The typical Tea Partier, in our experience, believes in right-sizing government: not just in Washington, D.C. but on the state and local levels, and, particularly in Virginia, in its mega-counties like Fairfax or Loudoun.
More often than the “official” Tea Party organizations (sometimes co-opted by the GOP Establishment, or guided by very large donors with very narrow vision) want to concede, Tea Partiers and allied grass-roots conservatives are also often strong adherents of traditional values (pro-life and pro-curriculum reform).
Many other Tea Partiers are concerned about homeland defense (especially those in Virginia about the peril of militant Islam), immigration enforcement (opposed to the Schumer-Rubio-Paul Ryan amnesty), and are strong defenders of the Second Amendment.
Almost all Tea Partiers put a high value — as an action item — on preserving our freedom.
The economically vigilant are wary of being “business friendly” (aka “crony capitalist”) as opposed to advancing market friendly policies.
Jim Pethokoukis explains the difference:
“Yet while a pro-business agenda may intersect at points with a pro-market one, they are not the same thing. Pro-market public policies make markets function fairer and more efficiently for everyone. They encourage competition and ‘creative destruction’ and entrepreneurial capitalism. Pro-business policies often shift taxpayer money and other government goodies to favored companies, raise barriers to entry and otherwise defend the status quo. . . . It’s clear the 11,000 registered lobbyists working in Washington aren’t all there to foster competition and boost market forces. Their job is to gain an edge for specific corporate paymasters.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
A Breaking Point? The Giant Virginia Republican Tax Hike
Delegate Joe May, a long-serving Virginia state legislator and committee chair, is one of apparently only three incumbent GOP delegates (out of total of 35 Republicans voting yes) facing a primary challenge June 11 (click here and scroll down) — largely because of their support for governor Bob McDonnell’s historic tax hike of $6.1 billion dollars this February. (Click here for vote.)
Dustin Curtis (challenging incumbent delegate Bobby Orrock because of his votes for the tax hike and enabling Medicaid expansion) was chairman of the Fredericksburg Tea Party Patriots. Curtis reports raising $30,000 from 70 donors.
Mark Berg in the Winchester area is challenging GOP incumbent Beverly Sherwood Dr. Berg is a member of the Apple Valley Tea Party, and the Lynchburg Tea Party is helping the candidate with volunteers.
As we declared at the time the transportation bill was approved –
$6.1 Billion VA Tax Hike? Kudos To Governor Mitt R. McDonnell
Said the Wall Street Journal editorial pages –
A Cavalier Fiasco: Virginia Republicans try to elect the next Democratic Governor.
noting that . . .
“The big winners are unions, real estate developers and the transit lobby.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
“LoudounOptOut”: David LaRock Emerges as Grass-Roots Leader
Veteran delegate Joe May’s challenger, Dave LaRock, mobilized grass-roots opposition to the extension of the Silver Line (Metrorail to Loudoun) through his LoudounOptOut website (click here).
At the time, we asked “Metrorail: Is Loudoun Losing Control of Its Future?” (see whirlpool graphic below, and click here for story.
Businessman LaRock was almost successful — but for Loudoun County supervisor Ken Reid’s last minute defection to big-government voices (click here) in the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV).
Long-time transportation expert Peter Samuel summed up the situation (click here) in his “Rail in medians of Dulles Toll Road & Greenway wins 5/4 in Loudoun Co as leading opponent flips” –
“Contrary to the view that the Silver train line will bring great development to Loudoun County is that it will be so slow and inconvenient with trip-end mode changes, and stopping every ‘station’ – compared to the near door-to-door cars, vans or buses – that it will attract little patronage and little development. And in this view the tax and toll burdens of supporting the loans needed to pay for the $5.6b Line and the train’s operating losses will make it a serious net detriment to the corridor. New sensing and control technologies heavily favor flexible and customized rubber-tired modes (cars, vans, buses etc) over trains on 19th century steel rails with their old ‘switches’ and ‘stations.’ Road-based vehicles provide the more personalized door to door modes, offering a range of price/service options, versus the train’s one service, no options. The Google car and other self-driving vehicles offer the prospect of major improvements in the convenience, efficiency and safety of road travel, while there are no similar scenarios for improvement in mass transit.”
Mr. LaRock was, in short, a paladin for the freedom of Loudoun County families from the likely endless demands of a voracious metropolitan transit establishment.
Here and here, respectively, are the latest reports on the campaign funds that incumbent May and challenger LaRock have raised, and the individual donors behind these totals.
Can This Party Be Saved?
So why, for example, is a Virginia Republican primary contest encompassing parts of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick Counties of wider interest?
Certainly Loudoun County, one of the most affluent in America, is a northern Virginia political bellwether.
The LaRock challenge to incumbent delegate May, as we noted, is one of three primaries mounted against GOP delegates largely because the three incumbents supported the historic McDonnell tax hike and eased Medicaid expansion.
But these contests may be harbingers of larger conflicts within the RPV, paralleling the current national struggle for the soul of the GOP.
On the national level, the question is: Can the Beltway GOP continue to make political orphans of the voters who brought the House of Representatives to Republican hands on November 2, 2010, or will the Ted Cruz Reformation bring the national GOP to a smaller government, pro-freedom posture?
In the meantime, Virginia conservatives might wish to point out to any low-information Republican friends –
The Republican Party of Virginia(RPV) managed to chill dissent over the tax hike (only lieutenant-governor GOP primary candidate Susan Stimpson ignored the RPV‘s ‘crime-think’ code to denounce the malefactors by name). But across the spectrum of national conservative-libertarian writers, many were volubly dismayed by the governor’s foolishness.
As for the effect of the governor’s giant tax hike on family budgets, consider that effective July 1, northern Virginians will pay an additional levy of $750 to the Commonwealth when, for example, they sell a house valued at $500,000. Of course, when the property has a higher value, their additional levy above current rates will be even more. (Click here and scroll to bottom to “Regional Congestion Relief Fee.”)