The Latest Cuccinelli Compass
Below the fold is the latest Cuccinelli Compass. Enjoy.
CUCCINELLI COMPASS April 11, 2006
Dear Fellow Republicans,
Since our â€œtechnical difficultiesâ€ at the beginning of this month, it has become clear to me that some people got our April fools Compass and some did not. We still donâ€™t know why this happened. However, some people have asked to see the April fools Compass, so it appears below for your entertainment.
Things are moving slowly in the General Assembly. The Senate will meet on Wednesday to consider budget bills and transportation bills, and presumably the budget conferees will continue to meet and talk. The best thing that you can do right now is to email your delegate (and any other delegates that you know) and urge them to hold the line against higher taxes.
So far, theyâ€™re holding strong, and I am much more hopeful than two years ago that they will hold out.
Heads Up! SPLAT is coming backâ€¦
For those of you that heard about the great fun that we had last fall playing paintballâ€¦ itâ€™s coming back! Thatâ€™s right! Weâ€™re going back to Hogback Mountain!
I noticed that weâ€™re not the only Republicans sneaking out to have some fun at Hogbackâ€¦
Weâ€™re looking at weekends in June, probably a Sunday afternoon from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
As usual, there will be opportunities for 1-on-1 duels with the Senator (though we may have a new rule or two for theseâ€¦ thanks to Dan Rinzelâ€¦). Think you can take me? Bring it on!
Stay tuned for more details!
Save the Date
On Saturday morning, May 6th, we will have our annual legislative breakfast. This is our annual roundup of the session for grassroots activists. Tickets are $40, $60 for couples. We would also appreciate (i.e., we needâ€¦) sponsors for either $100 (2 tickets), $250 (3 tickets), and $500 (4 tickets). All of our sponsors will be specially recognized at the breakfast. We will be holding the event at the Waterford in Fair Oaks. To reserve tickets or to be a sponsor, please email us at Ken4Sen@Cuccinelli.com or call us at 703-766-0635.
This is a popular event because we know that our crowd is not the usual civic association. We will talk about the nitty gritty of the session that I always wanted to know during the decade+ that I was working the grassroots, but NOT going to Richmond (I hear Edith singingâ€¦ â€œThose were the daysâ€¦â€).
If you cannot make our legislative breakfast, please consider donating by clicking here. As has been true for us in the past, we will be a BIG Dem target again in the next election, so if you want to fight liberals, please give generously!
April Fools Part Deux
And now, for those that missed it, here is the April fools Compass. Iâ€™m sure it will be about as funny as a joke that youâ€™ve had explained to youâ€¦ but for the curiousâ€¦
Great News! It looks like weâ€™re headed for a GREAT outcome in the budget debate! Let me tell you what I am hopeful that we will see come out this week...
No New Taxes
It appears that the Senate is prepared to agree to dedicate significant parts of both the surplus and current taxes to transportation. This is obviously the ideal outcome weâ€™ve been looking for! Republicans everywhere should be ecstatic!
After the $700 million contribution to the rainy day and water quality improvement funds that are required out of the surplus, the remaining $300 million is going to be spent on one-time construction costs in those areas of the state that are most congested. Brilliant! Spending this money where it is most needed makes perfect sense.
Additionally, it appears that the gas tax will go up and the titling tax will go up modestly (the sales tax when you buy a new car), but the sales tax will be reduced and the death tax will be eliminated to offset these two tax hikes. The elimination of the death tax and the reduction of the sales tax will balance out the tax increases, and will shift taxes to a dedicated stream into the transportation trust fund. While we still need to work to get the transportation trust fund dedicated to transportation, this will finally prioritize transportation spending in an appropriate manner!
Remaining to be agreed upon is how much (if any) of the auto insurance taxes will be dedicated to transportation.
These result in spending about $1 billion next year of new money on transportation and approximately $650 million of new dedicated transportation funding year after year after that.
Get Rid of the Debt
Apparently, the House is willing to give up its reliance on debt in order to reach this compromise. Because the rates we can get on state-issued debt are so low (the last issuance went out at 3.7%), we can actually borrow money to pay for transportation projects more cheaply than paying-as-we-go because the cost of transportation projects is rising faster than 3.7% (much faster). Nonetheless, I believe that getting back in the habit of pay-as-you-go financing will be healthier for Virginia in the long run.
There are no spending cuts â€“ none â€“ required to avoid raising taxes while spending more on transportation. None. The spending increases of most of the other programs in the budget will not increase as much given the prioritization of transportation spending.
So, we donâ€™t increase taxes, we spend $1 billion more on transportation next year and $650 million per year after that, and we donâ€™t cut any programs.
Now THAT is my kind of Republican solution.
Senator Ken Cuccinelli
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