Will Gentleman Jim Be Ignored?
Del. Jim Dillard (R-Fairfax) may get the cold shoulder from House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg) when invitations go out for the budget conference committee. In a good piece by The Post’s Mike Shear this morning, he reports the young right wingers are pressuring Howell not to appoint Dillard, who by reason of seniority, should be on the committee. But his support for school funding may keep him off. Send an email to Howell with your opinion

Pushed…Right Over the Edge
GOP anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist paid for about 400,000 phones calls to constituents of selected Virginia House delegates with a poll that asked if people knew that the delegate “raised your taxes $500 million.” I just wished I had $500 million to pay for the new taxes! The $500 million refers to the amount the House tax plan expects to raise by eliminating sales tax breaks businesses now enjoy. This kind of misleading question is what they call a “push poll.” I could think of other names. Read about it here and here.

Pilot Blasts Callahan
A Virginian Pilot editorial blasts House Appropriations Chairman Vince Callahan (R-Fairfax) for his comment that cities and counties are crying wolf over money woes.

Dems Back Business
While it’s understandable that Democrats and moderate Republicans would think the House budget plan is inadequate, why aren’t Democrats embracing the House idea of eliminating sales tax breaks for businesses? It seems fair and the impact on jobs is probably overstated. In fact, most companies will simply pass on the sales tax increase to consumers in the form of higher prices. That’s the real rub; businesses don’t want to be the heavy for raising prices.

If the Dems think they’ll curry favor with businesses by their stance, there’s something in the Kool-Aid in Richmond. It’LL take more than that to appreciably shift business donations from the GOP to the Dems. But we can always keep track at Virginia Public Access Project, one of the best campaign finance sites around.