| Over at Ox Road South, State Senator Chap Petersen's sums up the utter absurdity of Gov. McDonnell's transportation monstrosity. Chap uses satire - or is it snark? - to ridicule the absurdity of claiming a plan to "raise the sales tax on Virginia residents, eliminate the gas tax paid by out-of-state drivers, and charge a $100 penalty on hybrid vehicles" is somehow "game-changing." Chap then presents some other "game-changing" ideas, such as making Serbo-Croatian the official state language, moving the state capital to Big Stone Gap, and creating "a minority legislative district which cuts through peoples' bedrooms."
Look, I'm all for doing something on transportation, but not if it's worse than nothing. In this case, critics from the right (e.g, the Wall Street Journal editorial board), and center-right (e.g., Bacon's Rebellion), and left (most Democrats, the Progressive Caucus, etc.) have torn McDonnell's transportation "plan" apart from a number of angles: the foolishness of delinking those who use the roads from those who pay for them (aka, a "user fee"); the absurdity of reducing the gas tax at a time when we need to be getting off of fossil fuels, not encouraging their use; the inequity of "shift[ing] money from the general fund, which has been the basic source of funds for education, human services and public safety;" the stupidity of supporting a proposal that is "mostly smoke and mirrors"; etc, etc.
Needless to say, EVERY Democrat should be voting NO on this monstrosity, both in committee and on the floor. And no, don't think we're not VERY well aware of this vote yesterday, in which four Democrats (the Hall of Shame: Johnson, Lewis, Keam, James) voted for this "screw education" plan. Nor did we miss the fact that if these four Democrats had all voted no, as they should have on its (lack of) merits, the bill would have failed. Nor will we forget this come time for prioritizing who we decide to canvass, phone bank, donate, etc. Now, it's time for every individual and organization who would be hurt by this raid on the general fund (e.g., police, firefighters, schoolteachers) to make your voices heard, loud and clear: we don't want the capital moved to Big Stone Gap, we don't want to have to learn Serbo-Croatian, and we most certainly don't want Bob McDonnell's stinking transportation monstrosity.