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Fitzsimmonds Fires Back

By Greg L | 30 March 2007 | 29th VA Senate | 12 Comments

Bob Fitzsimmonds has responded to Senator Chuck Colgan’s recent announcement with his own statement that aggressively goes after Colgan’s pretty awful record.  Not only is the substance of this press release interesting, but the style paints a stark contrast of the challenger focusing on policy and issues, while the incumbent talks about personality and what organizations have decided to give him an award.  If Fitzsimmonds is successful in shifting this to a strongly policy-focused debate in this manner, I can see him gaining substantial traction with the electorate.

Here’s what Fitzsimmonds has to say:

Senator Colgan announced today that he is running for a 9th term. While most incumbents cruise to re-nomination, Colgan faces discontent in his own party and a potential primary challenge from fellow Democrats.  Assuming he is able to win the Democratic nomination, he appears ready to run on his record.  I look forward to the opportunity to contrast my plans for the future with Senator Colgan’s failed record of higher taxes and runaway development.

While he is quick to cite his 30 plus years in office and list his important positions, Colgan is completely silent on transportation solutions and on growth controls.  This is consistent with his record and among the reasons I believe we need new representation in Richmond.   Senator Colgan notes that he has been a budget conferee for 16 years and a member of Senate Finance for even longer.  What he does not explain is why in all that time, he has allowed our transportation crisis to grow completely out of hand.  He, in fact, does not think that the transportation crisis is even worthy of mention in his press release.

Nor does Senator Colgan mention his consistent drum beat for higher and higher taxes.  Today, while the rest of the General Assembly is working out a compromise that does not include a statewide tax increase, Senator Colgan continues to demand that taxes go up to fund any solution for Northern Virginia.   This is in spite of a doubling of the cost of government in the last decade, a current budget surplus, and the recent record increase in Virginia’s taxes.  While others are working to adjust the unfair funding formulas, that leave the 29th District chronically underfunded, Senator Colgan has declared that he “would be ashamed to ask for one more penny.”

The citizens of the 29th District are desperate for controls on growth, but Senator Colgan has contributed to this crisis by opposing common sense restraints on residential development.

Senator Colgan may believe that he deserves another chance to fix the growing transportation nightmare that we face every day in this district, but I believe that 32 years is enough.  With all due respect to this fine gentleman, it is time for new, fresh leadership for the 29th District and I look forward to providing that leadership as part of a Republican majority in the Virginia State Senate.

This should be an interesting race.

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  1. freedom said on 31 Mar 2007 at 4:45 pm:
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    However Greg, Bob Fitzsimmonds is an ardent supporter of Faisal Gill for the HOD…which says a lot about the man…and in my book, negates his otherwise attributes.

  2. Greg L said on 31 Mar 2007 at 8:08 pm:
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    I am fully aware of this, and his strong support of Steve Chapman, but given the choice between pulling a lever for him or for Colgan, Bob is going to be my guy.

    And it’s really not just because Bob is a Republican, and that Colgan is devoted to pork spending and tax hikes. Bob really has a stunning grasp of policy issues, has a solid foundation of heart-felt principles, and about the only bad thing I can say about him is that sometimes his choice in friends is based more on shared values than a measure of their personal integrity. Fortunately, who his friends might sometimes be doesn’t impact his ability to represent me well. I started supporting Bob long ago in this race, and I still do.

    So are going to vote for Colgan?

  3. AWCheney said on 31 Mar 2007 at 8:22 pm:
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    Greg, how can you possibly suggest that “shared values” are more important than “personal integrity?” People lacking in personal integrity would have absolutely no problem sharing the values of each and every person to whom they speak, regardless of what those values might be. If you can’t trust them, how can you trust what they say?

  4. Greg L said on 31 Mar 2007 at 9:06 pm:
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    I’ve seen nothing that tells me that Bob lacks personal integrity in any way. He’s honored every commitment I’ve ever seen him make, and I’ve never seen him do anything that would make me think my trust in him is misplaced. Some of his associates, not so much. But Bob himself has never given me reason to question his integrity.

  5. AWCheney said on 31 Mar 2007 at 9:14 pm:
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    I’m not talking about Bob, Greg…I’m speaking specifically to your rational as to why his support of people like Faisal Gill and Steve Chapman is irrelevant. I don’t believe that it’s irrelevant at all, but shows a lack of judgment on Bob FitzSimmons’ part which is very relevant.

  6. AWCheney said on 31 Mar 2007 at 9:19 pm:
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    ^FitzSimmonds…sorry, dropped the “d.”

  7. Greg L said on 31 Mar 2007 at 9:56 pm:
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    It probably is not an irrelevant point to consider, but for me it doesn’t begin to outweigh how much better a Senator he would make than Chuck Colgan, and how good a senator he would make regardless of who is is running against.

