Do Lt. Governor Candidates Not Know the Job Description, or Just Not Care?

It happens every year in every election cycle in Virginia. A Republican candidate running for office talks about the overstep of Washington, how the government needs to get out of the way, we need lower taxes, make the state available for business. We need to stop the intrusion of government, of regulation, of tax-hikes, etc.

All those things are true.

The problem is nearly EVERY Republican candidate says them, no matter what office they’re running for. It’s near the point now that candidates seem to not even bother looking at the job description for the office(s) they’re running for.

This year’s Republican Lieutenant Governor candidates are taking the cake though.

They run on an anti-Washington agenda while running for a position where they have zero say, influence or position to do anything about it. The problem is the lack of understanding in the grassroots about what Richmond does, and specifically the Lieutenant Governor. Governor McDonnell has giving Lt. Governor Bolling significantly more responsibility for job creation during his term, but even that is mitigated by the state legislature and the governor’s office itself. But the grassroots and convention voters will only support who they hear talking about what they want to hear, and anti-Washington plays well, when it absolutely shouldn’t.

If our nomination contests are the to the point that whoever throws out the most red-meat to the crowd, then what the hell is the point. Romans butchered Christians in the wagonloads for entertainment and the crowd loved it, demanding more and more and more. I’m not going to select who I’m supporting based on the same tired ‘anti-Washington’ lines or generic platitudes. I actually care about what you’re bringing to Richmond and to the Lieutenant Governor’s seat. It is a divided senate, so some issues are going to come to an LG’s vote, I understand that. But the overwhelming majority of what we’re hearing about and going to hear about for the next four months has ZERO to do with what the Lt. Governor can control or influence. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard and vet the candidates, rather than encouraging nonsensical red-meat.

So below, I’ve taken snippets of issues that the current field has said or lists as an issue on their campaign website, with some snark beneath it.

I’m going to leave out names, so people don’t feel like I’m picking on any one candidate. This information below again is from the candidates own websites. Note: some candidates still do not have an informative web presence, four months before the convention.

To emphasize, the Lieutenant Governor in Virginia has two constitutional duties: presiding over the State Senate and serving as Governor if the sitting Governor is incapacitated or dies in office.

Here’s the ‘issues’ some of the Lt Governor candidates are running on:

Government spending, higher taxes, and punitive regulations have created an environment where entrepreneurship and risk taking are discouraged, and growth stalls.

Which of the Republican controlled Governor, Lt Governor, Attorney General, House of Delegates and/or State Senate is calling for more spending, higher taxes and more regulation?

Will lead to achieve real reductions in state spending

The Lt Governor does not submit a budget and is constitutionally prohibited from voting in the Senate on it.

We will fight to make sure the federal government does NOT destroy our coal industry and put thousands of our fellow Virginians out of work.

That’s what the Attorney General does, not the LG.

Our personal freedoms are under assault by Washington and the Obama Administration. Our religious liberties and our Second Amendment rights are being targeted and systematically attacked by the liberals and the bureaucrats.

Attorney General again.

We are going to fight to see that Virginians are not saddled with debt by a state government trying to be all things to all people.

Virginia is constitutionally obligated to have a balanced budget.

Again, not all of their talking points are bad and a few are valid regarding their stance in a divided senate. But we need to hear what their vision of the LG office is, more importantly, what Ken Cuccinelli’s vision is first, before anything else comes up. The Lieutenant Governor is not going to do anything to make either the country or Virginia energy independent, to fight Washington gun control laws, to stop constitutionally encroachment, mandates from Washington, etc etc etc.

Let’s educate ourselves on the LG’s office and find out what they’re going to ACTUALLY do in the constitutional office, not what the grassroots thinks it wants to hear.

Otherwise whoever says ‘Reagan’ the most wins.

  • MD Russ

    Great post, D. J. You have hit on one of my major peeves with the Presidential candidates every four years. You would think that they were running for Emperor of the World rather than POTUS. “When elected, I will do this, I will do that, I will do something else,” all the while ignoring the fact that the proposed actions will never see the light of day without passing both houses of Congress and the muster of judicial review. Perhaps that is why Barack the First is resorting to executive orders so much–even his own majority in the Senate won’t follow his agenda.

  • “I’m going to leave out names, so people don’t feel like I’m picking on any one candidate.” Just Googling those quotes pulls up the web pages where they’re found. No point hiding it. I tend to agree with you here, but most people don’t know and don’t care what a Lt. Gov. does. Recent polling said 72% have no idea who Bolling is after 8 years.

    • yes but this way i’m not picking on people 😀

  • The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia has three primary jobs:

    (1) Wait for the Governor to die.
    (2) See #1.
    (3) Preside over the Senate and occasionally break a tie.

    Now it just so happens that #3 is a bit more important thanks to a 20-20 split. So LG candidates offering ideas on how to use their bully pulpit waiting for #1 and #2 to never happen is the primary role of any LG.

    Beyond that, LGs are certainly free to use the office as they see fit — whatever may be accomplished through talking.

    • sparkyva

      They also get training in how the governorship is run, and, in most cases, are in a good position to run for Governor next time around.

  • I’ve been pleading with people for years to get themselves educated before going to vote. It’s certainly not a scientific poll, but more than 98% of the people I ask can’t name their 5 legislative representatives.

  • Garrett Whitmore

    The LG office is essentially a ceremonious position, it doesn’t serve a large purpose — especially in Virginia. I believe it is essentially just an additional ligament to help bolster the popularity of the Governor. Much similar the Vice President to the President — obviously on a much smaller scale — the LG doesn’t mean shit.

    • I respectfully disagree. The LG does mean something if the governor has outlined priorities that are better delegated to an LG. Jobs are still important to people.

  • I’d rather see the LG candidates putting out legislative ideas than AG candidates running around shouting “TOP COP!”

    • there’s a difference between legislative ideas and tripe. Most proposals are the latter and have no legislative merit.

      • Given the duties of the LG I’m not sure what they are supposed to say, if it’s not tripe. I’m imagining an LG candidate ad that starts out like “Buckwheat Dead: America Mourns” and finishes with the candidate saying, “I will be alive for four more years! You have my word that if the governor passes on I will still be breathing and able to serve! Furthermore, I will break all ties in the Senate. Rest assured I know the role of the lieutenant governor and I will not share my opinions on political matters because I have no say in them! Thank you for your support!”

  • Well said, Mr. Spiker.

  • Mikey D.

    There is a lot the LG can do as an advocate on issues. Saying the LG shouldn’t take a stand on the issues because it’s not in their job description is like saying you can’t have a take on anything because you’re not in a position to actually draft and vote on it. And in a 20-20 split Senate, the LG has a heck of a lot more weight than in years past.

  • “Which of the Republican controlled Governor, Lt Governor, Attorney
    General, House of Delegates and/or State Senate is calling for more
    spending, higher taxes and more regulation?”

    Did you listen to the Governor’s speech 2 days ago where he called for exactly that for transportation?

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