Saturday, October 15, 2005

New Segment

TC Readers- Beginning this Wednesday we will host a new weekly segment. In our "Ask the Chairman" segment, Chairman Sean Connaughton will answer one question submitted weekly by the readers. One of our favorite politicians, Sean Connaughton began his long career on active duty in the Coast Guard between 1983 and 1986. He received his law degree in 1992, and passed the bar the same year. Mr. Connaughton practices maritime law, and has argued a winning case before the Supreme Court. In November 1999, he was elected Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, and re-elected in a landslide. He mounted an unsuccessful bid for the Lieutenant Governor Republican nomination, receiving over 71 thousand votes, and winning numerous municipalities. This Wednesday being the first week, I will ask the question. For the following weeks, submit your questions to conservative2054@hotmail.com Thanks

89 Comments:

At 10/15/2005 07:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Chairman!

 
At 10/15/2005 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Sorry, Sean. You have my deepest sympathies. But, since you're here, welcome!

 
At 10/15/2005 10:12:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Ha mitch,
We'll make sure he gets good questions.

 
At 10/15/2005 10:16:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

I have one, but it will stay between him and me for the time being.

 
At 10/15/2005 10:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope jim young stays quiet

 
At 10/16/2005 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous mitch's wife said...

he won't.

 
At 10/16/2005 02:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know why Sean would be on a blog called 'Too Conservative'. If he were on a blog called 'too likely to propose tax increases', it would make a lot more sense!

 
At 10/16/2005 03:19:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

What tax increase has he proposed?

 
At 10/16/2005 06:20:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Thats right anonymous 2:51
You've got nothing.

 
At 10/16/2005 09:16:00 PM, Anonymous marty's oversized melon said...

Connaughton pays his taxes to a European King every Sunday!

 
At 10/17/2005 06:57:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

So you're just a bigot.

 
At 10/17/2005 07:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, anti-Catholicism is still as strong as ever.

This explains the bitter hatred you have for Sean.

 
At 10/17/2005 09:09:00 AM, Anonymous The Original Marty's Oversized Melon said...

Hey I'm Catholic, too. Don't know about this guy.

 
At 10/17/2005 09:28:00 PM, Blogger James Young said...

Yeah, Anon 10:28. Facts opposed to propaganda are a terrible thing.

Actually, I don't have a question. However, I think TC may have overstated the case (and I'm sure Sean would correct it); my recollection may be faulty, but I don't think he "argued a winning casein the United States Supreme Court." I think he was on brief (could be wrong, though).

 
At 10/17/2005 11:51:00 PM, Anonymous Another Guy on the Brief said...

The brief is where the argument gets made. In that winning brief, there's a lot of Sean Connaughton. In that case, the hard part was getting the Court to grant certiorari. That argument was all in writing. Connaughton had the laboring oar. Once we got cert., we knew we had a chance. It was a tough constitutional argument which we won 9-0. Sean made it happen. Without him, we wouldn't have done as well. That's one reason I have always supported him politically.

 
At 10/18/2005 08:00:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

There ya are. Man was Second-Chair and therefore had a good bit to do it would appear. How many lawyers get that opprtunity?

 
At 10/18/2005 10:24:00 AM, Blogger James Young said...

Well, mr jms, I've done it too, but in my case (in which I was the sole attorney), the Court granted cert., vacated the lower court decision, and remanded. So I don't say that I "argued"; TC said that Sean "argued," and I believe that the comments demonstrate that this was inaccurate and an overstatement. It wasn't (and wasn't meant) as a slight, so you Sean sycophants really should recognize the distinctins between a correction and a criticism.

On another topic altogether, did you guys see that Pot. News letter from Sean supporter Jonathan Pick, endorsing Tim Kaine for Governor?

 
At 10/18/2005 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under the "leadership" of Sean, property taxes have gone up 50% since he was made chairman of the board.

In addition, he was very much PRO-TAX on the referendum. He even did fundraisers to help the pro-tax referendum.

He's about as anti-tax as Mark Warner, and far from being a conservative!

 
At 10/18/2005 01:36:00 PM, Anonymous tooconservative said...

Fundraiser for Warner's referendum? When was this!? I can't believe Sean didn't invite me.

 
At 10/18/2005 01:38:00 PM, Anonymous tooconservative said...

As far as Sean's supporters endorsing Tim Kaine-

So What?

 
At 10/18/2005 01:40:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

"made" Chairman of the board? Last time I heard - he was actually elected Chairman (twice).

 
At 10/18/2005 02:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Sean was elected, and has been a strong advocate for higher taxes ever since!

 
At 10/18/2005 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Jim:

I hadn't seen the letter that Mr. Pick wrote, but thanks for pointing it out. It is an interesting read. I'm not familiar with his name and can't confirm that he is a "Sean supporter" (Didn't see his name as a donor on Sean's reports).

