Over the past month, I’ve been watching the Republican Party of Virginia release tweets attacking Democrats for not supporting incredible spending packages while going after Democrat obstructionism. One would think supporters of limited government would be the ones opposing a 3+billion dollar project that only keeps increasing in cost, and required revenue. One would expect the the Democrat Party to attack Republicans for opposing reckless spending.
Not only does RPV support higher spending, they support higher taxes to pay for the higher spending.
This session the Governor and the Republicans in the legislature decided passing a transportation plan had to happen. The Governor offered a plan that slightly increased taxes, the Senate Dems pushed a plan that drastically increased taxes. What has come out of the conference committee is a McDonnell/Bolling/McAuliffe endorsed plan that raises taxes on gas, cars, and the sales tax among other things. Interestingly this plan may cause gas shortages over the summer.
What is particularly troubling is that the RPV has been supporting these plans. Multiple sources relayed to me that on a recent call with the RPV Executive committee, Chairman Pat Mullins told the members that the transportation was crucial to the Governor and they needed to get their unit committees to support the package. Multiple District Chairs who are normally not rabble rousers were very upset that Chairman Mullins was asking them to support a tax hike which they knew their members opposed. This is a far cry from five years ago when Chairman Jeff Frederick made it clear that the RPV strongly opposed tax increases.
Thankfully many statewide candidates including E.W. Jackson, Pete Snyder, and Susan Stimpson oppose the transportation tax package. However, this package looks like it will be passed tomorrow. (It may also already be hurting Ken Cuccinelli electorally.) If it does pass, the Republican Party of Virginia can no longer claim to be the party of limited spending and lower taxes. If this hurts them at the ballot boxes, they have no one to blame but themselves.