Marshall vs. Gilmore for U.S. Senate.

A lot of folks here like the occasional outlet to talk about politics on a larger scale. To that end, Valerie writes in regarding the race among Republicans to select somebody to challenger former governor Mark Warner for Sen. John Warner’s U.S. Senate seat:

The would-be-amusing-if-he-wasn’t-so-damn-successful right-wing nut–uhm delegate from Prince William, Bob Marshall, has decided to run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate, in opposition to former repub Gov. Jim Gilmore–because Gilmore apparently is not right-wing enough. The repubs won’t choose him, because he’d never win a state-wide election, but it will likely be amusing to watch, and maybe distract him from his agenda in the Commonwealth? Just what we need–Bob Marshall not just peering into the bedroom windows of Virginia citizens, but those of the entire nation!

Marshall has what I’d describe as an obsession with sex, and has sought for years to outlaw sex for any purpose other than makin’ babies. It’ll be interesting to see what he decides to make the centerpiece of his campaign.

49 Responses to “Marshall vs. Gilmore for U.S. Senate.”

  • Every time I get my personal property tax bill, due june 5 and dec. 5, I am reminded as to why I voted for Jim Gilmore. Gilmore made a promise of cutting the car tax and he kept his promise. On the other hand the liberal Mark Warner raised taxes. I believe his tax increase was one of the biggest in Virginia’s history.
    Gilmore will make an excellent Senator. I can hardly wait for election day.

  • All we need now is for macaca to throw his hat in the ring and we’ll have a good old three ring circus. Mark Warner will crush these rethugs.

    Break out the popcorn. Gonna be a great show.

  • Gilmore made a promise of cutting the car tax and he kept his promise.

    Uh. No he didn’t. I’m still paying the car tax every year. If you’re not, and you have a car, you’d best check with Albemarle or Charlottesville — they’re probably looking for you.

  • As I remember it, Gilmore used the car tax thing as a gimmick to get elected. He laid it out as a 5 year plan, while running for the 4 year, 1 term governor’s seat. Sure, he began the plan, and lifted the taxes, but he left the state’s finances with an enormous shortfall which Warner had the pleasure to clean up. So, Warner arrived in office when the state had a huge deficit created by the car tax fandango. Restoring a tax base that was hastily reduced doesn’t qualify as raising taxes. (this is just regarding car taxes.. are there other tax raises from Warner’s admin that people are gnashing their teeth about?)

  • And as I recall, Warner had to go to new York and meet with Moody’s to try and protect our triple A bond rating which he did. A rating we’ve had for 50 years until Gilmore put it in jeopardy.

    I think our deficit was $1 billion when Gilmore left office.

    My car tax was about $600 this year. It was a gimmick as Kelly said to get into office.

    I really don’t want to here what a great senator he would be. uh NOT.

  • The really crappy thing about Gilmore cutting the car tax is that it’s a local tax. It’s one localities’ major sources of revenue. Or, rather, was. Gilmore barred localities from collecting something like 80% of the car tax, but provided absolutely no mechanism to allow them to make up that lost revenue. So what happened? Property taxes went up.

    Any jackass can cut somebody else’s budget.

  • If you liberal Gilmore detractos feel the Gilmore car tax was a disaster then feel free to pay the full amount when your next personal property tax bill arrives. As for me I’ll just vote for Gilmore, and hope a majority of other Virginia voters do the same.

  • Jogger, I doubt Gilmore will crumble under a little constructive criticism. His policy had some real, hard to ignore effects.

    On the other side of the coin, I’d actually prefer a Gilmore to a Marshall, so if only I were registered Republican.. I’d be skipping to the primaries. Of course, it’d be *awesome* if Lorelai were in the race.

  • If you liberal Gilmore detractos feel the Gilmore car tax was a disaster then feel free to pay the full amount when your next personal property tax bill arrives.

    It wouldn’t make any difference — they just send back any extra.

  • Is the Gilmore-Marshall contest to be resolved in a primary or in caucus? I thought the Republicans had decided on caucuses to deflate the liberal effects of northern Virginia on the outcome and to foil more liberal entries into the race. Is this on the Feb 12 ballot?