What I find interesting is that, having looked at both candidates, he believes that Kaine is and will be a better leader than Kilgore. He doesn't really talk about issues. So we really don't know where he stands on specific issues. We do know, however, based on recent poll data, that Kilgore is rapidly losing the moderate and independent voters out there, people who tend to vote based more leadership and character as opposed to hardcore ideology.

So, my guess here (and it's total speculation) is that Mr. Pick is a person of relatively moderate ppolitics who looks to individual candidates for leadership and honest, practical representation, and is not simply a party hack or someone driven only by issues. I like the guy already. And, though I have no empirical evidence to suggest it, I am not at all surprised that he would also support a leader like Connaughton, irrespective of the issues.

I do hope that you weren't implying that because a "Sean supporter" is also supporting Kaine that this somehow means that Connaughton is not a good Republican. Not only is that illogical, but it seems to me that alienating all but your party's most rabid followers is no way to run governments or win elections. How knows, maybe even Kilgore and Co. will figure this out before November 8.

 
At 10/18/2005 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Hirons said...

Oh MC - you've opened up a can of worms for Jim. Johnathan Pick hasn't proved to be anywhere close to "moderate". He's a frequent letter writer and yes he did write letters of support for Sean. He's also been supportive of just about every demo candidate and policy in the county and national level.

Jim - please go easy on our friend Mitch.

 
At 10/18/2005 03:12:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Go easy on me? Hell, give me your best shot!

 
At 10/18/2005 03:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just verifies what I was saying about Sean being anything but Conservative. Of course, a Dem would support a pro-tax guy like Sean. It only makes sense!

 
At 10/18/2005 03:39:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

I don't know why we're still talking about this.

I'll give Mr.Young credit for using his name when he Sean bashes, but random anonymous people's bashings don't really matter.

Just answer me this instead of mindless babble...how has he raised taxes?

 
At 10/18/2005 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean supported the Northern Virginia tax referendum, to the extent that he even hosted a fundraiser to support it.

He also has allowed property taxes to sky-rocket under his administration.

Sean can not be 'conservative' AND 'Pro-Tax-Hike' at the same time! Those two things are mutually exclusive of one another.

 
At 10/18/2005 04:18:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

I guess if Connaughton, or any other local elected officials, can be nailed for raising taxes becuase home value went up then we should also thank them for raising the value of your home. You are making the leap here that they are responsible for your tax bill rising, so they must have been the one to make your property worth more money.

I will gladly elect any representative that can raise my personal wealth by 50% in five years.

 
At 10/18/2005 04:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foolish one. You should no better than to trust a tax-hiker. They're rarely an honest breed. And if he told you he didn't support this, then we can discern that Sean must be a liar.

Washington Post, Sept. 11 2002 article titled 'Pr. William Board Backs Proposed Tax Increase'

Here's the text of the beginning of the article:

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors yesterday added its name to the list of local governments backing a regional sales tax increase, providing supporters of the measure with what they called a significant victory.

    The board voted 6 to 2 to urge voters to approve a measure in a Nov. 5 referendum that would increase the sales tax to pay for Northern Virginia transportation projects. The board's endorsement came after months of debate and five community meetings in the past week in which voters provided board members no clear direction. Supervisors Maureen S. Caddigan (R-Dumfries) and Ruth T. Griggs (R-Occoquan) voted against the tax increase.

"The referendum has been a difficult issue for me," said board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton (R-At Large). But despite concerns about endorsing a tax, Connaughton said: "Without transportation investment now, tax pressures will be infinitely higher in five or 10 years."


(I guess Sean likes to make up excuses for raising taxes on Northern Virginians.)

 
At 10/18/2005 04:39:00 PM, Anonymous The Original Marty's Oversized Melon said...

Oh to live in your nirvana. Simple truth is that the taxes are nothing but a money grab by the Board and the County Exec., a money grab that will put a real squeeze on the residents when (not if) the economy turns. As to the value of the property, it only applies if you're willing to either sell the house or refinance. The former presents one with the problem of finding a new house that doesn't consume more than the profit you made on the old one as well as finding one that is more convenient to your place of employment (I hope you don't work inside the beltway with that scenario). The latter is a potentially a speculative venture that presumes you can earn a higher rate of return than the interest paid for a long period of time. Meanwhile, those who like where they are living and raising their families are stuck with a real tax bill that is twice what it was five years ago. Thanks Sean, I really appreciate it given the escalating cost of fuel and the impact of that escalation on all consumer products, guess I'll just go home and pad my checkbook with happy thoughts about the value of my home. Oh crap, just remembered the budget office wants to increase the tax rate next year, there go my happy thoughts.

 
At 10/18/2005 04:39:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

I was referring to the In addition, he was very much PRO-TAX on the referendum. He even did fundraisers to help the pro-tax referendum.

He's about as anti-tax as Mark Warner, and far from being a conservative!

-the state wide Warner tax.

I have not discussed the regional tax referendum with him.

