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any thoughts on the political ramifications of cuccinelli voting yes to this and thereby breaking his ATR pledge?


You can make a case either way for any of them . . . except one.

Jeff Frederick.

I've defended him numerous times over at places like Too Conservative becasue he is a good conservative delegate. But this is inexcusable and I don't know how he can go back and look his constituents in the face after that.

He was ALMOST beat last time, and he looked to have finally gotten over the hump. I will be VERY suprised if Mr. Frederick returns to Richmond next year.

He should be ashamed of himself.

Loudoun Insider

Are we sure he simply didn't forget to vote or wanted to change his vote afterward like Saslaw and Caputo? What is with these people - can't they even cast a simple vote?

The NovA Dems know that most people don't bother with the details, and couldn't face the blowback of not doing something about transportation. So, doing the "wrong" thing was the best they could do. If Kaine is successful in pushing back the bill, wonder how they'll handle it? It's a complete abdication of state responsibility to 'balkanize" state funding by pushing transportation to a local issue without undoing Dillon--if they want local govt to have the responsibility, then give them total control. Does this mean I can choose NOT to pay for the next flooding event in Richmond, or to put out the next "tire fire", or for economic development in Southwest? What a mess!

Too Conservative

No way..

Jeff Frederick escaped a vote?

This will hurt....


Hurts Marshall...and will make his race with Roemmelt potentially more difficult. The GOP has not successfully made the case for not bringing more $$ to transportation.

Dems-no damage

Frederick-hurts him as much or more than a "no" vote...What, did he get stuck in the loo?

I think it's gotta help Jeannemarie. All the Democrats with House districts in her Senate district voted for it. Let's see Kaine try to come into town (or Chap!) and bash her for voting for a "bad plan." That line of attack is completely out. Further, she was on the Conference that crafted the bill. She comes out of this looking great.

Also, is it fair to say that this was more of a party-line vote as opposed to a regional vote? Take a look at exactly what you cite as your evidence for those "flipping"

Ghost of  A.L. Philpott

Roemmelt can criticize Marshall for not bringing in transportation money, but can Roemmelt say that he would have voted "YES"? I think thats a big factor in whether or not this will hurt Marshall.

Too Conservative

Okay anon-

dont let this go to Senator Davis' head here...

this vote will help, but wont ensure her re-election.

Chap would have voted yes as well(right?)

Frederick walked. Was in his seat until just before the vote, and was in his seat just after the vote. He walked. He's a weasel and a coward and none too sharp. Hopefully it'll finally come back to get him.

LOL this is too funny...what a chickenshit Frederick is! Guess when it finally came time for him to govern instead of just spout slogans he didn't have it in him. I agree this is worse than a no vote, as he can now be seen to lack a spine. What a tool, couldn't go on record as being for taxes and didn't have the balls to stand up against them. Must have wanted to position himself to get credit IF this package even goes through (which, ironically, it probably won't). Hysterical.

D.J. McGuire

You are all missing the point. Kaine will have his own plan, and the voters won't notice that he hid it for two months; they'll just see two competing plans, and in the regions with the tight races, Kaine's plan will look better.

The GOP walked into a trap of their own making. I wonder when they'll notice.


Exactly right D.J. - the Republican'ts are thinking that their taxation purity is more attractive to the voters than properly funding a transportation solution. Silly them.

Bulova, Caputo, and Poisson MAYBE get a pass. But Shannon, Marsden and Sickles? What the hell were they thinking?

if memory serves, don't statewide tax increases mean that Kaine's plan would send even more money OUT of NoVa and Hampton Roads? Oh yeah, the GOP was clearly trumped by Gov. Sidelines. Can't wait for him to tell Caputo he was wrong. Poisson? THe governor thinks you were wrong as well...Again, Kaine's big new plan will be a big new tax increase that sends money out of NoVa. Sell that.


I thought it was interesting that a good number of tidewater dems voted for this while a few GOPs (Gear and Rapp) voted against.


Some of these Democrats won't be challenged because of Tom Davis' influence in the Chap-Jean Marie race. So this vote won't matter to them. The others...nah. Jeff Frederick's non-vote is just another straw going on that camel's back. Any strong Democrats out there that will challenge him?


For Dems in the House that voted for the bill, it was essentially a free vote. They knew the vote would pass and have to go on to the Senate for final approval, before going to the Gov for his changes. So why not vote yes? Now their opponents can't say they voted against it. A good, heads up political move by all of them.

