Sunday, November 18, 2007

Del. Marshall to challenge House leadership today....

Today's meeting in Richmond to vote on House leadership should be interesting as Del. Bob Marshall presents his "no confidence" resolution. (H/T to Jim at Deo Vindice)

Delegate Bob Marshall will offer a resolution of "No Confidence" in the House Republican Caucus [today], Sunday November 18, where Republican delegates will select the Speaker, the Majority Leader, Whip, and Caucus Chair.

Resolution No.__

Expressing a sense of no confidence in the policies of the current House Republican Leadership as pursued from 2002 to the present, and urging a change in policy.

In the House Republican Caucus
Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mr. Marshall, (Bob), for himself,

Expressing a sense of no confidence in the policies of the current House of Delegates Republican Leadership as pursued from 2002 to the present, and urging a change in policy.

Whereas even though the House Republican Caucus was in charge of the 2001 Delegate Redistricting, Republican Caucus strength has decreased from 67 (65 R, 2-Ind.) to 55 members (53-R, 2-Ind.) in the four and one-half years of the present House leadership since the Summer of 2002; and

Whereas The Republican leadership has failed to pursue efficient government spending by:

1. Including in the 2008 budget nearly $50 million for a Fine Arts Museum in Richmond while at the same time proposing Abusive Driver Fees as a necessary component of the state road funding;

2. Refusal to demand fiscal accountability from Governor Warner by ignoring the will of the House in failing to follow up on properly passed resolutions seeking an accounting by Governor Warner and his Cabinet on implementing the recommendations of the 2002 Wilder Commission report on Efficiency and Effectiveness in Government Spending. (See HR 12 approved 61-35, March 1, 2004, requesting Gov. Warner’s Cabinet to disclose the efficiency and cost savings measures adopted pursuant to the Wilder Report and other efficiency measures; and HR 13 approved 62-33, March 1, 2004 requesting the Governor to provide the House with detailed facts relating to implementing the Wilder Report.)

3. Allowing government spending to increase at new record levels of spending without making road and transit improvements a priority, and instead providing for tax increases by appointed governmental agencies as provided in HB 3202 (2007);

Whereas The Republican Leadership makes policy decisions in a small closed group and in a secretive manner without benefit of wide Caucus input or knowledge and in late 2006 prepared a transportation bill which Caucus members were expected to accept without discussion or critical input, i.e. HB 3202, which bill placed the responsibility for increasing taxes on appointed officials selected by statute, and included a first time ever tax on services, a tax on home sales during a declining housing market, and enacted severe Abusive Driver Fee penalties; and which violated the principles of George Mason’s Declaration of Rights and Magna Charta (1215) that citizens "cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected." (Contrast this with the unprecedented claim supported by the Governor, the Attorney General and the Speaker of the House that, "The General Assembly's ability and power to delegate taxation is not constrained."); and

Whereas The Republican Leadership has failed to act in a Parliamentary manner by:

1. Accepting the Budget proposed by Governor Warner in 2003 which included both
revenue spending measures and revenue raising measures in violation of the Single Object Provision of the Virginia Constitution rather than return the budget to Governor Warner and inform him that tax and spending measures may not be combined in a single bill.

2. Directing House staff to not record for the public the Privileges and Elections Committee vote on HB 2797 taken on 2-2-07, while making NO objection to all other measures reported from this same committee on the same day until strenuous objection was made insisting on the normal practice of the House, the requirements of Rule 18, and the problems this would produce for the expeditious discharge of business then pending before the House of Delegates; and

Whereas The Republican Leadership has compromised and sought to coerce the
independent judgment of Caucus members and their commitment to constituents by using the authority of office to advocate, urge and insist that certain Republican members of the House Finance Committee relent in their opposition to what became the 2004 sales tax increase. Such actions are inconsistent with principled opposition to tax increases; and

Whereas The Republican Leadership has adopted the practices which it criticized Democrats for using, namely failing to appoint sponsors and publicly recognized advocates of legislation as members of House-Senate Conference Committees in at least the instances of the Constitutional Marriage Amendment in 2005 and the
Transportation Trust Fund Constitutional Amendment in 2007; Now, therefore be

Resolved, that because of the above concerns and the distinct likelihood that the new majority Democratic Senate leadership will propose an unjustified growth in the size of government, increased government spending, and the imposition of new taxes and other policies at variance with Republican principles, that the House Republican Caucus has lost confidence in the policies of the present Republican Leadership, and request that a new policy direction be undertaken consistent with traditional Republican principles."
Would love to be a fly on the wall for this one....

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