People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Clear Choice In The 5th

It's too bad Bill Carrico (R-Marion) couldn't get this message out when he ran unsuccessfully against Congressman Rick Boucher in 2006. It's a message that we here in Southwest Virginia need to grasp. He's up for reelection in the 5th House District and has laid out his platform for the future.

On the subject of Southwest Virginia's economy:
Carrico, Garner face off in 5th House District race
By Brian Funk, Galax Gazette

[Bill] Carrico said the economy is making progress, but more needs to be done. He detailed a four-point plan for the General Assembly to continue that momentum.

First, infrastructure needs to be improved to attract business.

Second, the state needs to aggressively recruit new business. “We need industries that can support all educational levels and provide benefits to their employees.”

Third, encourage small business. “We need to cut taxes and lessen restrictions on small business.”

Fourth, protect and expand existing business. Part of this involves the state legislature working for farmers in Southwest Virginia, Carrico said. (link)
Infrastructure. Cutting taxes. Reducing restrictions on area businesses. Kiss me.

And his opponent - Susie Dixon Garner?

Looks like she intends to promote Rick Boucher's failed game plan. The plan he's been throwing against the wall in hopes that it would stick - for a quarter century now and counting:
To improve the economy of Southwest Virginia, Garner said the state must “make sure that we are utilizing the resources that are already available at the state and federal level, such as the Governor’s Opportunity Fund, the Center for Innovative Technology, the Virginia Tobacco Commission, infrastructure grants and loans.”

She suggested that businesses in the region could investigate the use of “telecommuting” — working from a distant location via the Internet — such as the recent expansion of the Virginia Department of Taxation’s service representatives to Danville.

Garner said the region already has economic development tools in place, such as Rep. Rick Boucher’s “Showcasing Southwest Virginia” program to attract potential businesses.
Setting aside that blurb about telecommuting, which has absolutely no relevance to her candidacy and is of microscopic importance by anyone's standard of measure, her solutions to our growing economic problems revolve around government assistance. Assistance paid for with those corporate tax dollars that are part of a system that is so punitive that it's driving Southwest Virginia businesses into the open arms of the Chinese. In droves. Corporate taxes that Bill Carrico is wanting to slash.

In short, she wants to do more of the same thing that hasn't worked in the decades it's been tried.

I think the choice is clear. A man with a plan or a few more years of dead-horse beating.

Here's to you, Bill. Make it happen.

Judge Hard To Judge

I can understand the NRA's dilemma. Nearly always clear-cut and uncompromising about its political candidate endorsements, when it got around to assigning a score in the 6th District race here in Southwest Virginia between incumbent Anne B. Crockett-Stark and challenger Bill Thomas, "Annie B" garnered an "A" and Thomas a ... question mark. No score was assigned. Presumably because the folks at the NRA don't have a clue as to where the good judge stands on 2nd Amendment issues. With a candidate questionaire having been sent out to the challenger by the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, it can only be surmised that Mr. Thomas decided not to complete the questionaire and send it back. Or something.

That lack of understanding this candidate extends beyond the subject of hunters rights. It goes to a serious lack of depth on most any subject, it seems. Perhaps even a lack of interest. Is this guy serious about the job or not?

To try and gain understanding of the man is to come away with ... that question mark.

The latest: Here are some of his thoughts on a variety of subjects as they appear in today's Roanoke Times ("One-term delegate defending 6th District seat").

On the use of abusive driver fees to fund road repairs, upgrades, and maintenance:
"I don't think it's a good source of revenue for our transportation," Thomas said, adding that some people don't pay traffic fines, no matter how hard the state tries. "You can get your judgment against them, but collecting it is another matter."
A good reason to be against taxes, I think. Judge Thomas's alternative? No mention.

On bringing economic vitality to this tortured part of Virginia:
"I just don't want to see a commonwealth of Virginia where you have a commonwealth of haves and have-nots," he said.

Technology and two state universities can be the keys to economic development in the region, he said.

"I hope [future] CEOs will look back and say, 'The best four years of my life were at Virginia Tech, or at Radford University' and decide to put their offices here," Thomas said. "With technology, offices can be anywhere."
We all hope, Bill. But you're going to be paid to make our hopes become realities. You're not going to lead a pep rally when you get to Richmond (Are you?). Any thoughts on how you intend to do that? Is wishful thinking going to be the extent of it? Do we give you a question mark on this subject too?

Read the article and you come away with the understanding that there is no depth here. And no passion. Somebody knocked on his door one day and asked him to come out of retirement to run against the Republican incumbent. He acquiesced. So now he's doing his best to regurgitate some bullet points that he's been given.

When I think of the titanic struggle that took place in the General Assembly last session with regard to taxation and spending, I have to ask: Do we want someone representing us who has to be awakened when bills come up for a vote? Someone who is handed a list of measures to support or reject by some party hack? Or do we want someone representing us in Richmond who will fight for our interests here in Southwest Virginia?

Fight being the key word.

As that telling question mark assigned to Bill Thomas by the NRA attests, the man is a mystery. He just hasn't given us a good reason to vote for him.

It Must Have Been Awful

I don't watch Presidential debates. Ever. On my list of things I want to do, it ranks just above cleaning the septic tank with a toothbrush.

But I can tolerate critical reviews of debates. They are sometimes entertaining. Like this one that I found in the New York Times.

Keep in mind, this one is in the New York Times. That's why it makes the criticism - of Hillary Clinton's performance - all that much more shocking:
Everybody vs. Hillary
By Gail Collins

Hillary Clinton is relying on her Democratic audience to understand that all her peculiar positions and triple-waffles have to do with a fear of being demagogued by the Republicans in the general election. But you would have to be a very, very committed Hillaryite to be comfortable listening to two solid hours of dodging and weaving on everything from her vote on the Iran resolution to her husband’s attempt to keep records of their White House communications secret until after 2012.

Clinton needs to ration her obfuscations. Otherwise, she risks looking as silly as she did at the end of the debate, when she gave a perfectly rational explanation of why she once said that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses “makes a lot of sense,” then raised her hand a minute later to add that the fact that she understood why Governor Spitzer was trying to do it did not mean that she thought it should actually be done.

What the debate did demonstrate was that the others deserve more time to make their case. Hillary might have looked immovable on that stage, but she sure didn’t look inevitable. (link)
Scathing. And this from one of her friends.

Maybe I should have watched the dog-and-pony after all.