’m wondering if this new charter bill doesn’t create more costly bureaucratic processes than the ones it was supposedly designed to eliminate.

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar

    I think Kilgore comes across as a wuss. By addressing the AFL-CIO, he would have had an opportunity to deliver an important message to the labor movement, and reap lots of attention in the process. He could have used the venue to discuss the kind of changes that Virginia business, industry, government and labor have to take to remain competitive in a global economy — and how the labor movement, with its emphasis on work rules and short-term job protection, is way out of step. Sure, the AFL-CIO won’t like the message, but everyone else would perk up and pay attention.

  3. Barnie Day Avatar

    Jim, I agree. Sad to say, but this is what politics at this level is reduced to now–professional handlers, polsters, focus groups, and lookalike, thinkalike, blow-dried candidates, Republican and Democratic, who are willing to be handled, willing to stand here, look this way, say this, and so on. It is homogenization that takes the life sap out of the process, really out of democracy. Where are the Henry Howells? The Wendell Wilkies? Where are flesh-and-blood Americans in this process? What we have now are largely cardboard cutouts–the reason I always brighten, if just for a passing moment, when I hear of folks like Fitch getting in.

  4. Will Vehrs Avatar

    I spoke to a Southside Chamber of Commerce group today. They said they’d been trying to get Kilgore and Kaine to appear at one of their meetings, but were getting the run-around.

    I told them to forget that and to hurry up and call Fitch to speak, especially if they wanted to hear something interesting.

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