  • The Gilmore-Marshall nomination contest is to be decided at a May 31 convention at the Richmond convention center. Local mass meetings of Republicans across the state will choose delegates to that convention.

  • Thanks, Bob. I thought this was the case. The candidate will not be chosen democratically, but by party activists. I’ve never understood why Virginia, of all states, still allows this extremely undemocratic method of nomination. The ‘mass meetings’ I’ve been to have been a complete sham. In any event, I’d say this process could give weight to Marshall’s candidacy.

  • Jogger–

    Gilmore gutted the localities’ one (arguably) progressive way to raise funds (and he cooked the figures to make his case for doing it–kinda like our rationale for Iraq). The car tax allowed localities to tax their citizens according to the desires of the citizens for services. In other words, in an affluent community like Charlottesville, where people expect paved streets w/out potholes, parks, libraries, etc, the tax rate could be (within the bounds set by the state) higher. Poor communities could tax cars at a lower rate. And whether or not you were subject to the tax, or to hightest extent of the tax, depended on what type of car you chose to drive–ie, old clinker, pay hardly nothin’; new Hummer, pay a lot. That seems fair enough, given that those streets, etc, have to be paid for by someone.

    In fact, the whole reason for the car tax in the first place was to pay for roads–Virginia’s were so bad, prior to the tax, that motorists were advised avoiding the state entirely if driving across country. So, Byrd instituted the tax as a way to pay for road improvements, WITHOUT borrowing (going back to Jan’s comments about our Triple AAA rating) to do so.

    Now that the state has tied localities’ hands as to how much they can tax cars, localities have had to raise real property taxes–much more regressive, because, if you’re an older/poor person with the misfortune of having local prop values rise all around you, suddenly you’re paying exhorbitant rates just to stay on grandma’s farm (yes, there’s tax relief for these folks, but, that requires filing, qualifying, living in a locality that provides for it, etc).

    So, if you’re happy with the amt of taxes you’re paying on your car, you must be driving either a bicycle or an old clunker–good for you! But if you don’t think we need to pay any taxes, or if you’d just prefer that your elderly neighbors next door pay them, I hope you don’t use the library, any parks, the streets, the police, the public schools… or anything else that we all contribute to for the privilege of living a safe, pleasant life.

    But, anyway, Marshall, as Waldo points out, is obsessed with sex, not taxes. Maybe his platform can be taxing sex? You could make a nice logo for his campaign with the two Xs.

  • It’s usually the anti-tax people who are first in line to demand the government pay for their repairs when their car falls into a pothole that said government couldn’t fix because there were no funds to do so.

    I seriously doubt Gilmore has even a remote chance against Warner. I can’t imagine Virginians electing the guy mostly responsible for the financial crisis when the other candidate is mostly responsible for fixing the mess and restoring the state to financial sanity.

    Gilmore is living proof that Caveat Emptor really needs to come into play anytime a candidate bases his or her entire campaign on a simple slogan such as “No Car Tax.” I seriously doubt Virginia will make the same mistake twice.

  • Hey Jogger, remember that budget Gilmore and the Republican led house passed. Oh, that is right, for the only time in Virginia history they failed to pass a budget and we had to revert to the previous years budget. They were too weak to admit that they were wrong and rather than balance a budget they left it to a real fiscally responsible person, Mark Warner. I thought elephants had long memories. Sorry if the facts do not support the talking points.

  • As I recall one of Warner’s campaign promises was to not raise taxes. Warner imposed the biggest tax increase in the State’s history. If you enjoy paying taxes then go ahead and vote for liberal tax and spend democrats. I for one will cancel at least one of your votes while voting for a man who dealt with a recession and a terriorist attack in our state. I prefer someone who leads with strenght, honesty and keeps his promises as opposed to his successor who was the exact opposite.

  • It seemed to me a the time that Gilmore was so bad that even alot of Republicans were glad to be rid of him. In fact, one of the things that seemed to charaterize Mark Warner’s time in office was a large degree of bipartisanship. The Rebublicans decision to run more waco conservatives seems to have almost fractured the party, sending quite a few to vote Independant or Democrat. I don’t have objective stats to back that up or anything, but watching the state politics over the years since Gilmore it feels like that is the case.

