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The More Things Change…

By Greg L | 12 June 2013 | Loudoun County, Virginia Politics, Virginia House | 9 Comments

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.

They won’t.

UPDATE: Willie Deutsch has a great write-up on this over at Bearing Drift.

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  1. Anonymous said on 12 Jun 2013 at 7:55 pm:
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    And two years from now, a number of our County Supervisors will also suffer the fate of Jack Rollison…

  2. Scout said on 12 Jun 2013 at 8:52 pm:
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    I’m somewhat surprised that even in something as wacky and under-attended as a Republican party primary in Virginia when the statewide offices aren’t in play that there are 2800 people in that district who would rather be represented in the November election by Larock than someone as distinguished as Joe May, but there the numbers don’t lie. What will surprise me much more is if many more than the aforementioned 2800 show up in November to vote for Larock. I suspect that this means we Republicans have lost the seat. Smart.

  3. Greg L said on 12 Jun 2013 at 10:49 pm:
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    Prepare to be surprised, Scout.

    You clearly haven’t bothered to look at the Democrat who recently announced their campaign in the district. If Dems can’t bother to run anyone anywhere near the prevailing political lean of this district, they aren’t ever going to win.

    I’m expecting LaRock trounces his opponent in the general by at least 20 points if he runs a campaign at least as well as he did in the primary.

  4. Not Harry F. Byrd said on 12 Jun 2013 at 11:11 pm:
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    Greg, you all took out two people. Two. Now, first, credit where credit is due. They were incumbent committee chairman with stature - particularly May. But if that’s the result - two unseated delegates - of this massive “tea party backlash”, do you really think anyone in Richmond is quaking in their boots? Really? Bill Howell won 92% of the vote against a perennial candidate. 92%! And turnout wasn’t anything to write home about either.

  5. Scout said on 13 Jun 2013 at 5:37 am:
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    You make a good point, Greg. The thing that saves us over and over from our own foolishness in this state is the perennial inclination of the other party to run substandard candidates. The list of examples is a long one. I guess if the Dems had assumed that May was going to be the opponent there was no point in running anyone serious. May always wins the general. But now, any respectable Dem would have a very good shot at it, I would think.

  6. History Buff said on 13 Jun 2013 at 4:44 pm:
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    Someone needs to tell Caddigan and Covington they can either go out on their own terms like Hilda Barg did or go out in defeat like Jack Rollison and Mary Hill. It’s their choice, but either way they’ll both be GONE 2 years from now.

  7. History Buff said on 13 Jun 2013 at 4:45 pm:
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    That is Wally C., not Betty.

  8. Anonymous said on 14 Jun 2013 at 12:51 pm:
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    Romney won 56% of this district but it still won’t be a cakewalk. Some of those 2600 people that turned out may be the sitting home come election day. Enthusiasm in general for the ticket is dampened so I wouldn’t county your chickens yet. There is also a Libertarian in the ticket.

  9. The Bulletproof Monk said on 15 Jun 2013 at 12:30 pm:
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    Scout, the district is solidly conservative….by it’s very makeup. The district has TOLERATED Joe May for years….not embraced him. All the district needed was a viable contender. They solidly rejected Oprison a few years ago, because he was yet ANOTHER “establishment” player….as his appointment to Bush’s White House proved.
    This was a “grassroots” campaign, and it showed. With the grassroots pulling for LaRock, nobody can cover the District with a limited amount of money like LaRock can.
    I pushed his numbers in the three highest turnout precincts out here. I know EVERYBODY in these precincts, and they’ll do it again in November by higher numbers.

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