Friday, July 11, 2008

A Bad Week for Virginia Progressives?

I am struck by the language being thrown out against the Republican contingent in the Virginia House of Delegates regarding recent bills throughout the Virginia political blogosphere. For weeks it has been Gov. Tim Kaine whom the liberal blogs have slapped around in large part because his not so friendly position on the environment or so they would like us all to believe.

Now they are setting their sites once again on State Republicans and I am sure Gov. Kaine is extremely thankful. My bet is Mr. Kaine would like to put the Wise County plant in his rear view mirror and keep truckin along to the VP slot for Barack Obama. Of course it did not help this progressives that the House of Delegates passed a bill allowing for offshore drilling once the federal ban is lifted. Fortunately, the State Senate shot the drilling bill down and bailed out the liberals and progressives here who oppose such measures anywhere in the country. That said, the damge by the House had already been done.

The House actions with regard to the question of transportation funding were no different. Liberal bloggers suchas as Lowell Feld at raising Kaine blame Republicans for road blocking funding and virtually turning their backs on Virginians. Feld states:

"GOP to Northern Virginia: Drop Dead- The crazy/stupid thing is that is the flat-earth, ultra-ideological House republicans get this wish and Northern Virginia really does drop dead from transportation gridlock, they will have severely harm themselves by killing the goose eg. Northern Virginia high-tech booming, high tech economy- that laid the economic golden egg for Viginia as a whole"

Interesting. Republicans are the ones being "ultra-ideological" when it has been these very bloggers who have attacked Tim Kaine for policy after policy more so than conservatives. Kaine shift to the middle and away from the true "ultra-ideological" of his own Party mirrors what Barack Obama is currently undertaking at the national level. The shift to the center is not sitting well with liberal/progressive whose uncompromising nature with regard to policy can simply be demonstrated by their efforts to kill what transportation funding efforts were undertaken last year with abuser driver fees. They were so "outraged" that they mobilized and forced the languages removal from policy. Thus, we now enter the next stage of the debate on funding transportation. Of course to progressives there should be no debate and the funding should be generated through a statewide tax increase.

Republicans "downstate" as Lowell Feld contends are to blame for not providing solutions for transportation funding and yet of course he appears also opposed to transportation districts as a function to provide funding. Instead, all of Virginia owes Northern Virginia a debt of gratitude and must pay to solve the transportation gridlock that they experience.

Excuse me. Planning is a function of local government Mr. Feld. We here in Chesterfield know all to well what results from a lack of thoughtful planning, but of course we here will not be receiving State funding to cure our ills. We must solve these problems at the local level. Why should "downstate" Virginians fund a bill that for all tense in purposes will disportinately go to Northern Virginia. Are not the localities there as responsible for the impacts and results of the "high tech" boom. Its funny how when it imapcts NOVA liberals like the folks at Raising Kaine promote how "we are all in this together" and yet only do so when it suits and benefits them. They would, as a part of the environmental platform, end all coal production in the southwest portion of our great Commonwealth without hesitation and yet those Virginians should somehow pay the burden for addressing the roads and transportation issues facing a region who managed to get itself into the perdicament in the first place.

Yes we are all Virginians but we also must take some responsibility with regard to the actions of our local governments in how they have conducted urban planning at the local level that has contributed to such gridlock. Face it, you built it and they came.

The idea here is indicative of so many on the left who perceive government as the instrument or bank to address and solve every issue. The State certainly has a role, but maybe more areas should go the way of Henrico and Arlington County and provide for their own transportation requirements. Why is it that "downstate" Virginians should feel a level of sympathy on the point of gridlock in NOVA and not say the Virginia Beach or Intersate 81? Why should we be made to feel unworthy on other issues and then now feel like NOVA has an entitlement to our money to solve issues itself has created. Yes NOVA contributes to the overall Virginia economy. Yes NOVA has brought jobs to the Virginia economy, but what was required by the localities in terms of these employers? What have been the impact of the move to attract such large corporations to NOVA? Are these entities paying their fair share of the burden? Are they providing solutions for their workforce that could alleviate small percentages of the gridlock? Are they compensating employees for participating in ride-share programs? Are they implementing shorter work weeks or work at home programs which given the price of gas help on two fronts; gas prices/environment and gridlock.

The State is not always the best answer. The opposition to Transportation Districts also illustrates the point that local area residents do not wish to give an authority the ability to tax Virginians who actually live in an area or use the very roads in question. Why exactly? Are people unwilling to pay taxes to directly benefit the very roads they use daily. These same people were opposed to hitting out of state residents with high abuser fees and repeat driving offenders to help offset some of the transportation shortfalls. Instead, of having the abusive pay now they seek that all Virginians pay. Why? Out of some sense of obligation to NOVA?

