Friday, September 21, 2007

Chris Ward: a fox?

Many of the Republicans in the House caucus were unhappy with Minority Leader Ward for apparently cutting a deal with Speaker Andy Dillon, offering to get him three Republican votes for a tax increase in exchange for some real reforms and on the condition that the Dems put up 54 votes first.

Was Chris selling out? Was he sincerely trying to work in some good reforms? Perhaps, but I personally wonder if Chris wasn't just doing the GOP caucus a big favor. He either swerved into a great strategy, or it was all by design.

Last night, Speaker Dillon was in a jam. He had promised to produce 54 Dem votes out of 58 members. But, there are arguably seven vulnerables! The math just doesn't work folks. Dillon worked all night to get 54 Dems on the board. He seemed to be doing some serious arm-twisitng with his own members. A couple finally voted green but appeared VERY unhappy at being coerced (or threatened?) into voting for an 18% tax increase. After a long night of holding the board open, with only 51 votes on the board, it was obvious the Speaker did not have, and never did have the 54 votes. As a result, the three Republicans were off the hook and we learned something. There are not even close to 56 Democrats willing to vote for a tax increase.

Instead of being angry with Chris, maybe we owe him a big "thank you" .

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