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Chuck Colgan Sets Trap And Catches Himself

By Greg L | 29 October 2007 | 29th VA Senate | 35 Comments

For some unknown reason, Senator Colgan’s campaign has been busily denying parts of his voting record that are very easy to verify.  Bob Fitzsimmonds has responded to some of these ridiculous claims in an email today, and they make for fascinating reading.  Did Chuck really think no one would challenge these statements?

1.  “I have never voted for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants”

Actually, yes he did.  HB2339, 2/19/03 the Saslaw substitute bill provided in-state tuition to illegal aliens if they met a set of criteria.  In addition, he responded to the Virginia Catholic Conference Survey supporting instate tuition for illegal immigrants (www.vacatholic.org)

2.  “I am against registering illegal immigrants to vote”

Maybe so, but his voting record says different.  When SB 313 (2006), the Citizen Voter Bill, came before the Senate he voted (unsuccessfully) to weaken both it and the house companion bill and then voted against both bills.  So he actually voted wrong on this 4 times!!

3.  “I do not support state benefits for illegal immigrants”

Colgan voted against denying benefits for illegal aliens in 2005 (HB1798 & SB1143).  I guess the message changes to fit the audience.  Again, go to www.vacatholic.org and you will see that for that audience he admits he supports state benefits – not just tuition breaks, but workers compensation payments.

4.  “I do not support a tax hike”

Colgan’s own website: www.colganforsenate.org, says that he supports a gas tax increase. I guess it is hard to keep your message straight when it keeps changing.

5.  “I fought against the abuser fee harder than anyone else in the Senate.”

This is a particularly odd claim, since he voted for them when they only applied to Virginians.

This campaign keeps getting more and more bizarre.  Is Colgan really trying to throw this election?  Or are the folks from DPVA who are working his campaign just terribly naive and inexperienced?

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  1. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:21 pm:
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    Colgan said those things in today’s MJM so he can’t blame this on the DPVA.

  2. Dolph said on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:44 pm:
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    I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. How about links to is actual votes on these issues?

    I personally do not care about seeing the Catholic interpretation of Senator Colgan’s voting record.

  3. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:52 pm:
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    OT, but There was a murder in Herndon saturday night.

    Since we know many illegal aliens live their I dont think its a leap of logic to consider that both the victim and the murderer are both here illegally.


  4. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:52 pm:
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    I meant to say “are PERHAPS both here illegally”

  5. One Voice said on 29 Oct 2007 at 6:00 pm:
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    Here we go with the Catholic thing again. I thought that was over.

    Most everyone says the Our Father (forgive us our tresspassess as we forgive those…), and most everyone believes in “Love they neighbor”. Most churches/religions don’t qualify the criminal or ilegal status of “those” or “neighbor”.

    Religion is off topic and has no place in this forum. I guess unless you’re a Democrat that just might win an election that is - then it’s a target.

  6. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 6:09 pm:
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    Dolph–It is a voter guide. It ain’t an interpretation, its Colgan and most every other candidate’s response to questions.

  7. jfk1 said on 29 Oct 2007 at 6:09 pm:
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    I think everyone is missing the point. Senator Colgan admitted to these things, regardless of the forum I think they are relevant. Bringing up separation of church and state doesn’t make any sense.

  8. Ron said on 29 Oct 2007 at 6:54 pm:
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    The religious organization thing matters for two reasons:

    1) How he responds on issues to a group, even if the questions are not religious in nature (though the religious group may have a “moral” interest in it). If someone is for raising taxes, is it less valid if he/she gives the answer to a religious group versus, say, an accountants’ society?

    2) How Colgan obviously says one thing to one group and another thing elsewhere. The technical term is “flip flop.” Chuck Kerry Colgan? LOL

  9. Dolph said on 29 Oct 2007 at 7:22 pm:
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    Voter guides frame the question. No thank you.

  10. Colgan Voter (maybe) said on 29 Oct 2007 at 9:02 pm:
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    Roger Snyder,

    I just left this same question for you on the thread posted 10-26-07 about the abortion mail.

