December 31, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Virginia GOP peace talks?

As the Virginia General Assembly is about to convene, many people fear that the feud within the Republican Party over transportation and other issues will disrupt state government once again. The Washington Post reports that several people are trying to build bridges between the Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate. Senate President pro tem John Chichester and House Speaker William Howell often act like the are enemies, when in fact they both belong to the Party of Lincoln. Go figure.

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell has brought both sides together for direct talks. U.S. Reps. Thomas M. Davis III and Frank R. Wolf have met with House leaders to urge action. And Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the National Republican Committee, who took the helm of the Virginia GOP this month, is courting both senators and delegates.

I have the highest respect for Rep. Wolf and Rep. Davis, but there is no question that satisfying their suburban constituents takes precedence over traditional Republican tight purse strings. I hope they can respect the "RoVa" (Rest of Virginia, as opposed to "NoVa" Northern Virginia) folks and work out a reasonable compromise. Mr. Gillespie, who just became head of the state Republican Party, has his hands quite full, as they say. Hey, if worse comes to worse, perhaps the Republicans can invite Jimmy Carter or even Jesse Jackson to serve as a peace-making mediator!

I should note that the Post editorialists again unfairly heaped scorn on the Virginia House Republicans for resisting demands for new highway funding. "Gimme, gimme, gimme!"