Tuesday, March 28, 2006
A story about Virginia transportation in the Washington Post reports Sen. Mark Warner's favorable remarks on Gov. Tim Kaine's proposal to solve the vexing problem of traffic in a story this morning.
The front-page Metro story starts with the following lede, "Sen. John W. Warner warned Monday that Virginia will lose federal money if the state fails to reach a budget deal that increases funding for road and transit projects."
The article then writes a brief summary of background, legislators are in a special session because they couldn't agree how to fund future road and transit needs during the regular session in Richmond last month; and then continues the story by noting and quoting:
Now here's a few comestibles from the Associated Press via Daily Press regarding the very same story.
Warner, the state's senior Republican senator, praised Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for proposing a $1 billion tax increase and challenged members of his party in the legislature to reach a compromise that allows Virginia to receive the maximum amount in federal matching funds.
It is really up to our distinguished speaker of the House and the majority leader in the Senate and others to sit down and show a measure of political courage to resolve it," Warner told reporters after a meeting with Kaine and other members of Virginia's congressional delegation. "The people of Virginia deserve no less."
Nary a peep about Warner's strong warning in the AP story until almost the very end.
New legislative session, same result: no action on a new two-year budget, much less a transportation package.
Neither the House nor the Senate advanced new budgets to fund state operations from July 1 into the summer of 2008.
With no word of when the House Appropriations Committee will even address the new spending blueprint, the House adjourned Monday and sent its members home until further notice.
On Monday, members of the state's congressional delegation urged the House and Senate to agree on a transportation package or risk forfeiting billions of dollars in matching federal highway funds. "I support the governor's leadership, and it is clearly up to our distinguished speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate and others to sit down and show a measure of political courage to resolve it," said U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, a Republican.Now here's the tricky part; it seems Warner did not specifically endorse Kaine's proposal; although the Post reports he "praised it" and "challenged" the House to find a "compromise."
On Monday, members of the state's congressional delegation urged the House and Senate to agree on a transportation package or risk forfeiting billions of dollars in matching federal highway funds.
Keep in mind that most small town newspapers across the commonwealth publish stories written and framed by the Associated Press.
So what sayeth the Associated Press about the risk of loss of funding and the impasse?!?
Here is how they characterized it:
Neither Warner nor fellow Sen. George Allen, a Republican, voiced a preference for the House or Senate plan, however.And then for good measure, they sprinkle a few insipid and innocuous remarks by Sen. George Allen that add absolutely nothing to the story except to show how worthless he is.
"Both the proposals--the House and Senate proposals--have a significant increase in revenues, and it will all get worked out. I'm confident of it," Allen said after he and his congressional colleagues met for the first time with Kaine in the Executive Mansion.Yea, we know all about certitudes by Republicans. But how about the fact that "Virginia could lose its federal road funds" as the Post headlines?!?
State Fair info emailed to me by a concerned citizen:
Tom, I can fill in some of the blanks in the state fair's actions and actions of alot of the parties involved.
The trail to Mark Warner looks like it came throughTim Kaine's law firm.http://www.lawmh.com/attorneys/index.html They handle a lot of the fairs affairs. There appears to be a donation made to Warner's PAC (political action committee). The fair has about $36 million to seek favors with.
The money from VDOT appears to have come from not doing maintenance on a lot of roads in Richmond and Fred. area. This is where a bulk of the cash was transferred from.
A word of caution about this maneuver. This occurred before Caroline Supv got involved. Not that it mattered a whole lot.
The whole process started in 1999 with Henrico County. Henrico realized that the fair was a tax exempt racket. They wanted the fair to pay some of the expense of moving to a new location and fair said no way. We don't pay taxes and taxpayers deserve to pay our expenses.
Supposedly, the fair then went looking at 20 or more locations. The only location they were interested in was to find a bunch of suckers on planning commission and Board of Supv. to give them tax money. They found it wrapped with roses and ribbons in Caroline County. Have you noticed that some members of the board of supervisors lied throughout the process. I give you three guesses.
When the vote for planning commission was held, only three members voted. Our Reedy Church rep was MIA. If you want to cry, I'll send you the proffersthat Acors said was the deciding factor for him. It's totally amazing.
The fair people are very good business people and must be laughing all the way to thebank on how they are getting a 17 million dollar driveway and county tax moneyto assist them with police and fire.
County tax payers are screaming about the rise in assessments. A lot of that money will go for the state fair. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
The arrangement with the state police still is a puzzle because the fair rents the cops but VA tax payers hire, train and pay retirement for the police.
According to the proffer statement, the fair people won't seek tax exempt status with county (just wait).
I'll send you my take on this because I broke down the list.
F,T,A should be run out of town for voting yes on this crap. They never broke down the numbers.