    Roger, you left about 11 bullet points for the Colgan campaign. I know nothing about the veracity of points 2-11 as I dont recall Senator Colgan talking much about those issues.

    However, bullet point #1 reads “I do NOT SUPPORT any increase in the gas tax.”

    Roger, if you are reading this, please elaborate. I have heard Senator Colgan repeatedly say that he wants to raise the gas tax for transportation funding. Could you please tell me when the Senator changed his position on the gas tax.

    This makes me furious. I am a supporter of the gas tax (not because I like taxes, but because it is the fairest way to pay for tranportation) and have always admired Senator Colgan for the courage to say he supports the tax. I am already unhappy with the Senator for voting on the boondoggle of a transportation plan, now he is claiming to be against the gas tax?

    What gives? Please explain?

  11. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 9:32 pm:
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    Dolph on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:44 pm:


  12. Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 9:36 pm:
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    Anonymous on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:52 pm:

    You were perhaps correct the first time! I would bet the house on it!

  13. redawn said on 29 Oct 2007 at 9:56 pm:
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    Please don’t READ the message below!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Turn the other way!
    Not the other cheek, THE OTHER WAY…RUN…….
    ….DUH, DOH, !@(@$…. OPPPPPPSS, DON”T GO THERE! IT IS TOO SIMPLE, don’ ask…… a persons biggest weapon=knowledge…

    Anonymous said on 29 Oct 2007 at 9:32 pm:

    Dolph on 29 Oct 2007 at 5:44 pm:


  14. Dennis said on 29 Oct 2007 at 10:00 pm:
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    “One Voice said on 29 Oct 2007 at 6:00 pm:”
    “Here we go with the Catholic thing again. I thought that was over.”

    “Most everyone says the Our Father (forgive us our tresspassess as we forgive those…), and most everyone believes in “Love they neighbor”. Most churches/religions don’t qualify the criminal or ilegal status of “those” or “neighbor”. ”

    “Religion is off topic and has no place in this forum. I guess unless you’re a Democrat that just might win an election that is - then it’s a target”

    Right, religion has no place anywhere, so send me your money! It says “In God We Trust” on the back.

    Perhaps you forget our history. Maybe this clip will delight you then.


  15. Dolph said on 29 Oct 2007 at 10:29 pm:
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    Perhaps Anonymous 29 Oct 2007 at 9:32 pm has such anger management issues he/she cannot proofread?

  16. Patty said on 29 Oct 2007 at 10:56 pm:
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    For those who use Anonymous, could you please pick a name or a number. It gets too confusing to figure out which Anonymous said what and someone might get mad who shouldn’t. I guess what I’m trying to say is please make up a name.

  17. Legal2 said on 29 Oct 2007 at 11:07 pm:
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    The Liberation Theology Movement has hijacked catholic dioceses all over this continent, professing justice (for some who want special privileges, but not law-abiding citizens who are adversely affected and the nation which is losing its sovereignty). Let’s not go through all this again, Dolph. You seem to have selective memory (or none at all sometimes). It appears that Colgan is jumping on that bandwagon (he attends All Saints, cutting edge on all things liberal), so it does have some relevance.

  18. anon said on 29 Oct 2007 at 11:10 pm:
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    Romans 3:23:
    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;( including bloggers and politicians)

  19. Dolph said on 29 Oct 2007 at 11:41 pm:
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    I never said Sen. Colgan’s religion was irrelevant. (even though it isn’t to me) I said I believe in separation of church and state and I don’t do voter guides. Why do you have a problem with that, Legal2? It is pretty obvious we are not supporting for the same candidate. I can live with that. What a great country!

  20. The Patriot (Got E-Verify?) said on 30 Oct 2007 at 6:51 am:
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    anon…yes you are correct. Also:
    Thou shall not lie, cheat, and steal (i.e., identity theft, steal benefits that are meant for legal citizens, etc.).

  21. Gurduloo said on 30 Oct 2007 at 7:13 am:
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    “It appears that Colgan is jumping on that bandwagon (he attends All Saints, cutting edge on all things liberal), so it does have some relevance.”

