Bolling at TMG
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 :::
Had another opportunity to hear (and see) Bill Bolling at today's TMG Coalition meeting. He covered many of the same general points as were raised on last night's call, but there were some subtle differences.
A first general impression was how much more pointed his remarks were on fiscal issues. This isn't to say he was a squish on the call -- far from it. But he made it clear that the problem with the budget isn't a lack of money, but a lack of fiscal discipline -- and neither the Governor, the Senate nor the House has shown any real effort to restrain spending, or limiting increases solely to the state's "core services."
But he went further, stating that the Senate is holding the budget hostage in order to get its way on spending and taxes -- which he said was neither "good government" nor "good policy."
On the matter of regional authorities to deal with the transportation issue, he went further than last night, saying he wasn't sure how a legislator from Northern Virginia or Hampton Roads would be able to go to his or her constituents and say, roughly, "I know you voted this regional tax idea down in 2002, but we're going to do it anyway." I can see the point. But I also believe there's a real possibility to make these things work.
Another area he covered that was not raised on the call was eminent domain. He was very disappointed nothing passed in this session, but given the options -- between a "watered down" bill (the Senate's) that would have made the problems Kelo raised even worse, and a very stringent and sweeping bill (from the House) that would have clamped-down hard on eminent domain, he was glad to see nothing pass. But like Bob McDonnell, he hopes something will be brought forward again in the next session.
And it was nice to hear Bolling say many positive things about the call, about the blogging medium and about its possibilities. He said he enjoyed it and wants to do it again. I look forward to the opportunity.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 4/11/2006