March 17, 2006 [LINK]

Virginia budget follies

Ah, if I could only keep up with what's going on in Richmond... Providing backup support for an op-ed piece in the Richmond Times Dispatch, One Man's Trash reminds us of Sen. John Chichester's past record on tax policy, which has been consistently wrong, from a conservative point of view. What's more, he has been as obstructionist as Tom Daschle ever was in the U.S. Senate. From what I can tell, he seems to be the main source of the problem in the budgetary showdown, refusing to reach a middle ground with the "extreme" Republicans in the House of Delegates. True fiscal conservatives need to put heavy pressure on Chichester, lest the Republican Party prove to be totally ineffectual in translating its majority power into coherent policy. (link via Commonwealth Conservative)

Along those same lines, Steve Kijak wrote a fine letter to the Staunton Daily News Leader backing up our local Republican legislators for resisting Gov. Kaine's push for massive tax hikes to pay for his transportation plan. I repeat my main point on this issue: People who want more highways should bear the full cost for them, preferably via a tax on gasoline, or else with tolls. Using general fund revenues (mostly from income taxes) for such purposes is an outrage.

South Dakota vs. PBS

South Dakota has garnered a lot of national attention since Gov. Mike Rounds signed the abortion bill into law last week. My sense is that those who want to ban abortion altogether will be disappointed by the way it is handled in Federal appeals courts, so it may turn out to be a good thing, from my perspective. Meanwhile, Republicans in the state legislature may be opening a new front in the cultural wars on the Great Plains: The Appropriations Committee of the state Senate has passed a budget resolution stripping $500,000 from the South Dakota Public Broadcasting. That's a lot of money, out there. Some people think it's a political vendetta, and others say it is a budgetary necessity. See Vermillion Plain Talk. (link via Connie)