    I hope you’re willing to say the same things for Bob Marshall who also attends that church - and is actually more prone to to talk about his piousness during campaigns.

  22. G Man said on 30 Oct 2007 at 7:26 am:
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    Dolph the link to the Catholic Voter Guide and Colgan’s resposes are quite relevant as it shows he changes his position according to his audience. So you are voting for someone who like Hillary will say WHATEVER they think the audience is wanting to hear. You are voting therefore for someone who has NO convictions, or no memory, and maybe both. I guess you can close your eyes and ears and ignore Colgan’s responses that are not in keeping with yours. This should be easy for you to do as a liberal with your “situational ethics” mantra.

  23. One Voice said on 30 Oct 2007 at 8:29 am:
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    Dennis - where did I say “religion has no place anywhere”? I didn’t. Are you the webmaster in disguise twisting my words? :)

  24. Roger Snyder said on 30 Oct 2007 at 8:48 am:
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    A Reply to “Colgan Voter” (Maybe)…….from Roger Snyder

    Senator Colgan still believes the gas tax is one of the fairest ways to pay for transportation because it is the user who pays (including out-of-state drivers who make up an estimated 30% of the traffic on Virginia’s interstates). That being said, Chuck does NOT now SUPPORT a gas tax because of the omnibus transportation bill just passed.

    Following on from that, the Senator opposed the transportation bill that passed the House and the Senate in this past session primarily because of the abusive driver fee provision. He said so in the Senate during the session. When the bill came back to the General Assembly from the Governor replete with many amendments, Chuck voted for the amendments, acknowledging that while not what he would prefer, it was the only transportation bill available and, on balance, the good outweighed the bad. Though highly principled, Chuck is a pragmatist.

    Chuck Colgan supports a change in the state transportation funding formula that is based on traffic counts and lane miles. But he is also realistic in knowing and saying that this will only be possible in 2011 or 2012 after a redistricting based on the 2010 census that shifts political power to Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

    In the 4 to 5 year interim, there is nobody better at getting budget earmarks for transportation than Senate budget conferee Chuck Colgan. In the unlikely event that Senator Colgan is not re-elected next week, his place as a budget conferee will be taken by a Richmond area Senator, leaving Northern Virginia unrepresented at the budget negotiating table.

    Roger Snyder

  25. Dolph said on 30 Oct 2007 at 9:41 am:
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    G man,

    Read my lips: Chuck Colgan’s religion is irrelevant to ME.

    In this case, I will be votiing on a proven track record rather on political rhetoric.

    Your rant only further exposes you as a reactionary. Yawn.

  26. Nunya said on 30 Oct 2007 at 9:47 am:
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    Well for all the Catholic’s Bob Fitzsimmonds, dones’t believe
    you are Christians.

    As for the questions, they are like the bills, read the entire question, not one or tow words.

  27. Nunya said on 30 Oct 2007 at 9:48 am:
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    Sorry I am having key board issues, not spelling issues.

  28. Big Dog said on 30 Oct 2007 at 12:02 pm:
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    To borrow an old Texas observation of a flawed wanna-be,
    Bob Fitzsimmons may have a big hat but he doesn’t
    have any cattle.

    Mr. Fitzsimmons keeps claiming he would “fight
    in Richmond for our fair share of of transportation
    dollars. We can get traffic moving without raising taxes.”
    Yep, and he has a bridge in Brooklyn we can buy.

    1) The “donor areas” of Virginia have been fighting
    for a fairer distribution of transportation revenues
    for years - both Republicans and Democrats.
    The hard reality is that the rural areas feel just
    as strongly in favor of the status quo and they
    will maintain the voting margin to stop any
    change until after redistricting following the
    2010 census.
    2) Who can wage the best battle for us? A strong
    respected senior leader like Chuck Colgan or
    a low powered back bench light weight?
    3) By the way, enjoy a debate between
    Mr. Fitzsimmons and Delegate Miller on the
    “abuser driver fees”. Does Bob think Jackson
    wants to raise taxes/fees and isn’t a fighter?
    And/or Miller doesn’t know the Fitzsimmons magic plan
    to please everyone at no cost? For the record
    Colgan and Fitz don’t like the fees, Miller reluctantly
    voted for them.