    I was really hoping that Mark Warner would run for president. After all, in this time where people are so polarized and government spending is so out of control (thanks to the Bush administration), I think it would have been good to have someone who could unite the country and bring common sense back to the budget. Looks like I’ll have to wait about eight more years for that though.

  • There are two things you are jogging from, truth and reality

  • Yeah, how could we forget? Warner did such a poor job running the state that the voters overwhelmingly elected a Republican to replace him. How is Governor Kilgore doing these days, anyway? You just never hear about his administration on the news. Damn liberal media! You’d think they’d pay attention to him after W. came in and swept Virginia’s voters off their feet on his behalf. All that loser Kaine had going for him was Warner’s coattails. Ah, good times! Let’s see – how much did Kilgore win by?

    Wait – WHAT’S THIS?!?!?!?! KAINE WON??? by six points? After that moron Warner raised taxes and everything? Damn – Virginia voters are idiots! How dare they value responsibility and results over tax cutting and “family values?”

    So is this true? Warner enacted “the largest tax increase in Virginia history” and the voters reacted angrily by electing (by a very comfortable margin) a Democrat to succeed him? We are so stupid – WHAT WERE WE THINKING???

  • Jogger, context is extremely important when you talk of tax cuts and tax raises. Sure you can keep saying that Gilmore did good and Warner did bad, but the actual story doesn’t say that. The actual truth is that Warner came in an mopped up a big huge mess and did it with class.

    You can bet that if Gilmore is nominated, Warner will not let us forget this fun part of our state’s history. Those fireworks might be pretty to watch.

  • Gilmore didn’t get rid of any car tax; he couldn’t vote on it. Hold the legislators responsible for restricting localities from a revenue source. Why hasn’t the wise citizens of Virginia not insisted that the localities’ right to levy a full car tax be restored by the legislature as they have insisted upon the repeal of the “abusive dirver fees?” Seems simple to me. Less hot air and more communication with representatives might be the answer.

  • Actually, jogger, in this Post article it says that there was a $300M surplus the year before Warner’s $1B tax increase took effect. Check out
    I doubt is history will be re-written by M. Warner’s campaign.

  • Don’t bother, people. We’ve given jogger bunches of reasons that his premise is flat out wrong, and he keeps coming back with the same old talking points. You’d do better arguing with a brick wall.

  • I can’t believe you folks enjoy paying taxes so much. I’ll bet most of you would survive very well in a socialist state. Work hard and give everything to the government with no say so as to how your tax money is spent and absolutely no accountability.
    Gilmore did what he promised to do and that is way more than I can say for M. Warner.

  • I don’t like paying taxes per se. I like having good roads, good public schools, good public services (parks, recreation facilities, etc.), and other things that taxes pay for. I can’t pay for those things myself; I know that private entities would do a worse job of providing those things. So that leaves it up to us citizens to kick in some money to give our elected leaders enough to pay for all the things we demand as citizens (roads, etc.).

    If you don’t like paying taxes, you should build your own road from your house to your place of employment, you should dig your own well and get water out of it yourself, you should provide your own private security and fire safety (no cops, no firefighters), you should home-school your children…you should live like Ted Kaczynski. Say what you will about that man, he at least had the integrity to get off the grid. Anyone who is taking advantage of publicly funded services but complains about paying taxes is a hypocrite.

  • Jogger – you can hear what you want to and believe what you want to, but here are the facts you conveniently overlook or ignore, capsulized conveniently by bnet:

    Four years ago, Republican Attorney General Jim Gilmore swept into the governorship on the bumper-sticker platform “No Car Tax.” Republicans came close enough to capturing legislative majorities that they were eventually able to enter into a power-sharing arrangement with the Democrats. Gilmore’s pledge to repeal the much-hated personal property tax on automobiles was largely enacted in 1998, with precautions: phased in over five years, the annual reductions would be postponed if revenue targets were not hit.

    Virginia’s economy began to slide in Fiscal ’01, as did the economies of most states that had experienced boom times during the ’90s, and revenues fell far short of the level legally required to expand car tax refunds from 47.5 percent to 70 percent, as scheduled. It appeared implementation of the tax cut had been stalled.

    But Gilmore — a pugnacious in fighter who refuses to be knocked off stride — was not deterred. He tried cashing in the state’s 20-year revenue stream of tobacco settlement payments, carrying the lump sum as ’01 revenue, but the conservative, GOP-controlled state Senate wouldn’t buy it. Artful arithmetic proved no more persuasive.