So..does this mean conservatives on the board voted in favor?

 
At 10/18/2005 04:51:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

And equity in your home does not allow to borrow at a cheaper rate(car, credit, any loan), take a home equity loan to to pay off other debts or invest, or allow for some form of economic freedom at some point in the future. Unless you plan on living in your home til the day you die(less than 5% of current homeowners will) then you will reep benefits at some point and time.

Also, the average tax bill in Prince William is still below the average mill assesment in the entire country. Not to mention less than any other jurisdiction in NoVa. So please, cry to someone who truly feels bad for the situation you have.


Or move into Fairfax and see what we have to deal with.

 
At 10/18/2005 04:59:00 PM, Anonymous The Original Marty's Oversized Melon said...

That's why I moved out of Fairfax and please don't compare PWC with National Averages. It's apples and oranges or rather apples and watermelons given the vast disparity in taxes levied in various locations, some of which we have ie: personal property tax and others that we don't ie: local income taxes not to mention those states like Florida where there is no income tax and the revenue has to come from someplace else. Are you that much of a simpleton or just assuming that others are?

 
At 10/18/2005 05:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've looked at moving to that VERY conservative state of Texas -

Guess what my real estate tax rate will be in the areas that I'm looking at:

$2.00 to $2.50 per hundred dollars of assessed value!!!!

 
At 10/18/2005 06:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under Sean's leadership, those numbers would go up to $3.00 to $3.75 per hundred dollars of assessed value!!!

 
At 10/18/2005 06:52:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

ROFLMFAO! It would appear that the sane and rational portion of our program just ended. Say goodnight, Gracie.

 
At 10/19/2005 09:08:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Rarely do you get sanity from those that seem to not grasp the concept of simple economics.

 
At 10/19/2005 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too Conservative,

I am not sure what the partisan make-up of the board was when Connaughton voted to endorse the tax referendum in 2002. That being said, any conservative that was on the board and voted to endorse is NO CONSERVATIVE (shame on them if they voted with Sean)!!!

The sales tax hike proposal was nothing more than a gimmick to funnel more money to Richmond to be spent on projects other than transportation (this is evidenced by the fact that the General Assembly repeatedly kills the bill that REQUIRES them to leave the money in the transportation TRUST fund and not raid it for other pet projects). Richmond politicians can't be trusted with our hard-earned money! The fact that Sean bowed to the wealthy developers and other special interest groups by voting to endorse this proposal is a tell-tale sign that he can't be trusted either.

Also, it should be noted, that regardless of which "tax-hike" we are talking about - Sean supported the tax referendum, thereby forever labeling himself as a pro-taxer. This idiotic vote will forever haunt his political career.

 
At 10/19/2005 10:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't regional tax referendums the key element of Jerry Kilgore's transportation plan?

 
At 10/19/2005 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES, and the referendums will be voted down if they ever come to fruition! Kilgore has a weak transportation plan. We elect representatives to go to Richmond and vote on our behalf, and it's their job to fix the transportation problem by using the funds they have. They shouldn't throw the burden onto the backs of voters to fix such things! It's THEIR JOB. That's a cop-out for politicians who don't want to vote to raise taxes (b/c it's politically dangerous), and who think that more money is the solution to everyone's problems.

 
At 10/19/2005 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when Sean threw his hands up in disgust over the lack of effort by the Republican legislature to do their jobs and deal with the transportation crisis, he was wrong to say that since those numb nutzes would never get their acts together, the referendum was the last hope?

 
At 10/19/2005 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think time has proven him right ...

 
At 10/19/2005 11:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean is a pro-tax Liberal.

We have a lot of those in Virginia, but they typically have the balls to admit to being Democrats!

-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 11:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The challenge with this dilemma is to FORCE Richmond to figure it out! This was Richmond passing the buck - and Sean fell for it. This is true that Richmond can't seem to get it's act together as far as transportation goes, but ultimately the "numb nutzes" will face the end of their political careers come election time. Voters are smarter than most politicians think.

It's unfair to give voters an ultimatum that cons them into thinking that they will be stuck in traffic for the rest of their lives if they don't raise their own taxes! It's absurd, and historically (looking at other states) voters don't vote in favor of raising their own taxes. Therefore, Kilgore's plan is lacking credibility in this respect.

Richmond needs new blood and fresh ideas and there's no room for anymore tax-hikers down there!

~anon 2

 
At 10/19/2005 11:47:00 AM, Blogger MR JMS said...

So Bolling and McDonnell both voted in favor of the 2002 referendum so they are not conservative either.

And by this justification Dillard is conservative because he did not support the referendum. So is Chap Petersen.

Wow! It's funny what happens when you take a black & white view on something and then learn the facts.

 
At 10/19/2005 11:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing Sean didn't win his primary for Lt. Governor, then.

