Speaker Howell: Go Ahead, Make My DayPoliticsVirginia

By John Fredericks

House of Delegates Speaker William Howell (R-28) puts his money where is mouth is.

On our statewide syndicated John Fredericks radio show today, Howell said he will actively campaign and fund-raise for any GOP Delegate who gets a primary challenge due to his / her vote in favor of the transportation compromise. “I’ll come and campaign for them and send a check,” Howell promised.

Despite all this Tea Party inspired jumping up and down, I doubt any Republican delegate who voted for the transportation bill is in serious electoral jeopardy as a result. Those Republicans who voted for the roads package did the right thing for the future economic viability of the Commonwealth.

Here is an example: if someone from the far right challenged freshman Newport News Delegate David Yancey for his “yes” vote, the newcomer would likely garner 80 percent of Republican primary ballots cast.

Why? Because his conservative constituents in Newport News understand the stakes of another year of inaction — and they want this bill. They can’t get off the peninsula without sitting in hours of tunnel and bridge gridlock.

What Gov. McDonnell did took shear guts…and now he is enduring an onslaught of vile and vicious right-wing invective by many respected national conservative journals and blogs, like WSJ, National Review and RedState.com.

McDonnell had nothing to gain politically for endorsing this bill. Like his vociferous critics, he could have joined the chorus, and stood on a milk box with a megaphone bellowing: “no new taxes!” Had he done that, he’d be the key note speaker at next month’s CPAC and would probably win their 2016 presidential straw poll. But that would have been political grandstanding in lieu of leading.

McDonnell’s real upside was embedded in the sincerity of his knowledge that he did the right thing for Virginia under the circumstances.

That’s what a real statesman does.

While others mock McDonnell, I’ll celebrate his courage, and name a new highway after him — when its built.


John Fredericks is syndicated radio talk show host in Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C., and Virginia and can be heard M-F 6-9 a.m. on WTNT –AM 730 & 102.9FM in D.C., WLEE AM 990 in Richmond, WHKT AM 1650 in Tidewater and WBRG AM 1050 & 104.5 FM in Lynchburg – Roanoke or streaming online at www.thejohnfredericksshow.com. The opinions expressed in sponsored posts are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Virginia Line Media, LLC or its officers.

  • pinecone321

    What a wonderful message to send the voters across the state in Virginia. No matter what your delegate campaigned on, what promises they made to the voters, and what policy positions they believed in to get elected in that district, once they get to Howell’s House, they will vote the way they are told. Isn’t that the way VA Republicans have worked the party for as has been poined out more than 30 years. I don’t care what you believed before you got here, you will toe the party line, support what you are told to support, or you have no future in higher office in VA. Isn’t that why Bolling is having hissy fits? he did as he was told, he toed the party line like a good little Republican, and then was knocked sideways by the announcement that someone more popular than him would challenge him for his backroom promised deal. If that didn’t put on full display the requirements for a good VA Republican, and that one must do as told or forget it, nothing else will. Didn’t Bolling say himself that he is so relieved that he doesn’t have to toe that line anymore, and that it has been a very uplifting feeling to be free of those restrictions and requirements. Unwittingly of course, but Bolling revealed the GOP game in VA.

    There is still time for anyone who may want to challenge those delegates that abandoned the promises to their constituients. Sounds to me like Howell was issuing a threat.

  • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

    Howell for Retiree 2013

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrfletcher58 Michael Fletcher

    A whole stack of former state senators who voted for Mark Warner’s tax increase might disagree with your assessment of the next election.

    • http://www.southsidecentral.com/ Bruce Hedrick

      Who were the ones that lost in a primary election?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mrfletcher58 Michael Fletcher

        Marty Williams and Brandon Bell lost in primaries. Jeannmarie Devolites-Davis and Jay O’Brian lost in the General. Charlie Hawkins, Russ Potts and John Chichester retired. If I recall correctly six GOP Senators voted for the tax increase. There are seven listed here.

        • http://www.southsidecentral.com/ Bruce Hedrick

          So the net effect of “Virginia’s Least Wanted” was Brandon Bell getting knocked out by another Republican state senator who had to carpetbag into his district? Tell me again how that enforced the conservative principles and penalized people who voted for higher taxes?

