Bolling prognosis of the VA GOP woes: "No clear vision"
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling made his first foray into the blogosphere tonight. He was on point on issues ranging from the transportation tax impasse to vouchers for public education. The lieutenant governor fired off answers as fast as the bloggers could ask them. He showed the wit and grasp of the issues that made him the highest vote-getter on the Republican statewide ballot last year. He laid out his views on issues like immigration, healthcare, and education.
As for politics today, the lieutenant governor seemed to suggest that a transportation deal was not close, but he did say that an agreement to pass a limited budget covering all areas of agreement is possible in the near future or the possibility of funding resolutions that would keep the state government going. According to the LG, the unified House front is unlikely to collapse as it did during the previous budget stalemate. He also mentioned the proposal that has been floated as an alternative for a statewide tax increase: regional tax authority. From what Bolling said and I have heard elsewhere, Northern Virginia localities would be allowed to levy tax increases that would be tied to transportation funding for local projects.
Between now and November, the LG said that he would be traveling the state talking to Virginia voters beginning in the SW then going to Southside and the Valley. As for November, Bolling stated that he would be focusing on three areas: Senator Allen, Congresswoman Thelma Drake, and the gay marriage amendment.
After Bolling gave a brief opening statement, the bloggers in attendance took turns asking questions.
This blogger asked the LG about the prospects of our obstructionist state senators retiring or being defeated by conservative challengers. He confirmed that both of these are possible.
TC had a good question about the parties' prospects in NoVA, and Bolling admitted that the party had to work on repackaging its message for voters in the region but that it had to stay true to its first principles while broadening its appeal.
Norm, who deserves credit for organizing such a well run conference call, asked the real question on everyone's mind: Is he running for governor? The answer was obviously yes, but Bolling had a good line about how any LG who has said otherwise was lying.
Bolling proposed to have similar conferences every quarter, and as we've mentioned before, this site has an upcoming exclusive interview with the LG so get those questions ready.
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