Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Their lack of leadership is breathtaking

We were told at 9:30 last night that we would be in session starting at 4:00 p.m. At that time, it was assumed, Speaker Dillon would reveal his coalition of Republicans that he apparently had negotiated with, (because he was tired of Craig DeRoche's game playing and refusal to talk to him) and get a deal for "reforms and revenues" through the House tonight.

At 2:30 p.m, 90 minutes before we were to meet, we were told that there would likely be NO votes taking place today. Meanwhile no session has been posted for Wednesday or Thursday. Is it fair to say that Craig DeRoche was right last night when he said there was no deal? Is it fair to say that Dem leadership can't get their act together?

We waited four days for the 10 yellow democrats to decide whether to vote "yes" and move the tax vote out to the Senate, or to vote "no" and defeat the bill so we could look for another solution. For the four days, the Yellow Ten stayed yellow; undecided.

Don't say the Republicans were playing games; we put our votes up immediately. We made very clear what our wishes were. we represented our districts well and voted "no" to new taxes. (I received over 400 e-mails on this issue, 35 said vote "yes", 370 said an emphatic and unequivocal "NO!") Over and over the message was, "stand firm, don't back down, stick to your principles...".

Sorry to be so partisan, but in my first four budget years, under Republican leadership, we got the budgets done on time. In the last two years, we did it on time, and at below the rate of inflation. We "lived within our means", just like you have toin your household. This year, we are several weeks behind schedule, facing a deadline with no solution and a Democrat controlled House that wants to increase the budget by over 10%! That is flatly irresponsible.

The message has been simple from day one. We will not support a tax increase until all the reforms we have suggested, all of which are attainable without inflicting hardship on the citizens of this great state, have been addressed and brought to the Governor. The Dem leadership in the House has failed (or refused) to address those reforms.

Are we going to raise $1.5 billion in new taxes without a budget? Absolutely not. It is irresponsible. Every dollar of current income should be spoken for first and prioritized based on greatest need and those things mandated by the constitution. If we just raise revenue first, what will happen. Do you suppose every tax eater in town will line up for more money? Of course they will. I have never met a government supported agency or organization that said they were getting too much money.

The time for games has long passed. It is time for leadership. It is more and more apparent that leadership is not coming from the House majority. I guess it is up to the Majority Leader in the Senate to work with the Governor and House minority leadership to craft a solution to the budget situation.

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