Yes I am pissed. I am furious because a man I worked tirelessly for in 2005 and 2009 lied to me and betrayed me. When he was pressed on whether or not he supported tax increases during his gubernatorial bid, he promised not to raise them.
Bob McDonnell will not raise taxes as governor. Virginians know Bob McDonnell, and they know where he stands. They know he keeps his word, and that is reflected in the fact that he kept all seven of the campaign promises that he made when running for Attorney General.
I believed the man. I thought he was a man of his word. Not only that, I was there when he rallied the troops with Americans for Prosperity to oppose the Tim Kaine tax increases for transportation.
I went to the Capitol Square with my family. We listened, we lobbied, and together Virginians stopped Tim Kaine’s Tax increase for transportation.
Republican Leadership in both houses of the General Assembly, at the request of Bob McDonnell worked hard to pass something even worse.
In the name of “getting something done on transportation” for the sake of “Bob McDonnell’s legacy” we passed legislation that raises taxes on almost everything taxable.
- Sales Tax
- Gas Tax
- Personal Property Tax
- Tax on Vending Machine Sales
- Heavy Equipment Used for Road Construction
- Car Tax
- Hotel Tax
- Land and Building Sales
- Extra Regional Sales Tax
- Annual Fees for Energy Efficient Vehicles
- …and it Banks on Congress Passing an Internet Sales Tax Bill
Honestly, it may also be a situation of “We won’t know what’s in the bill till we pass it,” due to the rushed nature of the legislation.
McDonnell’s “legacy” legislation was so bad, he had to get the help of Terry McAuliffe, who he called afterwards to thank, and he had to rely on Democrat votes in both houses to pass it. Only 34 Republicans voted for it in the House and 8 in the Senate. In order to get the necessary number of Democrats to vote for it, he had to promise to support Medicaid expansion. Something he had emphatically opposed only days before. For Bob McDonnell “solving” transportation was more important than sticking to his word or his principles. In the end it was Democrats who were able to declare victory as a result of standing for their beliefs and forcing an ambitious governor to concede to them on everything.
Bob McDonnell, you may be celebrating, but your party is not. We campaigned for you and expected you to keep your word. When we saw you capitulating, we asked you to stand strong. You refused. You trashed whatever principles you may have had, and spit in the face of the activists who believed in you. Do not ask for our support in the future.
We have a state party that refused to oppose this monstrosity, and elected leaders who worked over time to make it pass.
Bob McDonnell, we will not forget what you have done. We also will not forget the legislators who were complicit in your betrayal. We will not easily forget the work of Speaker Bill Howell and Majority Leader Kirk Cox. We will not easily forget Chris Jones who was referred to as the chief architect of the compromise. Loudoun residents will also not forget the betrayal by Tag Greason who blatantly ignored his pledge not to raise taxes in the name of getting something done.
Some people have been waiting to primary some of these Delegates, and others are beginning to plan bids as a result of the last few days. Still others are talking of more extreme measures than simply primarying*.
With the actions of the last two days our state party has abandoned it’s members, and unless things change soon many of them may return the favor. If that happens, McDonell’s legacy in HB 2313 will be one of betrayal and a resulting destruction of his party.
*No these are not violent measures, simply working through the political process but outside of the party nominating process.
Update: My apologies to those who were understandably offended and turned off by the previous title of this post. I thought that by reminding people of the time when Bob McDonnell had used incredibly strong language to insist he would not raise taxes for transportation, it could remind people of the extent to which Bob McDonnell had lied as well as clearly get people’s attention. This was why I put the particular word in quotation mark in the title. Choosing to do so turned people away from an important message and was wrong. Thank you to those who took the time to point this out to a very frustrated person.