Fact is NOVA has been moving in a different political and ideological position from most of the State for years now. This is indicative of the mentality that the State should now somehow be the knight on the white horse with an open checkbook to fund and provide solutions. The arguement is of course this is the State's role. Problem is maybe the State would have the ability to address these needs across the State if it were not overburdened with other policies and programs endorsed by the left and the progressives that have blouted our State budget.

Now of course we need to dip into the well of taxpayer pockets again I guess and the fact that House Republicans are "ultra-ideological" for opposing such action.

And yet the Liberal and Progressives in NOVA that oppose Wise County's plant, Dominion Resources at every step, coal producing regions of Appalachia, and zero offshore drilling anywhere are not "ultra-ideological"?

Enough with the blame game already. How about putting as much energy into coming up with solutions as they do criticisms of us living "downstate" and maybe just maybe they could make some "progress". They are progressives aren't they?

All politics is local, unless you care to ignore it and foucs on Richmond I guess.


Jack said...

You have to love the swagger and attitude coming from them. I left NOVA about ten years ago and came to Richmond and love living here compared to there. They made or at the very least were enablers with the growth of NOVA and have to face the results.

I have also wonder why many more areas do not go the way of those that cover their own road needs. I think if people we educated more about the issue locally they would pay more into the system for their needs, but to ask everyone to pay up for a fund that everyone knows is only going to be used in NOVA is absurd.

Not all of us Democrats are aligned with the liberal facade of Raising Kaine. More of us are actaully closer to Gov. Kaine's agenda and ideology. They supported him because he was a Democrat, but he has never been the liberal they hoped they could turn him into.

There is even more talk by the far lefters in NOVA that thye hope Kaine is chosen as VP. They think it will help Obama win Virginia to be sure but it also isthe fact they would like to get rid of him.

Maybe so there angel Leslie Byrne can run for yet another office. Raising Kaine addicts failed in their bid to have her beat Gerry Connolly, who of course was supported by Kaine as well taking another shot at the liberal wing of the Party and when Gerry won the primary they got not an egg but an omelet in the face given they predicted on the site how close it was and Byrne lost by almost 20 pts.

Anonymous said...

The Governor did not even have the full support of his own Party in calling or proceeding with the special session.

Kaine did nothing but cost the taxpayers more money in holding a special session with little focus or vision.

Liberals in N. Va want to place the blame on House Republicans so they can play that game on the voters during the election cycle and paint Republicans as the problem in the playbook when Democrats did not support the package either.

The new N. Virginians probaly are not awarre that niether Wilder, Bailies, Gilmore, nor their precious Mark Warner did anything to solve the transportation issue either, but I guess that was all State Republicans doing.

Gail said...

For those of us "downstate" or "weststate" the implication in Raising Kaine's post the door only swings one way. That the economics only support the northern part of the state is rather arrogant. What about the military complex of the East or the travel industry or other non-tech jobs. Sure high tech has had a great run on growth but is that the only industry of value in Virginia. I guess they would have us solely rely on such industries in the future as many liberal leaning Virginians oppose the coal industry and tobacco industries that have long been part of the Virginia economy.

Liberals obviously prefer government jobs (State and Federal)and high tech jobs that "benefit" them locally through revenues paid by business for development in their area. It begs the question if these so-called Virginians would suppor greater funding for roads and transportation like I-61, RT460, RT360, I-85, or even I-81 as enthusiatically if north of the Rappahanock was left out of the funding.

The downside to this concentrated arguement with regard to economies is that the liberal-leaning forget the direct result of 9/11. If you read Raising Kaine they always refer to 9/11 as attacks on NYC and Washington, neglecting the fact on purpose I suppose that the Pentagon is in VIRGINIA. Once this event occurred the economy of Northern Virginia was greater impacted that the rest of the State. They attempt at every turn not to focus on the impact of said economy and the results which followed when the criticize efforts by Gilmore when he was Governor to work for the benefit of all Virginians and not just those in Northern Virginia. After leaving office and the drop in revenues as a direct result of the year following 9/11 and the lead up to the move on Iraq, Richmond was forced to make moves and raise taxes to make up for the shortfalls of revenues to keep pace with spending.

You see the biggest difference between State Democrats and State Republicans is not so much a big ideological gap that Raising Kaine promotes, but the simply view that on the one hand you have Democrats who beieve that reveunes through taxes must keep pace with spending agendas current and proposed and Republicans who believe the State budget should mirror the revenues the economy and tax base can provide. This means the justification of new programs or spending must coincide with having the funds already in hand to be able to embark on the program and not propose a program or agenda that will require addtional taxes without first cutting spending within the budget somewhere to accomodate the proposal.

Now, I am not discounting the efforts by Warner to address emergency areas, especially after 9/11 which of course strain budgets as well. Safety is a direct requirement provision by local and State government in my view, but in the end the increased requirement for more tax payer funding was not a direct result of Jim Gilmore's car tax relief effort but a direct result of the implications and results on the economy brought about by 9/11.

Try again Raising Kaine. I am sure you are doing a great job convincing those that have already made up their minds without actually reviewing history or issues.