    I’ve got more reason than many to make his support of them a deciding factor, and I’ve chosen not to. I would imagine that others might make a similar decision.

  8. AWCheney said on 1 Apr 2007 at 12:37 am:
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    That kind of judgment is a very big factor Greg…and one that I’ve been dealing with far longer than you. I do want to clarify one point…I have never, nor would I ever, impugn Bob’s integrity. How he ever got mixed up with Steve Chapman has always been a mystery to me. But he did, and in such a way that a good man’s life was shortened. There are a great many people who will not forget that.

  9. Anonymous said on 1 Apr 2007 at 9:39 am:
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    AWCheney and Freedom are right Greg. This is a problem. The Chapman/Gill combo is a disgrace to the party and we can’t give Bob and others a pass for supporting them or Chapman and Gill will be the successors to their legacy. It doesn’t necessarily bring into question their integrity, but it does bring into question their principles. This is the sort of thing that is killing us at the national level, a misguided loyalty that ignores incompetence and integrity for short term political gain. Greg, don’t become part of the problem. Stand up for the Reagan legacy, not the George W. legacy that is wiping out everything Reagan did for us.

  10. Mack said on 2 Apr 2007 at 4:31 pm:
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    I agree with Greg.

    Bob Fitzsimmonds is needed in the Virginia Senate.


  11. LBeefelt said on 5 Apr 2007 at 12:25 am:
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    I too often see activists bent on supporting or opposing our GOP candidates based solely upon who they have or haven’t supported in the past or who they are supporting now. This is a rotten way to size up candidates, especially in this local year when everybody and this brother is running for some office. If you have been long enough, your friends are running against your friends and your enemies are running against your enemies.

    You just have to pick the best candidate based on their capabilities and views. I am strongly supporting Bob this year (and actively opposing Sen. Colgan for the 1st time) for the following reasons:

    1. Bob strongly supports educational choice but Sen. Colgan has steadfastly opposed it out of deference to the Unions.

    2. Bob will at least advocate for adjustments to the current unfair funding formula, something Sen. Colgan referred to as “a clever political ploy.” This is actually the best long-term hope for a unified Virginia - we see the beginning of the unraveling of Virginia’s fiscal compact in the transportation bill. NoVa refused to donate more to the state budget under the current rules and the ROVa decided to let NoVa break free instead of budging on the formula. We are headed down a dead end track and Sen. Colgan is one of the chief conductors on the trolley.

    3. Where once Sen. Colgan had the courage to be a bridge between the parties, he is now unwilling or unable to play that role. In budget crisis after budget crisis, our supposed powerful leader has done absolutely nothing to bridge the gap. Instead, he has helped the two democratic governors exploit the cracks in the GOP armor. All this while claiming to represent a republican district! I don’t have to worry about Bob selling out our interests to the ROVa


    4. Senator Colgan’s taking the point on the minimum wage and saying that the minimum wage was the only way that the american worker made any progress in this country so a profound lack of understanding who the minimum wage really hurts. It hurts the least skilled who cannot find an employer willing to hire them for the higher minimum wage. It also hurts the marginal employer who cannot afford to pay the minimum wage for extremely low skill jobs. Bob understands the unintended consequences of this approach better than the guy who just cashed out of his business!

    Bob can win if he just stays focused on his race and doesn’t get his energy diverted to weaker candidates who appeal to his sense of loyalty. I’m willing to help him any way I can.

  12. Dick Black said on 23 Apr 2007 at 5:48 pm:
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    There are few members of either party with the personal integrity of Bob FitzSimmonds.

    Bob knows the issues. He’s in touch with voters. He’s got a vision for the district.

    In a year with few outstanding new contenders, Bob FitzSimmonds is a breath of fresh air. He’s bright, experienced, and principled.

    I like Chuck personally, but he’s running as a place holder. Is he planning to complete a full term? I don’t think so.

    When Chuck steps down in mid-term, who would Democrats replace him with in a surprise special election–at a time of their choosing? He/she could be really bad news for the district.

    Bob’s focus on transportation and moving the district ahead are refreshing. Higher taxes that get frittered away down-state leave the district nothing.

    Remember Warner’s historic tax increase? How much came back for PW roads?Not a penny–not one single penny. Chuck could have changed that if he really wanted to.

    But as the senior Democrat, Colgan must shift tax dollars downstate to support his party’s incumbents. In a pinch, he’ll back the Democrats over the district every time.

    The district will have Bob FitzSimmonds’ undivided loyalty–and he’s a bulldog! Bob’s a great candidate. He’s going to win this election.

    Dick Black

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