    Senate Finance Committee Chair John Chichester (R) was every bit as determined to uphold the letter of the original car tax cut as Gilmore was to bend it to keep his ’97 campaign promise. Up for re-election in ’01 and loathe to face the voters with their ballyhooed car tax repeal in limbo, the House sided with Gilmore, but the Senate stood fast. For the first time in its history, Virginia’s government failed to adopt a budget.

    State employees had to go without pay raises, and boosts for teachers had to rely on local money; sheriffs got no state funds for hiring more deputies; museums and parks saw their budgets slashed. The fallout was devastating.

    “It took the Republicans 125 years to gain control of state government,” noted a Democratic senator, “and two months to show why it had taken them so long.”

    Yes, Warner did state he wouldn’t raise taxes. However once he arrived in Richmond he learned (as did all of us) that the state’s financial situation was far, far worse than Gilmore had let on. It was a crisis and it was getting worse. Warner could have stuck to his guns and watched the state sink further into the abyss, or he could do what responsible people do when they’ve cut their expenses to the bone and still can’t pay the rent: he asked his boss (the people, represented by the legislature) for a raise. And got it. And the state’s been fiscally sound ever since.

    I don’t know how long you’ve been in Virginia, and I don’t care. But it might help your perspective to know that Virginia has always had exceedingly sound finances and has always been pay-as-you-go – until Gilmore’s bumper sticker campaign promise was kept. Our bond and credit rating was always among the highest of all states because of that legacy. Gilmore completely trashed it, and Warner restored it.

    Anybody can cut taxes – especially when he doesn’t have to live with the consequences. That takes zero courage and zero political capital. Fixing problems, making hard decisions, and being straight with the people requires character and the will to do the right thing.

    Now there are certainly plenty of Republicans and Democrats who will vote for any candidate as long as a “R” or “D” follows the name on the ballot. But there are far more independents in Virginia who swing elections. Since Gilmore, Virginia has elected two Democratic governors and one Democratic senator. Do you really think people are stupid enough to forget what a buffoon Gilmore was when he had a chance to manage the state, or do you just HOPE they are?

  • My bad – the comments after the second large quotation mark are mine. Apologies for the poor tagging! Also, I neglected to link to the article.

  • It was my understanding that the car tax cut didn’t affect localities at all because the state directly reimbursed localities the amount of the tax reduction. In other words, the state bore the burden of the tax cut, not the localities. Is that not the case?

  • Dan Kachur, the Washington Post article I linked to supports jogger. Again, people, don’t try to re-write history. Virginia stopped being a pay-as-you-go-state over thirty years ago. That’s why it has a bohd rating. You can’t get one until you start issuing bonds. The State has a built in cap on car tax reimbursemnts. Rally for the reinstatement of the car tax. Albemarle and Charlottesville has now taken on using local money to improve 29N at Best Buy. This tax raised locally would be a good source of those funds.

  • cecil how about pointing out a place where we have good roads, good public schools, good public services. I for one admire self sufficiency and not always being dependent on the government to provide for me, entitlement programs are the root of all evils. We pay extremely high taxes for the things you say the government provides when in fact the roads we drive on are in a state of continuous disrepair, the public school system if broken and no one has any idea how to repair it, and the good public services (parks, recreation areas) are disappearing to development and being put to uses that people don’t really want.
    Much to easy to get you liberals ranting and raving about any tax cuts, proposed or otherwise.

  • I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech during Mark Warner’s term. Because of the budget cuts VT and other universities faced during this time as Warner tried to clean up Gilmore’s mess, I couldn’t take many of the classes I needed to graduate. Some of VT’s best faculty left during this time because they weren’t getting pay raises or being granted tenure. VT also decided to eliminate its undergraduate history requirement due to budget issues – even though Virginia and U.S. students in general were already getting a less than stellar history background.

    Fortunately I was able to work things out with my classes and graduate on time, but I know plenty of people who couldn’t and wound up needing 5 years or even more to graduate. Since many students get grants from the federal and state governments, there are your tax dollars at work again, paying for their extra year of school. As I recall there were other issues during this time caused by the budget crunch – that’s just the one thing that stood out for me.

