RICHMOND, VA – What do rural Virginians, Democrat candidates for Governor, and Republicans in the General Assembly have in common? They don’t support Governor Kaine’s tax plan.
Articles such as "Opposition mounts against Kaine's transportation fix" (Daily Press, 5/18/08), “Rural residents give cold shoulder to new road taxes” (The Virginian Pilot, 5/27/08) and “Virginia Democrats divided over transportation fixes” (Richmond Times Dispatch, 5/25/08) reflect the opposition to Kaine’s tax hike proposal. Other news reports have also shed light on the disarray and verbal sniping taking place among members of the governor’s own party.
Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), who has announced that he is seeking his party’s nomination for governor, pointed to a lack of support among Democrats for Kaine’s tax increases:
"Governor Kaine wanted the Democrats in the House and the Senate to get behind one set of proposals, and that is just not going to happen." (“Governor’s Road Proposals Have Virginia Democrats Feuding,” The Washington Post, 5/15/08)
Meanwhile, Democrat Brian Moran of Alexandria, who is a likely Deeds opponent for governor, has endorsed a tax increase, however his plan differs from Kaine’s tax increase. Moran supports a statewide 1-cent sales tax increase. He also rejects calls for a gas tax increase, calling such taxes “regressive.” (“Transportation Proposals to Get Virginia Moving,” The Virginian Pilot, 5/11/08)
Moran’s stance has pitted him against fellow Northern Virginia Democrat Sen. Richard Saslaw. Saslaw chided Moran and Del. Ward Armstrong (D-Martinsville) for answering to poll numbers and being unfair to Virginians:
"I don't run the state on polls, and if Brian and Ward want to run the state on the polls, that is their problem…to me, the out-of-state people ought to be paying this bill," Saslaw said. "Ward Armstrong and Brian Moran want to lay this entire thing on the people of Virginia." (“Governor’s Road Proposal Have Virginia Democrats Feuding,” The Washington Post, 5/15/08)
The divide among Democrats has caused some in the party to lash out against taxpayers themselves. Last week WHSV in Harrisonburg reported that Gov. Kaine told opponents of his tax hike to “stay off the roads” (click here for VIDEO). The same week, the leadership of Hampton Democrat Delegate Mamie Locke was on display as she demanded that opponents of the plan “shut up.” (“Lawmaker Stress Urgent Need for Progress,” Daily Press, 5/22/08)
“While the Democrats fight over which working Virginians and struggling industries to increases taxes on, Republicans are committed to fixing the problem Governor Kaine has created,” said RPV Director of Communications Josh Noland. “Republicans have responded to Kaine’s call for a tax increase by standing up for fiscal discipline, encouraging innovative solutions, and rejecting the old liberal stand-by of a statewide tax increase.