PWC Voter

NLS=bash Frederick site. No one ever says anything good about him here.

Funny how Frederick is a "coward", but Athey and Saslaw aren't. Frederick already voted no, didn't he (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+vot+HV0892+HB3202)? Plus, what if he filed one of those grey thingys? Athey was a co-sponsor... why didn't he vote? Word is, the vote came much sooner than expected.


yup they were counting votes it was close though would have been 51-47 by my count

Bit of a gamble too with it being so close in the senate 21-19


There was no way out we didn't want to repeat 2006 again

Still getting used to Virginia but basically I think whenevver the bill passed Kaine would have sat on it and then called special session.

This is where I am confused. Can the Governor call special session on anythinng or just with conferee bills? It seems like a strategy would always be to hold, call a special session, send what you want back if it passes you win if it doesn't pass you get to call the other party obstructionist.


TC what are you thinking man
Chap is a D he would have voted against it like all the other D senators. The vote would have been 20-20 and then it would have been really interesting because noone seems to know what would have happened next


This transportation "compromise"just shows the fallacy of the whole anti-tax movement with VCAP, Norquist's anti tax pledge and Bolling being the major players.

First, the compromise essentially raises "fees" and dumps the tax increases on the localities. For all intents this "compromise" was a tax increase. All the the above Republicans who voted "yes" broke their pledge. Even though it may cost him dearly, I really admire Bob Marshall.
Bolling and his pals at VCAP and the Norquist tax pledge signees stayed totally quiet thoughout the entire process. Apparently Bolling did not totally agree but did not disagree either. What a joke! No one knew were he stood. At least McDonnell showed leadershp. VCAP disagreed with the plan but did not fight it either. These folks are hypocrites as well. If they were legitimate anti-taxers they would have opposed this. For them it is less about genuine politics and more about power.

Norquist should call each and every one of these conservatives out on this but he wont because for Bolling, VCAP, and Norquist this is all about power and fundraising and less about ideology in the long fun.


You know if this was a normal election with regular turn out I would say that this would help those Dems. However, considering the fact that most (off-)off-year elections are about bringing out the base I can't help but question whether this would actually hurt. The Democratic base seems to be solidily against this thing so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Then again the base wants a Democratic majority and the few Independents that come out will look favorably on it. In short, I have no clue.

Mike K

It's particularly lame that Frederick took a walk considering a key component of the omnibus transportation plan contained his standalone bill that would create "Urban Transportation Service Districts." In an even greater twist of irony, these are the districts that put the burden on local governments to maintain their roads, and to raise taxes in order to be able to do that.

What a twerp. Is he going to finish puberty anytime soon and begin to display any worthy qualities?


Shannon and Sickles have an easy path to re-election, so I don't understand their need... the rest it helps...


For the dems this elminated the one vote that could hurt most of them. Now Caputo is the only one with even a remote possibility of being beaten in 2007 (and his situation is more based on overall strategy).


Novamiddleman has it wrong by a hair...had Chap! been there instead of JMDD, the bill would not have passed the Senate.

The vote would be 20-19, and would have failed. That is why Saslaw abstained to it could not get to 20-20, as that would have given Bolling a vote that would pass the bill.

J. Sarge


I agree with your assessment of Sen. Saslaw's decision. Perhaps the most interesting procedural move in quite a while, had it come about!

The very fact that it was a possiblity demonstrates the awkward position of a non-legislative tie-break for money bills. I think the correct parliamentary position on this issue is that the LG cannot break the tie, regardless of precedent. But of course that's not what Bolling would have decided, and he undoubtedly had the votes to sustain his position.

Not Jack Herrity

Saslaw took a walk on purpose, so he's no better than Frederick. Bwana has it correct.


Kenton Ngo

Hey now, Del. Frederick might just have been stuck in traffic, behind a slow-moving pack of unicorns...

J. Sarge


If Bwana has it correct, then Saslaw's reason for not voting was entirely different than Frederick's.

Salslaw need not be concerned about re-election, so that could not have been motivating his decision. Really, what moderate incumbent in Northern Virginia with a few cycles under his or her belt really needs to be concerned about re-relection?

No, Saslaw's decision was strategic in furtherance of what appears to be a caucus move. Frederick just backslid.

Not Jack Herrity

Sarge, Saslaw is no better than Frederick. Caucus position or not, they're both playing politics.