  29. Riley said on 30 Oct 2007 at 12:21 pm:
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    Okay, okay. Everyone back to their corners. This has NOTHING to do with religion other than a religious organization produced a voter guide. Someone asked for links to votes and quotes, well here it is:

    29th Senate District Fact Sheet

    Senator Charles J. Colgan has begun circulating material called “Colgan Straight Talk”. The material has appeared on blogs and the Senator’s own website. Colgan does not offer any citations in his materials. Below is a partial listing of votes and quotes made by Colgan that directly contradict his recent materials and quotes in today’s Potomac News.

    Colgan: I do NOT SUPPORT any increase in the gas tax
    Colgan sponsored legislation that would have increased the gas and diesel taxes by 7 cents per gallon. (SB 357, 2004)
    Colgan voted for an additional 5% tax on gasoline. (2/17/06 Floor Vote on SB 708, 2/14/06 Finance Vote on SB 708)
    Colgan said “I would place a 5-percent sales tax on the wholesale price of gasoline and diesel fuel.” (3/7/07 Gainesville Times)
    “Colgan said a gas tax would be a much simpler way to raise money for roads.”( 7/27/07 Potomac News)
    “Senator Chuck Colgan is correct. His position is that if more money is needed for roads then increase the gas tax and do away with the punitive draconian new rules on fines for only Virginia motorists.” (8/6/07 Potomac News Letter to the Editor from Colgan Supporter)
    “I would have much preferred a simpler bill. For example, a modest increase in the gasoline tax is the ultimate user fees. (8/16/07 ColganforSenate.org)
    •Colgan: I do NOT SUPPORT allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
    Colgan voted to give in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants. (2/19/03 Floor Vote on Saslaw Substitute to HB 2339)
    Colgan voted to give in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants. (1/23/2007 Floor Vote on SB 1204)
    Colgan recently affirmed his support for giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. (2007 Virginia Catholic Conference Survey)

    • Colgan: I do SUPPORT changing the State transportation funding formula to return more money to our region

    When asked if he supported changing the transportation funding formula at the Committee of 100 Forum on October 4, Senator Colgan said:
    “I don’t know whether that I would favor that frankly!” and “We have 40,000 outhouses in Southwest Virginia. We have to be concerned about those people. If we have to take some money out of Northern Virginia and give it to these folks, God bless them and I hope we can.”
    • Colgan: I do not support state benefits for illegal immigrants
    Colgan voted against denying non-emergency state benefits to illegal immigrants. (2/25/2005 Floor Vote on HB 1798 and 2/8/2005 Floor Vote on SB 1143)
    Colgan recently affirmed his support for providing illegal immigrants with state subsidized worker’s compensation (2007 Virginia Catholic Conference Survey)
    • Colgan: I am against registering illegal immigrants to vote
    Colgan twice voted against closing a loophole that allowed illegal immigrants and other non-citizens to register to vote. (2/26/2006 Floor Vote on SB 313 and 2/27/06 Floor Vote on HB 170)
    •Colgan: I fought against the abuser fee hard than anyone else in the Senate
    Colgan voted for abuser fees that only Virginians would have to pay. (4/4/2007 Floor Vote on HB 3202)

  30. former colgan voter said on 30 Oct 2007 at 12:22 pm:
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    My reading of the record was the Colgan voted for them also, although he claims also to have vote for them reluctantly, as a necessary part of the governor’s compromise transportation package.

  31. Billyboy said on 30 Oct 2007 at 1:00 pm:
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    The reality is in Richmond your JOB is to take bills and make them into laws. It is a process of give and take. Anybody can go to Richmond act like a 6 year and say I want it 100% my way or not all. It takes a Statesmen to build conscience and make a bill become law. On in-state tuition the reality is the Senate was trying to find a bill which would prevent illegal aliens from receiving in-state tuition, and still get the Gov. to sign it. In doing so language was added in hopes to secure the Gov’s support.

