“Republicans” who voted for HB2313

Here are the so-called “conservatives” who voted for one of the largest tax hikes in Virginia history:

House of Delegates: Dave Albo (42), John Cosgrove (78), Kirk Cox (66), Mark Dudenhefer (2), Jim Edmunds (60), Tag Greason (32), Chris Head (17), Gordon Helsel (91), Keith Hodges (98), Sal Iaquinto (84)*, Riley Ingram (62), Chris Jones (76), Terry Kilgore (1), Barry Knight (81), Jim LeMunyon (67), Manny Loupassi (68), Joe May (33), Donald Merricks (16), Randy Minchew (10), Richard Morris (64), John O’Bannon (73), Bobby Orrock (54), Charles Poindexter (9), Bob Purkey (82), Lacey Putney (I, declared R if running for re-election – 19), Tom Rust (86), Ed Scott (30), Beverly Sherwood (29), Chris Stolle (83), Ron Villanueva (21), Michael Watson (93), David Yancey (94), Joseph Yost (12), Speaker Howell (28)

State Senate: Harry Blevins (14), Bill Carrico (40), Jeff McWaters (8), Tommy Norment (3), Frank Ruff (15), Walter Stosch (12), Frank Wagner (7), John Watkins (10).

This year might be tough to primary some of these folks, but 2015 is just around the corner. Remember this list.

* – not seeking re-election.

  • We shouldn’t have to wait until 2015 to kick Howell out of the Speaker’s chair, right?

  • I seem to recall being called terrible stuff on this blog for calling so many of these rinos RINOS.. The liberty movement republicans OPPOSED this nightmare.. come on people, we need Ken Cuccinelli style conservative principles and the sensible liberty minded among us to get more involved and primary these rinos out of their seats..

    • I’m still waiting for an alternative plan from you guys.

      • A lot of us are Brian.

      • EricMcGrane

        Ah yes….the old “you must present your own plan or accept the steaming pile as good” canard. How about we just go with the plan that McDonnell offered in 2009? You know, the one without tax hikes for transportation? Sorry Brian…you’ll have to swim upstream really fast and hard to make any headway on THIS one. But watching you twist and squirm to provide cover will be precious.

        • I’m not saying you guys need to accept anything. I’m saying that I am tired of hearing why various solutions and compromises won’t work, yet I don’t hear much in terms of positive solutions being put forward. We need revenue for infrastructure. I’m still waiting for somebody who hates this plan to come up with an alternative that has a realistic chance of ever passing.

          This bill isn’t perfect – it’s far from perfect, frankly – but it’s the only workable alternative anybody has put forward and it actually passed.

          • EricMcGrane

            Brian: your comments only have merit if you believe that prior revenues have been responsibly spent at the point of intended transportation allocation. We’re in this problem because politicians have placed us in this problem. They’ve created it.

            This is the fundamental truth that you fail to understand.

          • I do believe they’ve been spent appropriately – at least, I don’t think they’ve been wasted. I would have liked to have seen more money in Northern Virginia but that’s a fight we’re never going to win.

            I agree that this is a problem politicians have placed us in, but that’s because they chose to fund transportation via a method that was inherently built to fail. We needed to transition at some point to a system that’s sustainable, and this bill starts us moving in that direction. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s also not the end of the world as we know it.

          • EricMcGrane

            Our GOP reps were presented with two options:

            1. While controlling the lion’s share of seats and the governors mansion, they could enact conservative policies, such as cutting waste to the bone and closing/removing non-essential services…and then influence the minority party to bend to their will, or

            2. Capitulate to the demands of the minority party, discarding their majority position, and then enact non-conservative policies while increasing the size and scope of VA government.

            The VA GOP choose option B.

            Period, End Of Line.

          • Come on, Eric. We’ve got a balanced budget, and we’ve got Democrats who are adamantly opposed to spending any General Fund revenues on transportation. There are plenty of ways for the minority to gum up the works on bills they don’t like, so it’s not like we could have simply rammed something through – if that were an option, we’d have done it.

