George Allen has been peppered with questions all weekend long by the media, and his GOP senate nomination opponent Jamie Radtke, to be clear about his position regarding the latest budget negotiations.
Katie Wright, Allen’s communications director, responded to Bearing Drift’s query by saying, “Like several other conservatives, in the end Gov. Allen would have reluctantly voted for this small step to reduce spending increases to avoid a government shutdown. One of the main factors in that decision was that he thought it was shameful that the Obama administration and Senate Democrats were willing to hold the paychecks of our military families hostage while getting paid their self.”
Of course, Jamie Radtke wasted little time tearing into this.
“Reluctant yes votes are the story of George Allen’s Senate career.
“He reluctantly voted yes to add $3 trillion to the debt, he reluctantly voted yes on the federal takeover of education called No Child Left Behind, he reluctantly voted yes to increase the debt ceiling four times, he reluctantly went along with the rest of the DC Establishment as the federal debt went up $16,000 every SECOND he was in office. We need a new generation of conservative and courageous leadership in Virginia, not “reluctant yes” votes that are bad for Virginia.”
I’m not surprised that Radtke has taken this tack.
Her effort right now is to portray herself from now until the nomination as the “anti-Allen.” After five months of gaining little in the polls and little traction fundraising, it’s easy to see why she has decided to go after the front-runner.
But does she have a point?
As I mentioned in my previous post, it was easy to see that Governor Allen was in no way happy with this budget. After months of debate, it’s amazing that the GOP can go from proposing $100 billion in cuts to what some are calling only $15 billion in cuts.
Who in their right mind would be happy with the outcome? To me, it hardly seems like an effective negotiation.
And Allen thinks that too.
“After six months of debate Gov. Allen thinks it is incredible that more savings could not be found by cutting things like duplicative government programs or even eliminating the budget to hire more IRS agents to name a few,” wrote Wright.
Also According to the Allen campaign:
“Governor Allen believes that we need a real check on Senator Harry Reid and President Obama’s spending. Not another blank check. Like many Americans he is dissatisfied and disgusted by the broken and dysfunctional way Washington operates and believes there needs to be urgent action to fix our fiscal crisis.”
So where does that leave us as conservatives?
I think most sane people know and understand that what happened this weekend, and continues to be debated, is only a small first step in a long process of changing how Washington works.
The next big test will be on the debt ceiling, and on that subject, Allen is perfectly clear:
“Before there is any vote to increase the debt ceiling, Democrats must allow the Senate to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment and make immediate and meaningful cuts in wasteful spending. I don’t know anyone outside of Washington who thinks the out-of-control, unaccountable federal government is operating at 100% efficiency. More than ever, restraint and a healthy dose of discipline is needed to control how Washington spends taxpayer money.”
Hopefully these preliminary skirmishes keep candidates on task – and aware of the real opponents: those who would not even be talking about debt reduction and spending cuts if it weren’t for fiscal hawks.