    The Gas Tax. Several solutions where offered regarding a transportation solution. The Bill which Bob Fitzsimmonds likes to give Senator Colgan credit for was actually a Republican bill, introduced by John Chichester and championed by Ken Stolle. The bill passed the Senate 38 to 2. It died in the house because the house Republican’s sign wacky “Read my Lips No New Taxes Pledge”. The House decided to employ 13 new fees, one of which was the abusive driver fees. The House logic was we can use smoke and mirrors, saying we kept our pledge because we increased fees not taxes. Frankly if I pay to the Government, it’s tax I don’t care what Bob and his buddies call it.
    The gas tax was the entire Senates preferred method of generating badly needed transportation dollars. However in negotiations the house won.

    Furthermore we should not forget the Bob Marshall said on this blog that “Ken Stolle killed a lot of good illegal immigration legislation in 2007″
    Mr. Marshall also pointed out a resolution which Senator Colgan co-patroned on illegal immigration, which frankly makes Bob out to be a liar, well that and most of his mailers.

    Transportation package. Colgan preferred the gas tax which failed. Why did he prefer it so that out of state drivers would pay their share? In the end Colgan
    voted for a revised bill that had 150 admen mantes from Gov Kaine.

    Leave it to Greg never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    [Ed note: comment edited.]

  32. Chip S said on 30 Oct 2007 at 1:35 pm:
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    Roger Snyder -

    You - like the rest of us - really don’t know who will be budget conferees during the 2008 Session. (It’s safe to presume that, irrespective of which party holds the majority, Colgan, Wampler, Stosch, Norment and Houck would be on the short list.)

    First, we don’t know who will have the Senate majority. Currently, it’s too close to handicap. . . . too many close races. Even a 20-20 tie is a plausible scenario.

    That said, we do know that, at long last, John Chichester will not be one of them, and he, as you may know, selected budget conferees.

    Chuck Colgan could lose and the Democrats still obtain a Senate majority ( a longshot, yes, but possible) in which case Saslaw and / or JHowell (both from NOVA and SFC members) could easily be a budget conferee. You may recall Dick Saslaw having said on the Senate floor “They can’t send me enough money to spend?” Others, including Ed Houck (himself a recent addition to the Senate’s conferees), who represents large portions of Spotsy (which is at the very least adjacent to NOVA), would be in line to Chair SFC with a Colgan loss. That said, Houck is no more a Richmonder than you are.

    Is Chuck Colgan a good man? Sure. Has he looked out of PWC transportation? Yes. But are there other NOVA D and R electeds who are well-positioned to become budget conferees? Absolutely.

    Including “Chuck’s a budget conferee” as part of your argument for why Chuck needs to be re-elected” is fallacious. Chuck Colgan is no more irreplaceable than John Chichester.

  33. Pat Herve said on 30 Oct 2007 at 2:38 pm:
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    Yes, Colgan did say to raise the gas tax - before the flawed transportation bill was passed. Also before the abuser fees went into effect. He stated that the gas tax would burden the very same people using our roads - I happen to agree with him - tax the gas, that gets the people using the roads to pay for them - not just the abuser fees. He does not support a gas tax NOW, that the transportation bill was passed - it is simple logic. Not a flip flop.

    Yes, he voted that if a person has applied for permanent residency, and is pursuing permanent residency, then they have in state tuition costs (if they are a Virginia resident). If they are pursuing residency, the Feds say they are entitled to work and other benefits entitiled to legal residents (they are legal residents at that point).

    Regarding Workers Compensation - if a person is working in Virginia, they are paying into the Workers Compensation system. If they are hurt of killed during work, why should they not be entitled to getting compensated? That is like saying that you have paid for car insurance, but you will not be covered because you were speeding or you failed to yield.

    And yes, please keep the Religion out of Politics. There is no reason to bring in Bob’s affiliation with that non main stream group of his.

  34. Greg L said on 30 Oct 2007 at 2:54 pm:
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    What group would that be? The Episcopal Church?

  35. Dolph said on 30 Oct 2007 at 3:35 pm:
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    The Anglican Church and the United Episcopal Church are NOT the same thing, just for the record.

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