His pro-tax ideology is much closer to Leslie Byrne’s.
->Which would have forced Virginians to consider which pro-tax Lt. Governor candidate they wanted in office.

Thank goodness for all the VA Republicans who rejected Sean; stopping us from being put into that position!

-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 12:00:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Thank goodness, indeed! Now, instead of Kilgore/Connaughton, we're going to have Kaine/Byrne. Way to think that one through!

 
At 10/19/2005 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. JMS

Correction, Bolling and McDonnell voted to PUT THE REFERENDUM ON THE BALLOT ... as did Jay O'Brien, another markedly conservative legislator. Bolling opposed the tax increase and I believe Jay remained silent on the issue, as he was in the middle of a tough state senate race that year. McDonnell I *believe* was one of the officials who supported the referendum publicly (I could very well be wrong here).

This proves that there is a split amongst Republicans as to whether referendums are a good idea or not...I obviously think they are a really bad idea! This does not prove whether or not those legislators that voted to put it to a referendum ultimately supported it. That's just false, and completely different from VOTING TO ENDORSE THE TAX INCREASE, as Sean did on the Board of Supervisors.

My guess is that Jim Dillard and Chap Peterson would have preferred to just outright push the tax increase through - as they did when they voted in favor of the record-setting tax increase that was passed in last years budget. As such, they voted against putting the referendum on the ballot.

 
At 10/19/2005 12:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt that.

I think Bolling and Kilgore stand a great shot at winning this one, with the poll numbers supporting my theory.

Sean and Leslie would have just split the liberal vote.

True conservatives wouldn't want either in office!

-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 12:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last comment was for you, Mitch!

-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 12:11:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

"McDonnell I *believe* was one of the officials who supported the referendum publicly."

Can I assume from this, then, that you supported Steve Baril in the primary and that you also believe that McDonnell "is a pro-tax liberal?"

 
At 10/19/2005 12:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Cumstein,

At the time, I was angered by McDonnell's support for the referendum, and yes, I even held a grudge for a while (haha)-- note that his support for the tax hike still remains fresh in my head!

However, when it comes to this office, there are issues that an Attorney General will be held accountable for and those are what voters have to look at when deciding who to support for this position. Ultimately as Attorney General he can't vote for legislation (such as a budget which includes a tax increase), but he is responsible for arguing on behalf of the Commonwealth on issues that are of upmost importance to me - such as the death penalty, abortion, second amendment rights, property rights, and the list goes on.

Bob McDonnell falls on the right side of those issues, and is by far the best man in the Commonwealth for this job. Yes, he won my vote in the primary and he is definitely getting it in November!

~Anon 2 (keep in mind, there are several anonymous posters on this blog today, and I have not called anyone a "tax and spend liberal" today!)

 
At 10/19/2005 12:33:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

But wait... If you are so adomently against a tax increase would you not try and stop it before the referendum? Your logic makes no sense.

"I will support a referendum, but don't like the tax"

Sounds pansey to me. If you back the referendum then I assume you back the tax. If you didn't than step up and be a leader by ending it before it gets to that point. But than again I guess courage of conviction does not exist in politics.

Oh, and I wish to correct myself. Bolling voted for the tax and than voted against it. Reminds me of Gary Reese, a man we attacked for voting for taxes even though he voted against the final package. Or, is he more like John Kerry and Tim Kaine- unsure of where he stands on anything.

I hate the purist who constantly wear blinders on the tax issue. Be knowledgeable, logical, and consistent on your application of values. If you aren't than you hold no values and you're simply buying into the cult of personality regardless of who the individual might be.

 
At 10/19/2005 12:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the reason they voted in favor of putting the referendum on the ballot, was because they knew if they put it to a full vote in the house and senate that it had the potential to pass (it would have definitely passed in Senate). Case in point: look at the tax increase they pushed through last year!

Those folks that put it to a referendum probably realized that Virginia would never vote for such a thing, and as a result Virginia would not see their taxes go up. Maybe that was their strategy?!

They blocked the tax increase by putting it to a referendum. I agree that it's still bad politics though to put anything to a referendum.

 
At 10/19/2005 12:47:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

The referendum barely passed the House. I doubt that was the reasoning.

 
At 10/19/2005 01:34:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Anon 12:24,

First of all, call me Mitch. We're all friends here.

I agree with you with regard to considering a candidate's record where it specifically relates to the issues that he/she can affect from the office for which they are running. In McDonnell's case, the issues you describe are relevent to the offie of Attorney General, while taxes are not. However, as we all know, the office is also a steppingstone to the Governor's Mansion, perhaps more so even than the office of Lt. Governor. Therefore, while McDonnell's record on taxes may not be an issue now, it certainly will be in four years, when he will run for an office in which he will have significant budgetary involvement. That said, a victory now places him as the clear front-runner for the 2009 nomination if not the Governor's race itself. Taxes will undoubtedly be a major issue, yet McDonnell supporters who claim to be fiscal conservatives will have to face the reality that their chosen candidate may not be.

