May 11, 2005

Jerry Kilgore: What me govern?

Jerry Kilgore, the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, has pulled an astonishingly cowardly stunt.

He has no qualms about using the power of the executive to enact all sorts of things--though the details he provides are blessedly spare--he does have a problem being associated with the cost of the various programs he'd like to enact.

He proposes putting any tax increases on a ballot referendum. Here's the thing, like most candidates running for state-level office, he talks a big game on reducing property taxes. He talks about building schools. He talks about building roads. None of these are bad goals, but neither are any of them free.

If he is so enamored of "small d" democratic processes for taxes, why not apply the same methods to all aspects of budgeting? Want to build a new off ramp on the highway? How about an election? Hire some new state troopers? Put it on the ballot!

His proposal amounts to political grandstanding, which is nothing new for this campaign, but for anyone who cares about responsible government, it's a big insult. Just another example of a politician who wants to distance himself from tough choices.


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