NJH-What politics is Jeff playing by not voting...in fact, apparently pointedly leaving the chamber prior to the vote?

Not Larry Sabato

Agreed. NJH, Saslaw is voting to achieve his caucus position in any way possible- while Frederick is just a coward. How can you lump them together?

Not Jack Herrity

Because Saslaw was not trying to "achieve his caucus position." His vote would have made the total 21 to 19. The bill still would have passed. Saslaw knew where the votes were. Watkins was the 21st vote and Saslaw knew it.

The Senate Democratic caucus position was to defeat transportation to prevent the GOP from getting a foothold in the 07 elections. Instead of smacking the GOP Saslaw put Kaine in a very uncomfortable box. Now Kaine could be the one who killed the transportation deal.

C'mon guys. Saslaw took a walk to protect his campaign contributions. You can't be majority leader if you can't spread the money around a little.


Not Larry Sabato

I don't believe that. I think Saslaw knew it had 21 votes, but he also knew that all 21 knew it had 21. i.e. anyone could change their mind up until the vote and make it 20-20. Clearly he abstained in case one of them did. He played it smart and safe, even if it was a jerky thing to do to the LG.

Dumfries Dem

What kind of politics can Frederick be playing if he's already on the record as voting "no"? What does he have to gain by taking a walk? All he had to do is vote no and he'd be in the same place he was already in? And if his intent was to not vote, why fill out a grey slip (if he did fill one out)? Calling him a coward is wrong. Stupid for missing a big vote? Yes. Coward no. Maybe next time he'll take a dump later.

Not Jack Herrity

Ben you don't know Saslaw very well. He counts better than any other politician I know.

Senate procedure is very deliberate. They give fair warning before they close the rolls. I watched the vote on television. Saslaw had plenty of time to record his vote after verifying there were 21 on the board.

Let's get real here. Saslaw was told to abstain or be cut off. He's no better than Frederick.


Hey nice post PWC Voter, er, I mean, Jeff! Who else would cut and paste the link for some other vote and try to defend being AWOL? The guy designs web sites for crying out loud! WHAT A DOUCHE...

Mike K

NJH is on to something.

See today's article in the WaPo about Saslaw's friendliness with developers?


Not to say that any vote is not important but, this is the vote that will matter folks.

The important vote hasn't been cast yet and won't be until TK has had his shot at the budget.

That will be the vote where either blame or gratitude can be properly attributed. There is just too much inside baseball going on to cast sweeping criticisms.

Should read* Not to say that any vote isn't important but, this isn't the vote that will matter

HMMM...I WONDER who could be trying to deflect attention off Jeff with another link, this one about Saslaw?!?


PWC Voter

Anon 9:30PM: I like Jeff, but I'm not him (although I wish I had his wife). I'm just calling them like I see them, and it is clear this blog just plain doesn't like him and takes every chance to bash him.

I know the post is about Frederich, but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one not struggling to accept NLS' theory about Saslaw's abstention. When you look it up on LIS, it says Saslaw intended to vote NAY. So, if he intended to vote NAY, why didn't he? That gets to the earlier point, which is that the Senate would not 'play games' with closing the vote roll at the last second to catch someone off guard...just not the Va senate way.

James Young

Ben, this is patently unfair. Jeff said publicly tonight (PWC GOP meeting) that he put in a slip to say he would have voted "No."

Frederick's done, end of story. He apparently chickened out on the biggest vote of the year. Its easy to say how you would vote after the fact.

Joel Rutstein

FWIW, I asked Chap, via commenting on his blog post against the bill, whether Marsden should be coordinating with Chap and not cutting deals with the Davises to ease Marsden's campaign in exchange for helping JMDD's campaign.

James Young

Really? "Frederick's done, end of story"? And who are you Dems going to run against him?


For the record, Del. Athey's family was in a car accident, and he had to leave before the vote.



Is Sickles Democrat enough for Virginia Democrats? Seems like he likes to vote conservatively at times.

Phil Rodokanakis

You guys are trying to make an issue out of a non-issue. Whether Jeff Frederick voted or not for the Conference Report is irrelevant. He had voted against the bill when it came for a vote on the House floor, before it was sent to the Senate.

In other words, his vote against the Transportation Compromise (AKA Bill Howell's Tax Increase) had already been recorded.

Thank you Jeff for abiding by your tax pledge.

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