Diary

Another Democrat Undermines Creigh Deeds on Taxes

It’s not been a good week for Creigh Deeds and his quest for the Virginia governor’s mansion.

First, former Democratic Gov. Doug Wilder refuses to endorse him and says that on the matter of taxes, which Deeds has promised to raise:

This is not the time in our Commonwealth to talk about any kind of tax increase, especially those that are fundamentally regressive and will hit hardest those who are struggling.

The latest torpedo below the waterline comes from Democratic State Sen. Edd Houck.  Houck is one of the Senate’s old bulls — with 25 years of incumbency under his belt, a seat on the powerful Finance committee and who also serves as a budget conferee (one of the handful of legislators who helps hammer out the differences between the House and Senate on taxes and spending).

According to an email circulated by the Republican Party of Virginia,  Houck trumpeted both his and Gov. Tim Kaine’s work on mending the state’s sagging finances.  Budgets were cuts.  State employees were laid off. And as for taxes:

“Fortunately, Governor Kaine’s proposals contain no tax increases,” Houck wrote in an e-mail that largely dealt with efforts to balance Virginia’s budget. “With salaries remaining stagnant or worse individuals losing their jobs, a tax increase is unneeded.”

How to square this with Deeds’ statement that:

“As a legislator, I have voted for a number of mechanisms to fund transportation, including a gas tax. And I’ll sign a bipartisan bill with a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation — even if it includes new taxes.”

I don’t think you can. But as Sen. Houck has endorsed Mr. Deeds, and is one of his long-time Senate colleagues, perhaps they can find a way to un-bend this preztel.

Or at least make it appear as though ol’ Edd isn’t joining Doug Wilder in sinking the already listing Deeds campaign.