...fissures emerged in Virginia, explaining how this red state elected another Democrat, Tim Kaine, to the governor's mansion on Tuesday. For the past 3 years, the high tech business community has linked hands with developers and liberal Democrats to push sales tax hikes, gas tax hikes, and more state spending on roads and schools -- even though a report by the Virginia Policy Institute shows that this state has more than doubled expenditures on transportation and education over the past decade [my emphasis].This, coupled with Kilgore's having stumbled badly on "Meet The Press" when Tim Russert quizzed him on his abortion position, doomed Kilgore's candidacy.
Republican Jerry Kilgore lost the governor's race in large part because pro-tax business coalitions pressured him into an ambiguous position on taxes. As we mentioned on these pages a week ago, Mr. Kilgore never took a "no tax" pledge [my emphasis], and seemed insensitive to the stampeding cost of property taxes in many counties. His Democratic opponent Mr. Kaine ran as an anti-tax "friend of the taxpayer" even though he had just two years earlier supported the largest tax hike in Virginia history [my emphasis]. As Peter Ferrara, head of Virginia Free Enterprise Fund, groused the day after the election: "The business groups who fund these state campaigns prevented Kilgore from running as a tax cutting conservative, and now they are stuck with an anti-business Democrat" [my emphasis].
I'm probably typical of the (very) conservative Virginia voter. I have two litmus tests whenever I choose a candidate. If he or she fails either one of them - regardless of any other views that may be held - I'll never vote for that person. Those issues involve abortion and taxes. Tim Kaine flunked both based not on what was rolling off his lips all of a sudden, but on his record.
Jerry Kilgore had an excellent track record on both issues but, for some reason only the Republican National Committee and his handlers can explain, he ran away from them. He tried to "soften" them, I'd expect. In the process, he also softened the support of his conservative base - a voting block that every Republican needs if he or she ever expects to gain high office.
Thank the GOP for having doomed Kilgore's candidacy.
When will they ever learn.