            There is nothing non-conservative about investing in infrastructure – it was advocating for infrastructure spending that helped make the Whigs (the Republican forerunners) a major party.

            It’s conservative to pay your bills. It’s conservative to keep taxes low – and even with these increases, taxes are still low, lower than any of the surrounding jurisdictions. This isn’t deficit spending, and it’s not spending on bloated government or money that will end up in somebody’s pocket it doesn’t belong in. Where’s the increase in the size of government?

            Again, I have no problems with folks criticizing the deal, but when they start putting “Republicans” in quotation marks, saying everyone who voted for it is a RINO or not conservative, or calling the Governor a liar – or even an f’ing liar – that’s where I think some folks have lost it.

          • The Whig Party lasted all of two decades, and, after making a historically horrible compromise, led us right into a civil war.

            I think this is an excellent example of the way Brian thinks – everything is about the short-term immediate appearance of results, with no thought whatsoever to the long-term consequences of extraordinarily foolish policy.

            Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it – right out of the horse’s mouth: Brian Schoeneman wants the GOP to go the way of the Whigs.

          • MD Russ


            Your history is a tad weak. First, the Whigs formed as the opposition to “King Andrew I” Jackson in 1824. They dissolved in 1860, so they lasted quite a bit longer than two decades. Second, the “horrible compromise” they made was an attempt to resolve the sectional differences within the party over slavery. The Democrats damned near started the Civil War in 1832 with the Nullification Crisis, an accomplishment that the Tea Party apparently would like to repeat. The Whigs, if anything, delayed the Civil War for almost 30 years. The Tea Party, the Libertarians, the Constitution Party, et al want to do for the GOP what the Free Soil Party, the Know-Nothings, and (ironically) the Constitutional Party did for the Whigs. Right-thinking Republicans like Schoeneman want to save the GOP from the extremists who would destroy it.

          • Federal funding for internal improvements didn’t kill the Whigs, slavery did. The internal improvement policy became a bedrock principle of the Republican Party, and soon even the Democrats believed.

            Now, infrastructure funding is considered a core governmental function and is accepted and approved of by almost the entire population. My point was simple – taxes going to fund infrastructure are okay and have always been okay in every incarnation of the Republican Party since John Quincy Adams left the Democrats.

            I was making an historical reference. Nice try in the spin though.

          • Virginia republicans have just accomplished that! Stick a fork in them, the party’s over!

          • MD Russ

            That is a mixed metaphor, Jeanine. It is either, “stick a fork in them, they’re done,” or “turn out the lights, the party’s over.”

          • EricMcGrane

            Ah yes, the “the only responsible conservative response to increased spending is to match revenues to pay for the spending” canard.

            This means that all you need to do to be a good, responsible conservative is to raise taxes when needed. “Hey, I’m just doing the responsible thing here and paying my bills”.

            You and I will never see the world in the same reality, and that’s ok. I just have to work to defeat your reality.

          • I’ll be right there with you, Eric, as will virtually every active grassroots Republican in the state.

            Get back on Twitter, I’ve followed your account, we should co-ordinate.

          • There’s your problem, Eric. There aren’t two realities. There is one reality. And in that one reality, you are going to have situations, like this one, where you take the good with the bad and move forward.

            Doing nothing is not an option. Every day we wait, fixing the problem becomes more and more expensive. Thanks to inflation, we’ve effectively had 26 years of gas tax cuts. We can’t afford it anymore and we needed a new way to fund transportation. This bill gets us partially there.

            Our party has never been about zero taxes. It has been about keeping taxes low. Even under this plan, they are still low. It isn’t ideal, but no major piece of legislation ever is.

            Now if you want to go out and try to primary everybody who voted for this, go for it. That’s your prerogative. I think that’s shortsighted, but that’s never stopped folks before. It’s one of the reasons we don’t control the US Senate today.