Now, if you argue that his record on taxes is forgivable because of his solidly conservative views in all other areas, you should logically have given Connaughton the benefit of the same reasoning during the primary. To wit, both McDonnell and Connaughton were running for office with little control over taxes that are steppingstones to a higher office that does. Furthermore, on the issues that you cited as reasons for supporting McDonnell, Connaughton is more conservative than Bolling.

So, the bottom line is, I find the logic inconsistent and, well illogical. Feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong.

 
At 10/19/2005 01:40:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Sean and Leslie would have just split the liberal vote.

-No matter what we do to explain how we're right, and your wrong, the random quotes keep pouring out of you.

 
At 10/19/2005 01:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean has made it clear that he will support and even help fundraise in favor of tax increases.

His liberal colors are showing, quite nicely!

-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 02:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Bolling and McDonnell vote against the Warner tax increase but then vote the follining year to spend the $1.5 billion Warner "surplus"? Since most of the "surplus" was generated in NoVa, they should have put it all into transportation up here. Bolling and McDonnell are liberal, big government, spender types ...

 
At 10/19/2005 02:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Sean fundraise for the referendum? Why didn't I get an invitation?

 
At 10/19/2005 02:15:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Shhhh.

No need for logic here.

 
At 10/19/2005 02:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He helped to host one (or more) fundraiser(s) with developers in order to raise money for the referendum, at the time.

I got one of his invitations. You might not be as special as me, if you didn't get one.

Sean just loves to raise taxes!


-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 02:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean never hosted a fundraiser for the referendum, he would have invited me!

 
At 10/19/2005 03:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly you're not as important as you think you are!

Maybe Sean's next question should be- Why didn't you invite everyone to your pro-tax fundraisers?

-Anon1

 
At 10/19/2005 03:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mitch (friend!!!)

I am voting Bolling for Governor (we'll see where McDonnell's political aspirations lie) ... Connaughton can talk the conservative talk and claim to be more conservative than Bolling but it's just not true. Property taxes have indeed risen about 50% since Connaughton was elected Supervisor in PW. Connaughton claims he has cut taxes - he cut the rate, but the assessments still RISE (and he knows this - he just knew that a record of raising taxes doesn't fly in a Republican primary. He just chose to mention the part about cutting the rate in his campaign literature).

I prefer proof before I support ANYONE that claims to be the most conservative candidate in a race. Sean claimed to be " 100% prolife" and yet he has no record that proves this, he never spoke passionately about his prolife "views" in public forums, and he has no record of prolife activism that attests to his beliefs. He never elaborated much on what he would do to help advance the prolife cause in Virginia either. In contrast, Bill Bolling has a long record of consistently standing up in committee and on the floor of the Senate to defend innocent life. He works tirelessly with the pro-life lobby in Richmond to try and sway other legislators to protect the unborn, and he is considered a solid dependable vote on prolife bills. I anticipate that Bill Bolling will run for Governor, and his views on abortion are of extreme importance to me. I dare say that Sean's eyes would have been set on the Governor's mansion as well, and as is evidenced above - he will NEVER have my support for any public office.

On another note, Sean Connaughton NEVER spoke out against the massive Warner tax increase. He says he was opposed to it, but never once issued a statement or held a press conference in opposition to it. In fact, he was even quoted as saying that Warner's $1 Billion tax increase plan was "positive" for Virginia. Doesn't sound like something that would come out of an anti-taxer's mouth. Being the "most conservative" candidate in the primary, don't you think he would have made it a point to shout his opposition to the roof tops all across Virginia (as Bill Bolling did?!). And look who won the primary ... hmmmm.


You can claim to be anything when you have no record, but that's just not good enough to win my vote.

 
At 10/19/2005 03:47:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Bob Fitzsimmonds?!

 
At 10/19/2005 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Not I", said the Anon1!

 
At 10/19/2005 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Fitzsimmonds is a groovy kinda guy - but I am NOT Bob! Keep guessing Too Conservative - this is becoming comical.

 
At 10/19/2005 03:59:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Anon-

Neither Connaughton nor Bolling spoke out adamently against the tax increase. Both might claim they did, but neither did. Bolling infact has a reputation of having done absolutely nothing on the issue while in Richmond.

Connaughton was in no position to really do anything on the matter.

On pro-life issues I believe Connaughtons exact statement was "I am 100% pro-life. Period, no exceptions". Bolling tended to be more elaborate, but also granted exceptions for health of the mother, rape, and incest. PRobably splitting hairs on the difference frankly.

Again, Bolling could do something on the issue and Connaughton couldn't due to his elected office. This tended to be much of the trend through out the primary... Support the young up-and-comer that claims to believe x, y, and z or back the non-charismatic senator that you know is a solid vote. Tough call for the base to make and we see that with the undersweel due to the recent supreme court nominees.

