AP conducted an interview with Jerry Kilgore, revealing him to be wildly inconsistent in his principles. Consider this section about his transportation ideas.
Kilgore’s opponents also say his plan to require voter approval of any tax increase is evidence of weak leadership. Not true, Kilgore says.
“It’s being the ultimate leader,” Kilgore said. “I’m willing to step up and lead for the regular citizens out there who feel like they don’t have a voice when taxes are raised.”
Lead for the regular citizens? He’s passing the buck and he calls it leadership. Imagine George Washington taking a vote as to whether to charge or retreat in battle.
He is unswayed by public opinion polls showing a majority of Virginians support the $1.4 billion tax increase passed by legislators, without direct voter input, in 2004.
“I still believe that raising taxes is met with opposition from regular voters,” Kilgore said. “That’s what I’m hearing when I’m traveling around Virginia _ that people don’t want more taxes, they want less taxes, and people want a government that truly considers the money that they take in to be the citizens’ money, not government’s money.”
He’s kind of like George Bush: Don’t confuse me with the facts. Even though a majority of voters say they support the tax increases, “regular” voters don’t. So he just called the majority of Virginia voters irregular. What is an irregular voter? One who thinks? Or maybe he means the people who just vote once in awhile, whereas regular voters vote regularly. Or maybe one who wears shirts with one sleeve longer than the other?
Giving voters the final say on tax increases also is a key part of Kilgore’s transportation plan. He favors establishing regional transportation authorities that can plan projects within their areas and levy new taxes, provided they are approved in a referendum.
“It will be a devolution, if you will, from the old hierarchy of the Commonwealth Transportation Board deciding everything to empowering a region to make decisions,” Kilgore said.
Ah-ha. Now I get it. This is a religious educational matter. He’s sick and tired of these folks who have studied the issue and have a certain expertise in transportation matter, like the folks on the Commonwealth Transportation Board, making all the decisions. He wants regular voters (Christian voters?) to make the decisions based on a 30-second TV commercial or a chat with their buddies at the water cooler who know all the answers. And for the kids, what will we teach them about transportation matters? We teach them devolution, not that evolution crap.
AP writer Larry O’Dell then reveals Kilgore’s hypocrisy.
While he wants voters to approve any tax increases, Kilgore believes the governor and legislature need no guidance on tax cuts. He has pledged to finish the car tax rollback begun by then-Gov. Jim Gilmore in 1998 and to cap real estate assessment increases at 5 percent.
Why can’t we vote on decreasing taxes, too?
Then Kilgore blabbers on about property taxes.
He says his plan to curb soaring property tax bills is superior to Kaine’s proposal to give localities the option of exempting from taxation up to one-fifth of the assessed value of homes.
“Mine’s real, not optional,” Kilgore said.
You see, the people are smart enough to vote intelligently on referendums but apparently not smart enough to vote to lower their property taxes.
He said local governments are cutting tax rates by a penny or two but still enjoying a windfall because of rapidly escalating assessments.
…”What matters to the people I’ve been talking to on the campaign trail is the number they write in that little box up in the right hand corner of their check,” Kilgore said. “If it goes up it’s a tax increase; if it goes down it’s a tax decrease.”
So Jerry, I’ve got the answer. If the problem is assessments are going up, let’s make them go down. Don’t fund the schools; let the roads deteriorate; cut police and fire protection. Soon no one will want to live there, and housing prices will tumble and tax bills will go down. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. And I think, Jerry, you are certainly capable of understanding no-brainers. If fact, I think you could specialize in them. You have the gray matter it takes.
O’Dell also has the temerity to suggest that taxes and Terri Schiavo will not be the hottest issues.
While hot-button social issues receive their share of attention, transportation is likely to emerge as a key issue of the next governor’s term. Along with the regional transportation authorities, Kilgore proposes spending general funds _ which come largely from income and sales taxes _ for transportation. Highway construction and maintenance now is financed primarily through user fees, including gasoline taxes and tolls.
Regardless of the funding sources, Kilgore vowed to act quickly.
“You can’t wait until the third year, you can’t hold study commissions all around the state,” he said. “You’ve got to be decisive. We know what the needs are.”
Yeah, Jerry, you got to be decisive. But you want to wait until we can hold referendums to determine how and when we spend money for transportation. Gee, do the voters get to decide when to spend the money? And who we hire to build the roads? And what color stripe we use for passing lanes?
Along with the story, there are excerpts from the interview. They are breathtaking in their inconsistency.
He knows what we need to do immediately for transportation — hold a referendum — but guns require a bit of study.
On whether the one-gun-a.m.onth law should be repealed:
“We need to recognize that one gun a month was passed at a time when Virginia’s laws were lax in a lot of areas. …We’ve done a lot to improve our laws, to prevent those who want to buy guns just to commit crimes from using Virginia as that vehicle. …I would be interested in doing a study of what technology has brought to the table in the arena of one gun a month.”
And then this:
On why he does not also advocate a regional approach to zoning and land use decisions:
“Because those decisions really have always been the local decisions about schools and fire and police, those issues that affect the local budget. Roads are normally regional.”
But wait a minute, schools aren’t necessarily a local decision.
“I’ve always favored state intervention when local school districts prove time and time again that they can’t get the job done. We have other areas with the same socio-economic barriers that are performing and performing quite well on the standards. …It’s a commitment issue.”
And on hot button issues like gay adoption, he’s opposed to it but would let the courts decide, although he doesn’t explain why Kaine then can’t say that he’s opposed to the death penalty but would follow the law.
“We’ve known from generation to generation that the best place for a child is with a loving mother and a loving father. …We have to consider the interest of that child above everything. …I do oppose gay adoption, but courts are free to look at the entire criteria, from home life to lifestyle, in making that order.”
In other words, again Jerry will let somebody else lead the way.