Warner: In the Hunt

Larry Sabato has a fresh edition of his Crystal Ball out on the Center for Politics web site. He handicaps the Democratic presidential field for 2008. Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, and former Sen. John Edwards constitute the top contenders. Gov. Mark Warner is high on Sabato’s second tier of potential candidates, just behind Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh. Here’s what the good professor has to say about Warner:

Mark Warner has a solid record as governor, a Southern address (always attractive to Democrats who remember that only Southerners Carter and Clinton have won since 1968), and a fortune often estimated at $200 million. Yet he is just a one-term state executive, prevented by Virginia’s constitution from running again, and he has never held any other elective office. Out of office in early 2006, Warner will have to struggle to stay relevant in the years leading up to 2008. A successful challenge to Republican Senator George Allen in 2006 would achieve that, but Warner appears disinclined to take the chance of losing and being eliminated from the White House sweepstakes.

Sabato will do a similar handicapping of the Republican field next and we’ll see how he rates Sen. Allen’s chances.


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  1. Evan Bayh is a close Sabato friend. He has no chance of receiving the Democratic nomination (lefties hate him for being so moderate).

    Of course, these are the same lefties who thought nominating John Kerry meant taking the “electable” candidate.

  2. Salt Lick Avatar

    Has anyone else noticed thatlately they are seeing more of Mark Warner’s face on television — in innocuous ads dealing with health care and Virginia’s out of doors recreation?

  3. I like “Blue Dog” thinking, Senator Evan Bayh.

    But the Bayh’s are too close to the Bush family.

    Why else would the Democrats in Indiana have a resolution to call for impeaching Bayh because he voted Bush’s war, taxes and whatever else they didn’t support?

    Even Republican Sen. Lugar didn’t go along as quickly. But Evan is facing objections from the left and the right.

    Conservative Indiana Congressman Mike Pence has been named chairman of the House Republican Study Committee which is going to continue to expose the Democrat Senator’s fallacies and then, it’s Bye Bye Bayh.

    As for VA political opportunist Gov. Warner chance as Prez in 2008 — and the, err … fresh edition of punditry?

    I’m betting Larry Sabato is hoping that the reporter’s arrows aren’t pointed at his UVA palace of punditry. It’s a gingerbread house for Virginia’s political hopefuls.

    Is it time to throw the old lady in the oven?

    Politicians, like Mark Warner, know there’s nothing better than a little push when the kitchen is getting too hot.

    The exposure of paid pundits, like Armstrong Williams and his retainer with the Bush administration, is only going to further encourage investigative reporters looking into the Hansel & Gretel breadcrumb trail from Richmond to Charlottesville.

    Where’s my crystal ball?

  4. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    When it comes to Warner, a friendly press and a bunch of sycophants have managed to get him off the hook for the innumerable lies he perpetrated on Virginians. Warner’s legacy should go down in history as Gov. Pinocchio…

    See Gov. Pinocchio in action

  5. Well, his approval rating is still somewhere near 70%, so the press has done a good job!

    Ha ha – anyway, I see we’re still fighting this old battle. I wonder though – does a revenue creating package of tax increases mixed with tax cuts amount to a tax increase? I suppose so.

    But if so, isn’t every governor who raises any fee, closes any tax loop hole, or changes tax rates (some up, some down) guilty of a tax increase? That would be every governor…EVER, as well as President Bush. And yet, all run as anti-tax politicians. A good example would be Albo and Rust’s “abuser fees” proposal. How this is different from a tax increase boggles my mind.

    But maybe we should broaden the definition of “tax increase” further. What about borrowing against future revenue? Isn’t that a tax increase on future generations? Countless more politicians have enacted billions of dollars of this type of tax increase.

    I’d also add that Warner’s proposal would be much closer to revenue neutral if GA had enacted his estate tax reform proposal and a higher grocery tax cut.

  6. Revenue neutral? Who are you kidding?

    There’s no such thing.

    Fact is, the pro-tax GOP alliance and Democrat Gov. Warner raised taxes by 1.5 billion with a 2 billion dollar surplus. And these clowns are spending every last dime.

    How about Promise neutral?