  • State employees are not accustomed to annual pay raises so I doubt if that’s the reason staff left VT.

  • Improving the intersection in front of Best Buy… hmmm, I *would* leave that one to private industry! ;)

  • Cville Eye,
    Meg didn’t say annual raises. She said raises or tenure.

  • Pete: Yeah, the state reimbursed localities for the difference, but at a frozen level. reimbursement was one reason for the state budget shortfall, and why the state stopped the phase-out–was running out of $$. Gilmore underplayed how much it would cost the state to do that, plus didn’t foresee economic downturn… despite reputable organizations/policy institutes whose estimates turned out to be accurate, telling the GA his figs were too low.

  • Kelly, still had nothing to do with the Governmor. Schools allocate according to priorities and tenure is accorded by merit.

  • Meg might be wrong about tenure itself depending on state budgets (it doesn’t, of course), but hiring does depend on state budgets, and during that clean-up-the-Gilmore-fiscal-disaster period, state institutions were not allowed to hire and faculty/staff got no raises at all, for something like three years in a row. UVa lost faculty who got better offers from private institutions or institutions in states that didn’t have a budget freeze; departments had to give up wooing desirable faculty from other institutions because those hiring lines disappeared. It was a dark, depressing time to work for the state’s flagship university.

    And, CvilleEye, UVa faculty ARE accustomed to annual pay raises — we’ve had them every year EXCEPT for those post-Gilmore years. They aren’t huge bumps, but they are pay raises nonetheless.

  • Cville Eye, don’t snip at me- your dismissal of Meg’s anecdote missed her point.

    Of course tenure is awarded by merit, no one challenged that. However earning tenure does mean that your position is guaranteed (mostly), and it comes with a bump in salary. If there were hiring freezes and salary freezes, Meg’s saying that tenure was not handed out a frequently when the budget was cut back isn’t as ridiculous as you make it seem.

  • Jogger asks me to point out “a place where we have good roads, good public schools, good public services.” Well, I drove all around Charlotteville and Albemarle County today — to the university and back (different routes each time), then from 20N/Pantops area over to the Alb High School area, then up to Target, then over on Profitt Road back home — no potholes the whole way, nicely paved roads, functioning traffic signals, helpful street signs, bridges over all the creeks and rivers and railroad tracks…I could go on. Sometimes you find bumps in the road here and there but all in all I’d say we’ve got pretty good roads here locally. When I drive to see my parents in Ohio I generally encounter decent roads through VA, WV, and into OH. Not always perfect, but nothing I could have paid for myself!

    Regarding schools — they’re really pretty good here. There are 18 kids in my son’s class; he’s reading really well and learning math, science, social studies, etc. A school bus is reliably there every morning to get him and drops him off every afternoon. I’ve been in the schools to help out and all the teachers and staff that I’ve met have seemed pretty competent and committed. Good local schools, I’d say.

    Public services? I don’t have any real complaints. We gripe about the cost of water locally, but it’s there every time I turn on the tap. I like the city parks — there are some really nice ones I take my kids to. The county parks (Mint Springs etc.) are nice too. And I believe the trails and such up in the Blue Ridge are federally or state financed — I like going hiking and camping up there. Quite nice.

    Jogger, I’m sorry everything sucks so bad where you live, and I’m glad you’re so self-sufficient — it must be nice to have the means and the ability to provide everything for yourself! And you didn’t use federally financed student loans to pay for college, that’s nice too! And it’s great that neither you nor your parents went to school on the GI Bill. I don’t know how you manage to refrain from consuming or depending on anything that is subsidized in any way by tax dollars, but congrats!

    I could be wrong about you, I guess — you might actually be one of those people who takes, takes, takes, and then when it’s time to kick in a little bit to cover the costs, you just flip ’em the bird. Who, me? Pay for what I use every day? Not me, sucker!

    Or do you just take take take and when it comes time to kick in a little bit of $$ to help out, you just flip ’em the bird?