          • EricMcGrane

            And as usual, the “doing nothing is not an option” strawman argument.

          • Again, if you guys agree that doing nothing is a bad idea, I’m waiting to see the Tea Party transportation plan.

          • EricMcGrane

            lol….so dishonest.

          • What are you talking about?

          • Doing nothing is a MUCH better idea. It won’t give the government more of our money to waste! I’m fine with the government doing less. Republicans used to be that way too.

          • DJRippert

            “Thanks to inflation, we’ve effectively had 26 years of gas tax cuts.”.

            Notice that the Tea Party types NEVER address this point.

          • What’s wrong with tax cuts? Heck, I remember when republicans used to be in favor of lowering taxes! Anyone remember those days?

          • That is EXACTLY what they’re saying. We can’t cut anything, so if we need something the solution is to raise taxes! That’s exactly how democrats think which is why the republican party in Virginia is now DOA, DEAD, OVER, DONE. We have two parties who are just the same.

        • McDonnell’s 2009 plan was smoke-and-mirrors, and virtually everyone knew it.

          Bob was only successful because Creigh Deeds had no plan at all.

      • The plan is pretty simple, it’s what anyone who lives within their means does. If you want something new, you decide what else you’re willing to live without so you can pay for it.

        I love how government spender types have been freaking out at the consequences of the “sequester” but don’t blink an eye about doing the same to individuals’ budgets through tax hikes.

        • That’s not a plan. That’s random garbage that anybody can say and then go back to doing nothing.

          • GIven your vested interest in increasing government spending, I don’t expect you to acknowledge understanding of the basic principles under which any household budget operates.

          • I don’t have a vested interest in anything here.

            This isn’t a household budget, and the same rules don’t apply. Y

          • This will probably be surprising to you, but government is not immune to the laws of mathematics.

          • DJRippert

            Any household budget that was based on continuing to care for the household with 1986’s income would be a problem. In fact, every year, it would get harder. The median family income in the US in 1986 was $23,301. In 2011 it was $49,103. Yet the gas tax in Virginia remained at 17.5 cents per gallon throughout that period. If you really understood household budgets you would have to understand inflation and eroding purchasing power. It appears that you actually understand none of this.

          • I understand inflation quite well – well enough to know that the average household is working with less real money today than they were in 1986. The original tax from 1986 was not transportation-exclusive, nor is this one; comparing the two tax rates is apples-to-oranges.
            In this particular case, we’re talking about a lot more taxes than
            just the gas tax (you can see the rest here:
            ) and we’re talking about it paying for a lot of things that have
            nothing to do with roads.

            This plan adds to the burden on Virginia households at a time when we can least afford it. The proper way to solve this problem was to find government waste (and as Shaun Kenney noted above, it’s been found and is massive) and eliminate it in favor of a more productive use of funds.

            In an economy when virtually all households are being forced to do more with less, the government cannot hold itself immune from those economic forces. By increasing taxes they will decrease overall economic activity, drive some business out of state, and push another set of borderline-self-sufficient households into the on-the-dole category.

            Because the government chose not to make choices of what to cut from its budget, it will force households to do so instead by reducing their discretionary spending. The austerity doesn’t go away when you raise taxes, it just places the hard choices of what to do without on citizens rather than on the government.

          • MD Russ


            I must be getting grumpy in my old age, but if I had ten bucks for every time I have heard a politician say that they would fix a fiscal problem by “eliminating waste” then I would be living on a private island in the Caribbean. VDOT’s unfunded backlog, the last time I checked, was about $15B. Fine. Eliminate $1.4B in waste and we still have highways in northern Virginia that are parking lots during rush hours.

            Where is the Tea Party plan to close the gap?

          • The feds need to close this gap, the infrastructure need is primarily to serve federal government activities. The rest of the state is not similarly situated.

            Also, it’s the wealthiest parts of the state that are having the need, and those parts of the state really shouldn’t be offloading their outsized costs on the rest of the state.