What I do not understand that while Bolling sat on the Hanover BOS you saw rates drop as well, but property bills go up by 66%. I agree with you that taxes in real numbers went up during Connaughtons time in office, but so did Bolling.

Tell me you support Bolling because he is a safe conservative vote where we won't have any suprises and I can respect your justification. Use the tax issue as a way to differentiate the two and I call you a hypocrite and a conservative that applies principals when they are convienient for your own political agenda.

If you truly spent two minutes looking at both records I bet you would have a much different perspective. Instead you feel the need to be an uneducated hypocrite on the matter. Perhaps me taking the time to learn about both candidates is why I proudly supported Connaughton in the primary and still proudly support Bolling in the general. I bet if the situation was reversed I could not say the same about you.

Develop a consistent set of values, then lecture me on the issues.

 
At 10/19/2005 04:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JMS

I *personally* know Bill Bolling, and I can ASSURE you that he is prolife with the only exception being to protect the life of the mother. I deem this an acceptable position, given the fact that cases in which this exception would come into play are extremely rare! You would probably be shocked to know that this position is held by such well-known prolifers as Delegates Bob Marshall and Dick Black and Senator's Ken Cuccinelli and Jay O'Brien. So I guess they're a bunch of squishes too....

Also, with regards to the line about taxes going up 66% while Bill was on the Hanover Board of Supervisors, in fact real estate tax collections increased 2.25 percent per year during Bill's tenure. This factor is undoubtedly lower than the growth of population plus inflation(the natural rate of growth in the economy). I've never seen the 66% factor - how'd ya'll come up with that?

One last thing, if Connaughton had a comprehensive record covering a broad range of issues to compare with Bollings, then I would gladly do so!

 
At 10/19/2005 04:18:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

TC - Nice guess, I'm sorry it's not him. I don't agree with him philosophically on a number of issues, but I do think he is an honest, upstanding guy and respect his resolve on the things that matter to him.

Anon - While crafting my response for you, I noticed that MR JMS has already responded. His answer may have been a bit more heavy-handed than mine, but the nuts and bolts are the same. No need for me to simply repeat what he said as far as the issues go, particularly Bolling's hypocrisy on the tax issue.

My impression of the two candidates has been that one is a dislikeable party hack who represents business-as-usual in Richmond while the other is an innovative leader who can bring real and much-needed change. I'll leave it to you to decide which individual I think is which. In any event, based on his attitude and performance in the primary, Bill Bolling will never have MY support for any elected office. Which means that, if these two ever run against one another in the future, our votes will simply cancel each others out. Oh well, I'm used to that. It's happened enough in my own home over the years.

Cheers,

Mitch

 
At 10/19/2005 05:39:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

Glad you know him personaslly as do I.

Look back at his votes to include the 1995 vote to increase the tax rate by 16-cents for infrastructure improvements.

Point is on issues we had two similar candidates. Anyone who tells you otherwise knows nothing about both candidates.

Difference is personaloty and demeanor.

 
At 10/20/2005 11:06:00 AM, Blogger James Young said...

Sorry, but was on a plane for most of yesterday.

mr jms, on the issue of the Supreme Court appearance, there is really no comparison between sitting second chair and actually arguing. The latter is more difficult by at least an order of magnitude. I don't diminish the former; I merely state that Chairman Sean's participation shouldn't be overstated.

As for the issue of Sean the tax increaser, MC and TC, I'm not going to repeat here what others have already said eloquently, and what I've said (to you) so many times in the past. Sean is a tax increaser. You'd have a lot more credibility (your relative anonymity aside) if you'd just admit it.

Finally, as to Pick, he was part of the group that Chairman Sean djinned up as a counterweight to the Taxpayers Alliance. They did a press conference, and got a story and a photo in the Pot. News. Jean Smith was prominently mentioned, too. And yes, unless a candidate specifically repudiates a group (a la Reagan and the Klan in 1980), I believe that a candidate's supporters reflect upon the candidate. For example, a member of my church was prominently mentioned in the story on the Kaine/Warner foray into PWC the other day, and I have good reason to believe that it wasn't just his relative-of-a-murder-victim credentials which spurred his support of a far Leftie like Kaine. That Pick and other far Lefties supported Chairman Sean does not reflect well upon him. Is it a perfect test? Obviously not. But it is part of the mix that one should consider when assessing a politician.

 
At 10/20/2005 02:44:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

And what of the Dems that you would classify as 'lefties' that backed Reagan hard in 1980 and 1984?

 
At 10/20/2005 07:30:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Jim:

Good to see you back.

On the tax issue, you are right, we have discussed this ad nauseum. We just have a very different perspective on this. Perhaps in the near future a discussion over a bottle of good scotch might produce more agreeable results.

