The defeat of House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe May by Dave Larock in the 33rd District is being touted by some as an unprecedented revolt by the grassroots against Republican tax-hikers. It is not. Back in 2003, then-House Transportation Committee Chairman Jack Rollison was defeated in a primary by Jeff Frederick after Rollison played the point man for a referendum on a sales tax increase that was supposed to fund transportation improvements. This isn’t new. This is what almost always happens.
Voters always seek vengeance against Republican leadership that throws away their principles in order to raise taxes. Not every tax-hiker falls in these grassroots revolts, but plenty of them do, especially those who choose to be the public face for bad policy. This year members of the House that pushed this tax hike are being punished. Two years from now, Senators who supported the tax hike will have to face voters. This isn’t over.
Sometimes we’d like to think we’re doing something new and different, that we’ve changed the political landscape in some way. Most of the time that’s not the case, and we’re just implementing the same political dynamic that has been at work for decades. What is most remarkable about this is that some elected officials haven’t grasped this, or think that when Speaker Bill Howell claims that he’s going to protect tax hikers from the forces of history that they’re somehow going to escape it and believe him.
UPDATE: Willie Deutsch has a great write-up on this over at Bearing Drift.
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