            You just watch, the promise that the transportation problem will be fixed will turn out to have just as much truth to it as the promise we got that there would be no tax hikes. Then we’ll be right back in this position all over again, and they’ll rationalize yet another tax hike the exact same way.

            The government is literally addicted to its ability to stick its hands in your pocket, take your money, and get away with it. Just like any other kind of addict, it will do anything or say anything to get its fix. You will have no way of holding anyone to account for results as you will be given the usual giant douche/turd sandwich choice every election.

            At a certain point in life, an adult should have enough life experience to recognize this pattern.

          • MD Russ


            I thought the Tea Party was hard over on strict compliance with the Constitution? The Federal government is responsible for DC. Virginia, even the part north of the Rappahannock River, is one of the several States. You need to go read the Tenth Amendment.

      • I’m still waiting to hear how this plan solves ANY transportation problem. Where will all the new roads be built? A new road parallel to 95? Or 66? a new rt 123? Where will the new roads be?
        In what city have subways ever solved traffic problems? Subways are a black hole, taking more and more of our money while the roads get more and more crowded. Why should folks in Lee county, with over 20% unemployment, have to pay more in sales taxes for the richest people in the country to be able to ride a subway in Loudoun and Fairfax? Everyone has to pay for the 2% who will EVER ride a subway while the rest of us sit in traffic. Great ‘plan’.

    • Poor Ken, I’m afraid this bill may have doomed his run for Governor.

  • Chad Parker

    I think its more telling to look at who voted against it: you have those like Rob Bell, Lingamfelter, Martin, and Obenshain seeking the “bless their hearts” grassroots vote; people like Cline, Peace, and Ramadan thinking ahead to 2017; the green Peter “Eric Cantor Jr.” Farrell’s and Will Morefield’s who are trying to stay behind the scenes; and the “who the f— cares” Andersons and Wrights.

    Most telling of all, though–when Bob Marshall and Joe Morrissey both disagree with something, it must be right.

    • When Bob Marshall has Jamie Radtke singing his praises, he must be right.

    • Anyone running for higher office knew better than to vote for big, whopping, tax increase that is very unpopular with voters. That might have been a clue for the rest of them.

  • Given that every Senator in Hampton Roads voted for HB 2313, I’d be amused to see that many challenges.

  • J. Christopher Stearns

    When I’m done recruiting delegates, I’ll try and come up with an alternative plan for my good friend, Brian Schoeneman. 🙂

    Hell, Brian… I know you’ll help me come up with some good ideas. 🙂

    • …or perhaps they can explain why an alternative plan is necessary, given that we started this administration with an audit that showed $1.4 billion in VDOT waste and a series of under-implemented reforms?

    • I’ve already got plenty.

  • Lynn R. Mitchell

    These Republican representatives worked with their Democratic colleagues for the good of the Commonwealth after 37 years of kicking the can down the road. With 44 Republicans and 43 Democrats voting for the bill, it doesn’t get much more bipartisan than that. Agree or disagree but they did what they felt was best for the citizens of Virginia and Bob McDonnell, a 21-year Army veteran who retired as a Lt. Colonel, proves he’s willing to make the tough decisions.

    • Lynn R. Mitchell

      … and Governor McDonnell continues to be one of the most popular governors in America.

      • And this latest run to the center is his bid for a WH run for 2016.

        • MD Russ

          I certainly hope so. And may he leave all the irrational nut case radicals behind him.

        • McDonnell has ZERO chance of ever running for any higher office. It’s over. That’s the one bit of good news in all of this, we’ve now seen McDonnell for who he really is before we made the mistake of supporting him for Senate or even President. No chance of those office for him now.

          • MD Russ


            Translation: Bob McDonnell has ZERO chance of ever getting support from the Tea Party/Libertarians for any higher office. This means that he will attract droves of moderate Independents who voted for Mark Warner.

    • Lynn R. Mitchell

      Should say “27 years” of kicking the can down the road….