I understand your point on the support issue, but I don't think it applies to folks like us. Meaning, for someone who doesn't get involved and stay informed on the issues and candidates, putting stock in who else supports a particular candidate may be informative. For intelligent people who take the time and put forth the effort to understand the issues and consider a candidate's positions, history and intangibles, it should have absolutely no bearing whatsoever. I certainly don't listen to other people when I make a decision on who to support. Now, there was a time when I was too busy with my career and not as inclined to be an active participant in the political process. Back then, I relied on others to keep me informed and even, at times, to do some of my thinking for me. But I don't do that anymore and I certainly can't believe that you do either. I don't know Mr. Pick. The letter that appeared in the Pot. News last week is the first written by him that I've seen. You could tell me that he's never voted for any Republican other than Sean or that he's a member of the communist party and it wouldn't matter to me in the least. I have access to the pertinent information and the will and ability to use it to make my own decisions. And that's what this process is supposed to be about in the first place, isn't it?

One final point: Are you suggesting that Jean Smith is also a "Leftie." I consider her a friend and, in the time I've known her, have never heard anyone refer to her in quite that way. I know she's a helluva lot more "conservative" than I am, though you undoubtedly don't think that's saying much. Then again, it probably isn't, since I don't consider myself to be particularly "conservative" in the first place.

 
At 10/20/2005 10:40:00 PM, Anonymous NOVA Scout said...

Sheer madness over here. Some of you folks are living in an alternative universe. I've been a conservative since 1962. I can date my conversion the same way many people can tell you when they had a religious epiphany. I've supported some taxes and opposed others. Never have I supposed that being "conservative" meant blanket opposition to all taxes all the time. I could never type a pol by his support or opposition to a particular tax initiative. How you can get so lathered up on Connaughton, I will never understand.

I would take a lot of you far more seriously if you would tithe (that's 10% for you secularists) the energy you spend on goofy complaints about your houses being worth too much and utter fictions about Connaughton doing fundraisers for the regional referendum (Fitzsimmons even elaborates on the fiction to the point of talking about wine & cheese parties thrown by Connaughton. What nonsense. Everyone who knows Sean knows he's a beer & Jamesons - sometimes all in one glass at one time - guy) to coming out in direct opposition to ad valorem property taxes. I'll even join you if you'll take that step. There are a lot of issues that go with that stance, but they're largely mechanical. If you don't like taxes on increasing, but unrealized wealth, then support a changeover to income taxation at the local level and/or increased state income taxes to compensate for abolition of property taxes. At that point I might begin to take you seriously. Until then, you come acros as just a half dozen moon-howlers.

 
At 10/21/2005 05:57:00 AM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

I didn't know that Sean is a Jameson guy. It's official, I'll never vote for anyone else!

 
At 10/21/2005 01:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservatives don't vote for Tax increases. Period.

Gary Reese said that he was a conservative, after voting for the largest tax increase in VA's history, voting with NARAL 50% of the time, and endorsing a liberal democrat (over the true-conservative that unseated him).

You can say you're a conservative and you can say you're a lamp. However, calling yourself something doesn't make it true!

 
At 10/21/2005 01:30:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

Then, anon 1310, conservatives have become a far different, and far more limited, breed than they have been over my lifetime. The question is whether I let you decide what makes me a conservative or stick to my own time-honored criteria: Limited Government, particularly at the federal level, strong civil liberties, fiscal discipline, honest, transparent and efficient local government, strong defense, free trade, and an intelligent and engaged foreign policy that advances the economic and security interests of the United States.

"Never voting for a tax increase" doesn't offer me a political philosophy, it simply describes a person who doesn't like to think about the unavoidable complexities of good governance. Anyone can do that.

 
At 10/21/2005 03:14:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Well said, NoVA Scout. Show me a politician that promises to never raise taxes (or, God forbid, signs a pledge to that effect), and I'll show you a panderer unfit to serve at any level of government.

Governing is about making hard choices and difficult decisions. As a conservative as described by NoVA Scout above, those decisions shoud rarely involving increasing taxes. But, as we've seen over the past four years (9/11, war, Katrina), there are situations both in and out of our control that make raising revenue the only sensible choice. For anyone to dismiss out of hand raising taxes in any and all situations shows a stubbornness and lack of leadership that is both dangerous and foolish.

If you want to wield the mantle of "fiscal conservative," take up the spending fight, and have the guts and backbone to depend that government stop spending on services for which it should not rightly be responsible. Simply declaring that the tax rate should be X or X-1 is no answer. Stating that taxes can never increase is no answer. The was a time when Republicans were the ones willing to fight with honesty and integrity and demand real solutions to real problems. Unfortunately, for some, those days of innovative problem-solving and practical, honest leadership are long gone.

 
At 10/21/2005 03:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nova scout -

Good governance in a free-market economy entails returning power to the people (i.e. putting money back into our hands and allowing the principals of Adam Smith's "invisible hand" to play themselves out). That's how our economy works - and when more individuals have more money in their pockets to invest in the economy, it in-turn will grow (all on its own). This is why tax cuts usually boost the economy - it's the surge of money being invested back into the economy.

