Peter Ferrara discusses VA's "Moderate" Republicans in NRO
A TMG Coalition update brought this National Review Online article by Peter Ferrara (former VA Club for Growth President) to my attention. Now we all are familiar with Governor Warnerâ€™s famous deceit mentioned in the article:
â€¦â€œWhen Mark Warner ran for governor in 2001, he insisted he would never even consider raising taxes. He famously said, â€œThe old style of politics, of saying anything to get elected, is not what we need. Instead, as a businessman, I will clean up the budget mess in Richmond, restore accountability, and â€” no matter how many times my opponent may say otherwise â€” I will not raise your taxes.â€â€¦
And we all know that then, with the help of left-leaning Republicans Warner pushed through the largest tax increase in Virginia history under the false pretense of a budget shortfall which we know wasnâ€™t true because Virginia ended up with $400 million surplus in FY04 before the tax hike went into effect. As Ferrera reminds us, Warned and these Republicans would have had enough revenue to increase the biennial budget by 11% without a tax hike- but they wanted to spend even more of our money.
What I find so incomprehensible and sickening is not Warnerâ€™s role in this fiasco, after all we should expect as much from Democrats regardless of how conservative they claim to be. No, I am disgusted at the Republicans who pushed for this big-government tax hike after they promised not to support taxe increases. This is why the Republican Party has lost some of its support among Reagan conservatives, not because of â€œfar far far right group B Republicans.â€
We canâ€™t maintain the party that has been built on the shoulders of the Reagan revolutionâ€™s conservative agenda by abandoning that agenda while simultaneously deceiving voters with disingenuous campaign promises we then proceed to break. Ferrara uses the perfect example:
â€¦â€œLetâ€™s review the story of state senate finance committee chairman John Chichester. Chichester had faced a serious primary challenge in 2003, in which he urged voters to â€œJoin his campaign for lower taxes.â€ His literature also alleged that he was a â€œLeader in the fight for lower taxes.â€ In a campaign letter, Chichester said, â€œyou can always count on me to support our shared Republican principles of smaller government [and] lower taxes.â€ He told the Richmond Times Dispatch in May 2003, â€œIâ€™m certainly not going to favor raising taxes.â€â€¦ When Chichesterâ€™s primary opponent Mike Rothfeld charged that Chichester was plotting a massive tax increase with Warner, Chichester said Rothfeld was â€œhallucinatingâ€â€¦
The VA GOP suffered some significant election losses following the 2004 Republican tax hike disaster (some Kilgore staffers have point blank told me that voters were again and again giving them push back on the issue of trusting Republicans after the hike) And that brings us to where we are today: we find ourselves with growing state revenue (at an 11.3% rate for the first half of this fiscal year) and "moderate" Republicans are again clamoring to raise our taxes. I know I am getting more and more confused about what it means to be a Republican, I can understand how the rest of the electorate is equally confused and not motivated to vote for a Party that is seemingly abandoning its core principles.
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