  • TerryTom

    You want an alternative? Indexing the gas tax to inflation and raising the registration fee $20 would have been simple and effective in the short term while we took the necessary time to examine a long-term fix. The way everyone was talking yesterday would have you believe that we’re going to run out of money tomorrow. Remember the last time a Governor told us that? He ended up being wrong and made a lot of Republicans look like fools.

    Why legislators continue to try and fix everything all at once boggles me. An incremental approach allows you to constantly evaluate and fix any mistakes made. This was a bad bill and a bad deal for ALL Virginians. Shame on this Governor and this legislature for acquiescing and taking the easy way out.

    • MD Russ


      Indexing the fuel tax to inflation is an idea that has been around since the 1980’s, most recently proposed by Mark Warner. Every time it comes up, conservative Republicans promptly trot out their autographed photos of Grover Norquist and declare it to be a “tax hike.” Consequently, in the name of not raising taxes, the fuel tax as a percentage of the price of a gallon of gas has deteriorated from 18% to less than 5%. Good job. I hope that you are reading this on your mobile device while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The fact that we have been arguing over fuel tax rates for over 25 years without any resolution whatsoever is hardly trying to “fix everything all at once.” I think that we have demonstrated that further study and discussion amounted to little more than mental masturbation.

    • DJRippert

      ” Indexing the gas tax to inflation …”. Great suggestion. Submitted as a bill by CHap Petersen (D-Fairfax) in the 2012 session (and previously). Defeated by Republicans.

  • Darrell

    You must have an alternate plan or just Shut Up! Well fellas, that alternate plan will show up in the next election. You ain’t gonna like it.

  • MD Russ

    There is a lesson in all of this for the arch-conservatives: push your absolutist hardline position too far and you will eventually lose and lose big. Take, for example, the liberal gun-grabbers. Even after the horrors of the mass shootings, including 20 very young children being gunned down in a school, they are not going to get an assault weapons ban, a high-capacity magazine ban, private sale background checks, or universal firearms registration. Why? Because they have pushed a losing hand too far. The gun-grabbers have convinced too many law-abiding gun owners that an assault weapons ban and magazine restrictions would be the beginning and not the end. Next, they will want to ban all semi-automatic rifles and handguns. After that, ban auto-loading shotguns. Wait, not done yet–ban all handguns. The gun-grabbers, with their hardline, absolutist, positions have convinced reasonable persons that they won’t be satisfied until the only legal firearms are single-round shotguns that are tracked in a national registry and stored in a government-approved locked container.

    Taking the position of “no taxes, no way” is a equally self-defeating position. First, there are too many takers in this country, people whose motto is “I want my free stuff, too.” They will consistently vote for any politician who promises more free stuff paid for by higher taxes–because, by and large, they don’t pay taxes. Second, there are too many moderates in this country who see a reasonable level of taxation to be a necessity. I’m willing to pay a few more pennies for a gallon of gas if it means that it doesn’t take me an hour to go 18 miles at rush hour. (Real example, BTW, not exaggeration.) You put those two groups together and you have a solid majority voting block.

    Governor Bob is smart enough to understand this. You can wail and gnash your teeth all you want, but he is trying to save you from yourself. You have to make deals, you have to meet the opposition halfway (esp. when they have the votes to have their way without you), and most importantly, never say never. That is a losing hand.

  • Remember the success of Norquist’s “Virginia’s Least Wanted” campaign?

    The same thing’s going to happen here.

  • VirginiaLibertarian

    Here’s a list of Delegates and Senators that voted for BOTH the Warner Tax Increase and this Transportation Tax Increase.

    Delegate Riley Ingram (62), Delegate Chris Jones (76), Delegate Joe May (33), Delegate Bobby Orrock (54), Delegate Tom Rust (86), and Delegate Ed Scott (30).

    Senator Harry Blevins (14), Senator Bill Carrico (40), Senator Tommy Norment (3), Senator Frank Ruff (15), Senator Walter Stosch (12) and Senator John Watkins (10).

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