It's when the government starts requiring more out of our pockets to throw into their coffers that we run into problems. Government needs to privatize social programs and cut back on their spending - this is the key to the "limited government" that you described yourself as being in favor of above. By doing this, government can then use the money they spend on frivolous programs to fund the necessary ones (such as public safety and education).

Taking the position that you will not raise taxes simply means that you understand that MORE money is not the solution to our problems, and that you will fight to protect the hard working families of Virginia by working to keep more of their paychecks in their pockets!

Money is best kept in the hands of the people who earned it, and this should be the chief focus of our legislators. It's scary when an elected official says they are in favor of tax increases -- that's big government at its finest and it should be feared by everyone!

Not to bore you all with uber-intellectual gobbledygook, but Frederic Hayek put it best when he described America and Britain in his famed book, "The Road to Serfdom".

He stated, "[I have] become increasingly convinced that some of the forces which destroyed freedom in Germany are also at work here ... the increasing veneration for the state, the fatalistic acceptance of "inevitable trends," the enthusiasm for "organization" of everything (we now call it "planning").

In the democracies at present, many who sincerely hate all of Nazism's manifestations are working for ideals whose realization would lead straight to the abhorred tyranny."

Note that Hayek was not referring to the genocide of millions in Germany, but moreover he was pointing to the socialized style of government that led to widespread poverty. The mindset of some of our elected officials is frighteningly the same!

 
At 10/21/2005 05:00:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Anon:

I agree with your logic to a point, but to insist that leaders vow to never raise taxes is such an oversimplification of the issue. I view my taxes as an investment. I'm willing to pay my fair share to the common good, but only to the point that I see real, instrinsic value returned to me. Translation: my tax dollars afford me the assurance that we have effective transportation, consistent high-quality education, a free and vibrant economy and safety both at home and abroad. If government(s) can not give me these returns on my tax dollars, then I won't pay anything. Forget about not raising taxes, eliminate them! Don't tell me that you'll lower the real estate tax rate per hundred dollars to some drastically low figure and then give me lousy roads, schools and public safety infrastructure. I can walk, teach my own children and kill anyone who pisses me off, and do it for practically nothing.

I don't invest in companies that are run by closed-minded CEOs who would prefer to give all profits back to shareholders and refuse to reinvest in areas of the business that will yield growth and stability for the future. Why should I invest my tax dollars that way?

 
At 10/21/2005 07:11:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

anon 1534: Friedrich Hayek is mother's milk to me (Selma has value also), but your quotes do nothing to undermine my thesis (maybe you were trying to back me up). Hayek can't get off the page into action without adept, electable politicians who understand how to combine his teachings with real world governance. "No New Taxes", without much, much more ain't Hayek and it ain't conservatism. It's cartoon public finance. There are a lot of bad taxes that Friedrich August would want us to get rid of. Some of them will have to be replaced with less stultifying public finance measures. Obviously everyone hates to be taxed and everyone wants taxes as low as possible. But the level is secondary or tertiary to the mechanisms and their impact on economic activity and, as you and your buddy suggest, human liberty. A pol who can't think outside the edges of a bumper sticker is not going to get us anywhere we want to go. What I see in Virginia is a number of shallow opportunists who have you pegged as a guy who will vote for them if they whisper sweet nothings in your ear about "no new taxes." they're counting on your being so gullible that you'll take that and a signed piece of paper over real skill and integrity. Maybe you aren't that gullible, but there are voters who are. Conservativsm as a political force will go nowhere fast if these poseurs succeed.

 
At 10/21/2005 08:21:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

This blog has gone to a whole new level if we are quoting Hayek.

Fact is this- taxes are not bad. Taxes infact are very good and a necessary part of a civilized society. But, when government becomes fat, bloated, and inefficient then taxation often becomes unjust.

To this end we need to take several steps in this state. We need to enact the Wilder Commissions suggestions. We need to protect the transportation fund. We need to re-do our entire education formula and allow school choice. And, we need a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Once all of that is done in Richmond and they tell me they realistically need more money then I would probably give it to them.

 
At 10/21/2005 09:51:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Anonymous-
110.

Yes Gary voted for the billion dollar tax increase.
Sean did not.
Gary was wrong supporting Chuck , and every like-minded Republican knows that. Every like minded Republican knows that Russ Potts is wrong running against Kilgore as a Republican.
Could we not say it was wrong of Golden to run outside the party then last cycle?

 
At 10/22/2005 09:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to muddle this very interesting discussion but didn't Reese vote against the tax increase after he voted for it? Doesn't that make him an anti-tax conservative idol because he did the right thing?

 
At 10/22/2005 09:47:00 AM, Anonymous NOVA Scout said...

Could we talk about Selma Hayak?

 
At 10/22/2005 04:14:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

She's attractive. I wish I had been on the Hill the day she testified.

 

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