Norquist: Revamping gas tax violates anti-tax pledge
Grover Norquist has a little advice for Virginia legislators as they look around for ways to pay the commonwealth’s ever-growing transportation tab: If you want to honor your no-tax pledge, don’t link the gas tax to inflation.
“I write you today to express ATR’s opposition to any proposal to index the gas tax to inflation because simply, this proposal is a job-killing tax increase,” the president of Americans for Tax Reform says in a letter dated Monday. “For those members of the Virginia Legislature who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, voting to index the gas tax to inflation, without any complete offsets, would be in clear violation of the promise you made to your constituents and the people of Virginia to oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
The letter comes at a time when Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has hinted that he might be open to revamping the gas tax, noting recently that it was the only major state levy that does not rise with prices. (At the same time, McDonnell has stated that he would not support “broad-based tax increases in a down economy.”)Continue reading this post »
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Corrinne Reilly @CorinneReillyContinue reading this post »
Fairfax County may force smoking workers to take cessation classes, lawyer says
Fairfax County may legally force employees who smoke to take classes aimed at helping them quit, but it can’t require workers to actually kick the habit, the county’s top attorney has informed the Board of Supervisors.
County attorney David Bobzien offered his interpretation of the law in a Dec. 7 memo. Supervisors are expected to discuss the issue in a committee meeting Tuesday.
Bobzien’s advice is in response to an October request for information from Supervisor Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon), who has suggested that the county consider forced cessation classes as a means of saving money on employees’ health care.Continue reading this post »
Fact-checking Pete Snyder’s barbecue claim
It’s one of those candidate claims just begging to be fact-checked: Pete Snyder, a Republican running for lieutenant governor of Virginia, holds himself out to be a “World Championship certified BBQ judge.”
It’s there in the last line of his bio, which also says he graduated from the College of William and Mary, founded the world’s first social media marketing agency, and has racked up assorted business accolades. The press corps eventually will have to look into all of those claims. But as a matter of public interest, the purported barbecue judgeship demanded immediate attention.
I consulted Diane M. Hampton, executive vice president of the Memphis in May International Festival. She said the claim is not hogwash.
“Indeed Mr. Snyder is a certified World Championship Barbecue Judge having completed a 9 hour course offered by Memphis in May,” she said via email. “Learning about pork? Sounds like perfect training for a future politician.”Continue reading this post »
Tareq Salahi rebuffs GOP pledge in governor’s race
Tareq Salahi, the vintner and White House party crasher running as a Republican for Virginia governor, is refusing to sign a pledge to support all of the party’s 2013 nominees — a stance that could prevent his participation in the GOP convention and lead to an independent bid.
Salahi met Friday with state GOP Chairman Pat Mullins, who presented Salahi with the candidate form he has to file by Jan. 14 if he wants to compete in the party’s May 18 nominating convention. In addition to declaring himself a candidate, the form requires each office-seeker to “hereby state my intent to support all of the Nominees of the Republican Party.”
Salahi’s Republican rival, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, is heavily favored to win the convention. They are running to succeed term-limited Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is unopposed for his party’s nomination.
“I’m not going to support the nominee” if it is Cuccinelli, Salahi said in an interview after their meeting.Continue reading this post »