Gas Tax Politics: Democrats Must Cave on Record Gas Tax

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    by Paul Goldman

    I know there are Virginia Bar rules against the firm of Morrissey and Goldman, LLC advertising for clients. But in the case of Cuccinelli vs Cuccinelli for Governor, the easy $10 million verdict, considering the legal fee, is worth the risk. We will promise to give 33% of the fee to worthy charities if the bar insists. Heck, we will do it anyway: this is easy money, it is almost shameful to get paid for this case.

    It is said “silence is golden.” Says who? In politics, on this issue of a record Gas Tax Increase, silence is like the money Bob Marshall wants Virginia to mint.  IT IS WORTHLESS POLITICALLY. Indeed, silence has cost Cuccinelli big time. Malpractice Zone time.

    Take This To The Bank: There is no scenario where any candidate running for Governor this year helps himself by supporting the Record Gas Tax Increase that passed the Senate. NONE, AS IN NO ONE, NOT UNDER ANY POSSIBLE POLITICAL SCENARIO.

    Therefore: Cuccinelli’s stance on the Record Gas Tax Increase defies political logic on any level.

    Senate Democrats have given him weeks to lead the fight against a record gas tax increase. Now, even rival Bill Bolling is FOR IT.

    For an underdog, it has been the gift that should have kept on giving. For a campaign in need of an issue – any issue to draw attention for a social agenda way too conservative for swing voters on an historical basis – the Gas Tax issue was a God send. I thought Republicans believed in GOD. Maybe not so much after all.

    I DEFY ANYONE IN EITHER PARTY, TO EXPLAIN HOW A CONSERVATIVE NOMINEE OF THE GOP COULD POSSIBLY BACK A RECORD GAS TAX INCREASE THIS YEAR. Yes, even if the Governor and the Speaker and House Republicans go crazy and back it.

    The price of gas has gone up roughly 100% since this time in Warner’s last term. It is on the high side again right now. The average swing voter is paying $1400 more to fill up the tank. Even using inflation adjusted numbers, the hit is $1,100.

    Anyone seen by the public as adding to the price increase risk a big backlash. The operative word in politics here: “seen” as in perception. Backing even a penny increase in the gas tax has a lot more than a penny’s worth of political risk.

    Like it or not: When you run for Governor, it is always 200-proof politics. Some hide it better than others, some are more honest about it than others. But the winners ALL do it. Terry has to oppose a record gas tax increase. Only a non-serious candidate like Bolling can possibly back it.

    Which brings me back to Cuccinelli: It takes a month to think about whether the campaign is going to oppose a record gas tax increase? This is one piece of the transportation puzzle that IS A NO BRAINER THIS YEAR.

    Which means: Cuccinelli has wasted a month, wasted day after day when he could be out there, on the side of the public, fighting a record increase in a tax the average working Virginian really, really doesn’t like.

    But liberals say: It doesn’t really add much to the increase in the price of gas. Go try to make that argument to the voters. Put that in a TV AD. Normally, I would say Cuccinelli would pay for it. But who knows, he might be running one of his own.

    My legal opinion: It has been nothing less than POLITICAL MALPRACTICE for the Cuccinelli campaign to have blown this opportunity. The law firm of Morrissey and Goldman handle all kinds of malpractice actions. We don’t discriminate on sexual orientation, race, religion, politics, whatever. If you need justice, come to us.

    Depending on the facts I figure we could win Cuccinelli a $10 million verdict given how much money he is going to waste because of it. Maybe $20 million.

    In all my years in Virginia politics, his campaign’s refusal to lead the fight against a record gas tax increase is the most baffling gubernatorial election strategy in my experience.

    My email is Goldmanusa@aol.com. If you can provide a worse case of campaign malpractice by a campaign for the presumptive nominee of a major party in Virginia, please email. Moreover, this is not a case of 20-20 hindsight as reader’s of this column on 200% proof politics know.