Deeds Brags About Tax Hike Vote, Promises More
"Major Address" Mired in 2004, Still No Transportation Plan - Falsely Represents McDonnell Record, Proposes Own Plans to Raid Education
RICHMOND - In what was billed as a major campaign address, Democratic candidate for governor Creigh Deeds waxed nostalgic on his infamous vote for the largest tax increase in the history of Virginia, while promising more of the same if he were to become governor of Virginia. Inexplicably, Deeds addressed a Northern Virginia audience at George Mason University and still did not reveal a blueprint for transportation improvements, but managed to falsely represent Bob McDonnell's legislative record and reveal his own plans to raid the General Fund to pay for his pet projects.
Gas Tax Hike On the Way
"There's probably no quicker way to unlock the economic potential for growth in Virginia than to break the legislative logjam to pass a plan to fund transportation," Deeds said, still without explaining details of his plan, but making clear that a tax increase was the centerpiece. "We've got to have a dedicated long-term funding stream. All options and innovative ideas are on the table."
Tax Hike of 2004 Was Deeds' Shining Moment
The tax increase of 2004 was the largest in Virginia history. It also resulted in massive surpluses, proving that it was unnecessary. Deeds was given large credit for its passage by his introduction speaker.
"I can't forget the budget session in 2004," said former Delegate Jim Dillard in introducing Deeds. "It was a long hard fight for Virginia's future, to keep Virginia moving forward and to pay our bills ... and Creigh Deeds was right there with us."
Deeds Raids Education Dollars, Distorts McDonnell Plan
While Deeds has been recklessly claiming that Bob McDonnell's transportation plan would drain money from education because it would use General Fund dollars, Deeds has proposed pricey plans that take money from the very same source. For example, his proposals to increase the Governor's Opportunity Fund and to provide tax credits for employers who create jobs rely on the General Fund for support. According to Deeds' own logic, this drains money from education. Indeed, following that line of thinking, any penny spent on law enforcement could be described as taking money from education.
Moreover, Deeds' characterization of McDonnell's plan is purposefully inaccurate. The revenue sources in McDonnell's plan that Deeds attacks as raiding money from education are based almost entirely on economic growth, which means that the funding being discussed currently does not go toward education or any other state spending project. In fact, the only facet of the McDonnell transportation funding plan that Deeds attacks that involves existing revenue sources is the use of a portion of the sales tax in Northern Virginia. McDonnell has proposed to use .30-percent of the sales tax to keep in Northern Virginia for roads.
Deeds Distorts McDonnell's Legislative Record
Though Deeds had promised to leave divisive social issues off the table for the campaign, he has instead chosen to highlight them at every opportunity. Saying that McDonnell has a "narrow social agenda" is a tactic that media outlets have called desperate and risky, because the voters are more fixated on the economy and job creation.
In fact, here is the truth about McDonnell's legislative record: in his years in the legislature, McDonnell was chief patron of 386 bills. Of those, only eight - or 2.07-percent - involved abortion-related issues.
As attorney general, McDonnell supported 105 pieces of legislation - none dealing with abortion - and 92 of them became law. Creigh Deeds voted in favor of 98-percent of them.
"Creigh Deeds attempted to hit the ‘restart' button with this speech today," said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins. "Instead all we heard was more of the same from Creigh. Higher taxes, and misrepresentations about Bob McDonnell. It is sad to see where this campaign is obviously headed. We're very disappointed, because we know Creigh to be a good guy. He's obviously getting desperate."