    Hmm …

    “Let me set the record straight,” says Warner, looking directly into the camera. “I will not raise taxes.” [Tyler Whitley and Jeff E. Schapiro, “Warner: ‘I Will Not Raise Taxes’; Final Debate Slated Tonight In Roanoke,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/10/2001]

    Can you say assist and layup?

  7. (whoops, horrendous misspelling)
    As I’ve shown time and time again on this blog, Legislative service estimated that the tax increase would produce 351 million in revenue this year and roughly 500 million in FY2006. You’re numbers are incorrect.

    I assume you’re just adding up the tax increases and then forgetting about the tax cuts…

    They’re also not spending “Every damn dime”. i remember hearing talk of changing the accelerated sales tax collection…haha, that’s SOMETHING.

  8. OK, Governor Mark Warner can’t tell the truth, and the Blue Dog has a challenge with “projected” revenue numbers.

    But … Who said anything about FY 2006? How about PYs? Lets talk state revenue vs. spending without using any potty language either.

    The Governor spends more and more each year. And Warner’s projected budget numbers can be skewed to his advantage. His finance director was AWOL last year.

    The VA Secretary of Finance, John Bennett, should have resigned or been fired by the Governor.

    Honestly, the link between Moody’s and Warner should be officially investigated since the other agencies said nothing on AAA bond rating.

    And just look at HB 1838 from the ’03 session written by Delegate Reese.

    Why has the Governor not done this? He signed the bill and then did nothing about it.

    Absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

    SUMMARY: HB 1838 Taxpayer’s Budget Bill of Rights — Provides that the Executive Budget and the Budget Bill be set forth in a format and use language that is easily understood by the citizens of the Commonwealth. The bill also requires the Executive Budget and the Budget Bill include specific outcomes, functions, and goals that are related to expenditures and provisions for additional public access to information contained in the Executive Budget and the Budget Bill.

  9. I still maintain that Warner spent much less than Gilmore…

  10. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Paul, you keep on mentioning that last year’s tax increase is miniscule by comparison to the actual figures purported to be raised by it. You attribute your figures to JLARC estimates, but I haven’t seen these estimates and to my knowledge they haven’t been reported anywhere. Can you point us to your source?

    As to Gilmore spending more than Warner, I really don’t know. But there is little doubt that under Gilmore the State spent like a drunken sailor—those were the good days, when the money was pouring in and there was no end in sight to the dot.com bubble…

  11. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Paul, Yes, state spending did increase more rapidly under Gilmore than it has under Warner. But you need to bear two things in mind. (1) Do you ever remember Democrats criticizing Gilmore for spending too much? No, they were criticizing him for not spending enough. The Democrats were the LAST people urging fiscal restraint. (2) A big chunk of the increased “spending” that occurred under Gilmore consisted of state reimbursements to localities for car tax relief. One of the reasons that Gilmore used to justify the car tax phase-out was that the General Assembly would spend the money if it weren’t given back to the taxpayers.

    I happen to believe that the car tax phase-out was one of the most cumbersome, arbitrary and unfair ways anyone could conceive of to rebate money to the taxpayers. Bad policy. But I do give credit to Gilmore for wanting to give it back to taxpayers rather than spend it.

  12. Phil: It’s a Legislative Services impact statement. So it’s just an estimate, but (as far as I know) Legislative Services is staffed mainly by Republicans who don’t have much to gain by fudging the numbers.

    It’s available here:
    House Tax reform compromiseJim: Ok, I admit it: Gilmore is my straw man…

  13. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Paul: My understanding is that JLARC is comprised of nothing but Democrat staff hold-overs. I don’t think that you will find too many Republicans amongst their ranks.

  14. Phil Rodokanakis Avatar
    Phil Rodokanakis

    Paul: I’m not sure about the Impact Statement you referenced in regards to Parish’s bill. But I don’t believe that this was the final budget bill that was enacted last year.

    The following quote is from the 2004-2006 budget overview:

    “General fund revenues include tax policy changes which increase the
    general fund by roughly $800.0 million over the 2004-06 biennium, plus special fund increases of roughly $687.0 million. Details of all tax policy changes are
    provided in the Resources section of this document.”

    So as you can see the tax total increase was $1.487 billion.

