Dick Saslaw: There’s a “big dropoff from Tim Kaine to the next guy”

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    The ever-entertaining State Senate Majority Leader, Dick Saslaw, was just on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and he had some interesting things to say on a number of topics. But first, with regard to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim Webb, Saslaw made a strong case for Kaine – he’s never lost an election, he’s “one of the brightest people I’ve ever met” – but also asserted that there’s a “big dropoff from Tim to the next guy.” I’m sure many of us here at Blue Virginia, including the strong majority who voted for Tom Perriello in our blog poll to be the Democratic nominee, would disagree with that statement.

    In other news, Saslaw commented on the redistricting process, asserting confidently, “If I lose a few seats and I’m in the majority, then I’m not doing a very good job.” Also, according to Saslaw, the House of Delegates will do their thing, the Senate will do its thing, and neither will interfere with the other one. Finally, Saslaw stated that, while his goal is to strengthen Democratic districts, he’s not “greedy” and isn’t going to act like Republicans did 10 years ago.

    On legislation restricting abortion clinics that passed the State Senate, Saslaw admitted that it did indeed catch him “unawares.” However, Saslaw noted that he’s stopped something like 80 anti-abortion bills over the years, so 1 slipping through is “not a bad batting average.” Saslaw also stated his belief that this legislation is unconstitutional, and believes and injunction will be sought immediately in the 4th Circuit Court.

    On the controversial title loan lending legislation that passed the General Assembly this year, Saslaw said there’s no way we’re going to outlaw lending, that we’ve already got “open-ended credit” in Virginia, and that he’s worked in the past to bring down interest rates on payday loans. Saslaw added that there’s only so much we can do to protect people from “entering into a foolish agreement.” And Saslaw strong refuted the charge that his support of this legislation had something to do with campaign contributions from the lending industry. Responding to a call-in question from Del. Glenn Oder (R-Newport News), Saslaw told him not to throw stones in glass houses.

    Finally, on the transportation funding package passed this session, Saslaw said that $3.2 billion of the $4.3 billion in borrowing would have happened anyway, per the 2007 transportation package signed by Tim Kaine. According to Saslaw, what the General Assembly did by passing Bob McDonnell’s plan was to take some of that money and move it up to 2011-2013. The problem is that in 2014-2016, “we’re not going to be able to do as much.”

    • How does it help Democrats win in 2012 or any other year to put down your fellow Democrats? And after the embarrassing session he had, who the hell is Dick Saslaw to criticize anybody? Jesus, stop talking.

    • FreeDem

      Seriously.

      If Dick loses a few seats he won’t be in the majority anymore! The Democratic majority hangs from a thread.  

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I get extremely tired of politicians – on a bipartisan basis – insisting that campaign contribution don’t sway their votes. Of course they do…either that or those corporate political purchasers are “entering into a foolish agreement.”

      As long as we have a system of elections that is funded the way ours is, we will have the fellow with the deep pockets getting favors and desired legislation.  

    • VaLiberal

      The Democrats need a bulldog in this job.  If he can’t take it seriously, maybe we need somebody else.

    • Peter 2010

      I also listened to the interview, and cringed multiple times. As I’ve posted here before, this guy is way past his sell-by date.

      At one time, maybe Saslaw’s “affectionate” nickname of “The Hammer” was a compliment. Now the only way in which he uses a hammer is to crash it unwittingly on his outstretched thumb.

      Charlie Sheen: move over. VA Senate Dems need a new leader but fast.  

    • Mallsus2

      there is a bigger drop from Perriello and McAuliffe down to Kaine.