          Let’s get real. I didn’t like this bill but I’m still a Danny Marshall supporter. I’ll choose if I rehire him in the fall but his vote for the bill is just one issue that I’ll consider when I make my decision. Marshall & the others aren’t Evil Tax Raisers who deserve instant political execution.

          By the way, Robert Hurt agrees with me from the floor of Congress.

  • http://twitter.com/joethomaswchv Joe Thomas

    John, how is looking at a budget that has doubled since Mark Warner’s last ride, boasts (as agreed to by none less that Democratic Party leader David Toscano) $18 billion in revenues collected from VA citizens and their employers and saying “I need more” qualify as leadership? Leadership would have been finding a way to allocate more than 3% of Virginia’s expenditures on this so-called ‘priority’.

    Joe Thomas – REAL Conservative talk show host. WCHV/WLEE/WFJX/WTNT/WKCI/WLNI

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001573276963 John Fredericks

      Hi Joe,
      Well, if name calling is your game, I guess you win that one outright. Thanks for the insight, I always enjoy your quite unique perspective. John Fredericks

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002069829708 Daniel Cortez

        And they wonder why the common man and woman stays away from the Republican party….Joe Thomas’s rating must be in the tank to demonstate such poor form. Wait a minute Joe what’s that? You DO get more flies with vinegar than honey? In a pigs eye. Sure I want to listen to a self-aggrandizing, bundle of bellicous
        bull durham…Yeah I’ll tune right in to Joe Thomas…..REAL Conservative talk bore…sure I will.

        • pinecone321

          How much do you want to make a bet that Joe Thomas has a much bigger audience than John Fredericks. You people are so determined to get your way, do as you please to the detriment of the conservative base, and are so determined to squelch all opposing voices, that you in the end will be the big time losers. The threats by Howell, the crap postyed here by Fredericks about how Bill Bolling is going to ruide in on his big white horse to save the Republic is more than wishful thinking, and belongs on Comedy Central. I laugh when I see Fredericks claiming that he is “syndicated” on VA radio stations. Well, big freakin wooooop. It is laughable.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

            The establishment clique is very small and they are probably all within two removes of knowing each other personally. They are loud and practiced in sounding authoritative and other techniques of political sales, but when it comes down to numbers of actual people theirs is quite small (hence JMDD looking to buy delegates, not having any actual grassroots to call on). They have money but when it comes down to it, all we have to do is show up and vote them out.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1427002848 James Cohen

            JMDD has John Fredericks.. Really. John Fredericks is JMDD’s guy.

          • http://twitter.com/joethomaswchv Joe Thomas

            I am reading all these posts and realize that I have made one horrible mistake. My two salacious statements are driving the conversation where I would be more interested in the things I said before them. How about your thoughts on the question I started with; “How is looking at a budget that has doubled since Mark Warner’s last ride, boasts (as agreed to by none less that Democratic Party leader David Toscano) $18 billion in revenues collected from VA citizens and their employers and saying “I need more” qualify as leadership? Leadership would have been finding a way to allocate more than 3% of Virginia’s expenditures on this so-called ‘priority’.” What are all of your thoughts on that?

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Alexis Rose Bank

            It makes too much sense to be addressed by tax lovers.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001573276963 John Fredericks

            Dear Mr. Pinecone 321,
            I’m sure Joe has a large audience, he has a very interesting show and I am one of his listeners. Thanks for your comments. John Fredericks

          • pinecone321

            Well thank you Mr. Fredericks for admitting that his show is something you could envy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002069829708 Daniel Cortez

            And his civil in your face style with those who are not in lock step with an out of touch ideology or take issue with him like you respectfully did is just what Republicans need to bring in the immigrant and minority vote Mr. Thomas is helping to drive away….Sure I’ll listen….

      • pinecone321

        So John Fredericks, where exactly did Joe Thomas call anyone names? He didn’t. You are so pathetic, and yes I called you that name, that you have to resort to liberal tactics that you actually believe you can accuse someone of something they never did, but because your opinion/voice is so important that you really do seem to believe that you can get away with anything, and everything you say as gospel. That is a very weak and shady way to try to make your point. Your point is based on false accusations. You have had a very nasty habit of doing just that. You prefer to knock every Republican that doesn’t agree with your positions. Let’s see in the end how that works out for you.

    • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

      Come on, Joe. The reason why the budget has doubled is because of economic growth, not out of control spending. Revenues match outlays in the Virginia. They have to. We have a balanced budget requirement in the Commonwealth’s Constitution. I’m getting tired of hearing that complaint. This isn’t the federal government.

      There are plenty of good conservatives who voted for this plan, misguided as some parts may be.

      • pinecone321

        Absolute predictable Brian Shoenemen post. You never fail to say anything more than you have said before.

        • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

          I find I have to repeat myself so you guys start to get it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.marchi.7 Benjamin Marchi

        Brian, you should learn more about va budget spending trends over the last 12 years and where the growth has occurred. I think you’d be surprised. Start with judiciary and work your way through each dept and agency. You’ll then be more educated on the budget than 90% of the General Assembly and will be able to give Robert Vaughn a run for his money.
        Brian, there’s plenty of wasteful spending; billions. The problem is that you think crap like state ownership of the commercial port of VA is a good idea while it continues to hemorrhage $70million taxpayer dollars each year and is $500million in debt. There’s no incentive to grow and while private companies (plural) have offered us BILLIONS to take over the port we spit in their face to protect the status quo of inbred South Hampton Roads relationships that are sending jobs and revenues to Savannah instead. So don’t tell me there aren’t ways to save $$$, cause that’s just bullshit.
        Museum of Fine Arts? Sounds like a great opportunity for private philanthropy.
        Why aren’t the Capitol police rolled into the state police to eliminate layers of redundant employees.
        Why do we have an office of Commonwealth Preparedness and a separate Dept of Public Safety? Consolidate. Boom! Done.
        Why do Senators get more per deim than delegates? Is it more expensive to be a Senator? Cut it.
        Office of substance abuse prevention didn’t even have funding 10 years ago! Since then we’ve blown about $5 million on it when the Feds and localities already address the issues covered.
        We have an auditor of public accounts who has spent over $100million in the last ten years. Why don’t we open that up for bidding, at least partially among CPA firms?

        • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

          Ben, if these solutions were politically easy, they would have been done already.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bmarchi Ben Marchi

            Didn’t we just get finished listening to TaxHikeBob and Dollar Bill Howell tell us how “hard” this was? How bout they do something else hard? CUT SPENDING. — it’s not just a bumper sticker; it’s a plan.

          • http://www.brianschoeneman.org/ Brian W. Schoeneman

            I find it hard to believe that there aren’t enough Republicans in the House willing to put up major cuts if that would get us all of the way there. Hard and politically feasible are not always the same thing. Hard can also mean impossible.

            Cuts would require 21 votes in the Senate and they just aren’t there. Bolling can’t tie break budget stuff.

          • xrepub

            Bolling supported this. He wouldn’t have voted for the tie regardless.

          • http://twitter.com/joethomaswchv Joe Thomas

            Brian, you are correct, the courage to admit that when 25% of VA’s budget is medicaid our problem is a much weaker and fragile economy than these men and women are honest enough to admit to the citizens who see it every day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.mcnickle Catherine Stone McNickle

    I suppose everyone is supposed to throw up their hands and give up because Howell had deep pockets, huh? Nice.

  • EricMcGrane

    Oh wait….I thought I actually was on The Onion site for a second.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeanine.martin.7 Jeanine Martin

    Wait until those constituants find out that there are no new roads in this bill, only road maintenance, and $300 million more for metro.

  • Wally Erb

    All things being equal, this Governor McDonnell tax issue is reminiscent of another defunct Republican, former one-term President George H. Bush, “Watch my lips, no new taxes.” Guess it goes to show, that campaign promises mean absolutely nothing. Moreover, with Democrats you at least know they are going to raise taxes; with Republicans, you never can tell.

  • Lynn R. Mitchell

    John Fredericks, thank you for this post (and previous ones). As someone told me yesterday, it offers a light of sanity in all the hubbub and rises to a higher level, and that is appreciated.