    To get to the 2004-2006 budget overview click here. (This is in PDF).

  15. Chris Dickson Avatar
    Chris Dickson

    Mike Pence for President
    By
    Chris Dickson
    http://chrisdickson.blogspot.com

    There is rampant speculation throughout the country as to who will be running on the Republican ticket for President in 2008 against Hillary. Likely candidates are; Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA,) Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-ILL,) Senator George Allen (R-VA,) and former Congressman J.C.Watts, to name only a few. Recently, several internet web sites have cropped up across the country to draft Congressman Mike Pence for President in 2008. Who is this man, and what are his qualities and qualifications?

    Mike Pence personifies the conservative values of the Red-State-Midwest commonly known as “Hoosier Values.” He is one of the great polemicists of our time, and has a very clear vision for dynamic reforming of government in the 21st Century. As he becomes more prominent in the years ahead as a national figure, we hope he will continue articulating what resonates in the hearts of an overwhelming majority of American citizens.

    Pence’s entry onto the political stage is clearly a defining moment in our nation’s history. His tremendous core conservatism is dedicated to limited government, fiscal government and traditional family values. He proclaims to be a “Christian-conservative-Republican (in that order.) But is there enough evidence to convict him on all three counts?

    Is Mike Pence a Christian? Micah Clark, Executive Director of the American Family Association of Indiana writes, “Maybe when you talk politics on the radio you desire real life conversations. Maybe when you are a politician from a conservative district you know that to talk of God and to vote conservative is ‘good politics.’ But when you are Mike Pence, a man of real faith, you simply express it, act on it, and you put that ‘love one another’ command into practice.”

    Is Mike Pence a conservative? To answer this question, we need look no further than the 90 plus group of House conservatives who voted 100 per cent to elect Pence Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee in the 109th Congress. David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, said of Pence, “The Republican Study Committee is the bulwark of Reagan conservatism in the House. And Mike Pence is one of the most distinguished conservative leaders in Congress.”

    Is Mike Pence a Republican? George Witwer, senior fellow, Indiana Policy Review, writes, “Mike still spends much of the election season helping local and state Republican candidates with their races. He even played an enormously valuable role in the Indiana Republicans winning back the State House in 2004 by going door-to-door and speaking at rallies for state legislative challengers.”

    It is Pence’s belief and hope that in the decades to come, the justness of our cause as a nation will not only be realized by the powerful and wealthy, but also be realized within the obscure and hurting corners of our community. This realization has not materialized after nearly 60 years of Washington being dominated by liberals within the Democratic Party, although they have professed all along that they are “for the down-and-outs” of our society. It has been a lie that followed on the heel of the natural consequences of socialism.

    Mike Pence for President? He certainly needs to be strongly considered.

  16. Chris Dickson Avatar
    Chris Dickson

    Radio Talk Show Hosts Hold Gannett Newspaper Burning Ceremony

    Radio Talk Show hosts Chris Dickson and Ron Chappell of “The Dickson/Chappell Report” are meeting at the Vietnam Memorial in Richmond, Indiana on July 9, 2005 to have a ceremonial burning of a “USA Today” newspaper in response to Gannett editor’s promises to burn American flag if Burning Amendment passes.

    The top editor at a newspaper owned by Gannett, which publishes USA Today, promised in a Sunday column to burn an American flag if the Senate passes an anti-flag burning amendment. Linda Grist Cunningham, Executive Editor of the Rockford Register Star in Illinois, pledged: “If the U.S. Senate follows its silly siblings in the House of Representatives and votes for a ban on burning the American flag, I’m going to burn one. It never occurred to me to burn a flag — except in some flag-retiring ceremony — but just the idea that Congress has nothing better to do than spend time on this nutty issue makes we want to burn one.” She also displayed her disgust with critics of Senator Dick Durbin, complaining that people “with an ax to grind” took “a couple of lines out of context.”

  17. Chris Dickson Avatar
    Chris Dickson

    Congressman Tom Tancredo was our guest this past Saturday on “The Dickson/Chappell Report.” When I asked him what Mike Pence’s chances were for becoming the next House Speaker, Congressman Tancredo replied, “He has my vote!”

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