I have long suspected that Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly don’t really want to reach a road solution this session, but would prefer another deadlock on the matter so they have an issue for the fall elections.
Two recent items seem to cofirm that view.
My delegate, David Marsden-apparently taking time off from his job as a music critic-published an article in theJanuary 11, 2007 issue of the Burke Connection offering his views on transportation. In this article he claims:
House Republicans have prolonged the necessary decision to invest by putting forth ill-conceived and poorly thought out legislation…We just need to have the House Republicans, especially those on the Finance Committee, join us in completing the blueprint for our future by adding sustainable transportation funding to the great work we have done in education, public safety, and the environment, and that we have started to do in health care.
I felt something was missing. I reread this campaign piece masquerading as an “objective” opinion piece, I recognized something startling: Delegate Marsden doesn’t say where he sees the sustainable funding coming from. He attacks his house colleagues ideas, he demands they agree with the Democratic plan, but doesn’t do his constituents the courtesy of telling us how he would create this sustainable source of funding...I imagine he thinks we know.
Moreover, he doesn’t even mention the need for land use reform, zoning reform, or anything other of the myriad facets that must be addressed to fully get a handle on the state transportation needs…nope, David Marsden apparently thinks the only thing that has to be done to take care of transportation is to raise taxes.
This is hardly the mindset of someone who is looking for common ground…Brother Marsden apparently just wants his tax increase now or we wants a campaign issue in the fall.
This AM the WaPo suggests a GOP road funding solution is near. Naturally, this could diminish transportation as a fall election issue…and Senate Democratic Leader Richard Saslaw will have none of that.
The article notes that Senator Saslaw:
said he hopes Kaine will not abandon his long-standing opposition to the use of “general fund” money for transportation. That would amount to a politically damaging flip-flop, the veteran senator warned. “It would certainly be a complete reversal of what he has been saying,” Saslaw said.
First, one would think Saslaw would resist reacting to rumors as opposed to using fact to support a public statement.
Second, I find humor in his comment. NOW Saslaw is worried about Governor Kaine flip-flopping? Perhaps he forgets that Kaine campaigned for governor swearing he was completely opposed to tax increases- and the moment he got elected did not even wait until he was sworn in to start talking about the need to raise taxes for road funding. Perhaps he forgets that Kaine campaigned for governor by lauding enhanced land use legislation as a way to better manage growth, which then would move toward dealing with transportation issues-but has seen fit as governor to not go to close to that particular idea.
Governor Tim Kaine flip flop? Senator Saslaw hasn’t minded Governor Kaine’s trampoline governance before…but only-and this based on a rumor-when might it undermine a fall campaign issue.
It appears that the Democrats want campaign issues, and they are going to do all they can to get them…deadlock the GA, try to DOA GOP transportation plans, because this session is not about governing now-it is about winning in the autumn.