  • I said “State employees” not “privileged faculty at Virginia’s flagship institution.” It is clear from “UVa lost faculty who got better offers from private institutions or institutions in states that didn’t have a budget freeze; departments had to give up wooing desirable faculty from other institutions because those hiring lines disappeared” that faculty is coming and going all of the time, if UVA is used to luring faculty from other institutions. I don’t think many Virginia voters are willing to believe that a lack of a 2 – 3% raise will have prevented faculty from accepting offers at Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton or Yale.
    People, a word to the wise: with blogs and youtube now playing a major part in modern campaings, you will not be helping your candidate by not being entirely accurate about your candidate or his opponent. Anything that is said will be scrutinized under many new lenses and will reflect upon the candidate. Accusations of surrogates planting distortions doesn’t help anyone.

  • CvilleEye, faculty at all the state institutions (UVA, Tech, the community colleges — all of them) are state employees. It’s too bad you weren’t more accurate when you said “state employees,” but that’s your fault, not mine.

    I also said that departments had to give up trying to make senior hires from other institutions because the lines disappeared (that is, no new hires), not because of the freeze on raises. Here the problem seems to be that you don’t read very carefully.

  • State employees are not accustomed to annual pay raises so I doubt if that’s the reason staff left VT.

    State workers get raises every year-faculty get raises on top of the state raises. Hell even hospital workers now get annual raises. The only time I can remember not getting a raise was during Wilder’s term AND a hiring freeze on top of that. BUT UVA is losing faculty AND doctors right and left because of lots of reasons-no tenure, politics within their departments, not popular courses AND money. UVA needs to dig into their billion dollar campaign and bring these faculty members up to standard instead of building parking lots and buildings. And while they are at it they could sure bring up their so called “living wage” of $9.56 an hour to at least $11.00. Classified staff (not faculty) keep UVA running and they are treated the worst.

  • Yearly step increases are not raises, according to the State. Raises are applied to the steps. I believe it has been proposed that workers will get a total of 2% over the next three or four years in raises to their step.
    Again, I can not imagine most voters are going to consider whether a state employee got a raise or a step increase for that matter. If the State was running short on revenue, then so were a lot of voters most likely, and the only thing they will remember is that the State took more from their pockets when they had less. There was actually a $300M surplus that year and Warner has never attempted to explain how campaigning on a projected deficit was due to misinformation from somebody else and not just a ruse on the voters.

  • Yearly step increases are not raises, according to the State. Raises are applied to the steps

    Huh? 2.5% or 3% in a person’s paycheck is a raise. Yes these increases boost up the steps for future employees. But current workers see this slight increase now (they just got their raise in December).

    I believe it has been proposed that workers will get a total of 2% over the next three or four years in raises to their step.

    No. They get their 2.5 or 3% raises in July 2009 WHICH the union and VGEA are fighting to move it back to Dec. 2008 as usual. Normally state workers would get their next raise in Dec. of 2008 but since Virginia appears to be in the hole financially Kaine moved it into the next fiscal year. 2010 hasn’t been decided yet, far as I know.

  • Jan, thanks for letting me know the State owes me some money. I’ll have to find my union representative to find out how to proceed. I’m rich!

  • Cville Eye, are you saying that there was not a deficit when Gilmore left office? That is the the point of most of this thread… that most remember Gilmore for pretty much bankrupting the state. Budgets were slashed across the state’s agencies. People from the universities remember losing money and faculty. If that’s not the case, bring us some info.

  • Kelly, I already have. The link above to the Washington Post article that says there was a $300M SURPLUS, not deficit. How it came about most voters won’t care. Warner knows he doesn’t want the tax hike during his administration brought up any more that Gilmore wants the car tax; their supporters would do well to focus on what each accomplished and leave that tax issue alone. Voters will ask what problems were solved by the tax hike. Certainly not transportation or education issues. He’d better come up with something fast.

  • I saw that article. It’s from 2004 when Warner was in office for 2 years already. I wanted to know if the public conception that the state was in deficit in 2002 when Gilmore left office is what you are disproving. You seem to be saying there was not a deficit in 2002 Gilmore handed the reins to Warner- a deficit widely believed to be the result of the car tax repeal. Do you have something that says the state was not in deficit in 2002? B/c I think that’s what you’re trying to prove, unless it’s something else entirely.

  • State law prohibits deficit budgets, period. There were no deficits even in the year the Gen. Assem. passed the tax increase upon Warner’s recommendation.

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