Home Transportation If McEachin Thinks Hybrid Tax is So Bad, Why’d He Vote for...

If McEachin Thinks Hybrid Tax is So Bad, Why’d He Vote for It?


the.biggest.loser-logo.jpgGov. Bob McDonnell’s transportation package included a new tax on hybrid cars, because apparently Virginia is not addicted enough to expensive energy that gives our kids asthma and fuels climate change. Democratic Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Scott Surovell, who wisely voted against the transportation package, launched a petition this week calling on Gov. McDonnell to veto the new tax on fuel-sippers.

Sen. Donald McEachin voted FOR the terrible transportation package. (Did I mention there’s plenty of evidence the gas tax cut will mean the same gas prices for Virginia drivers but a massive giveaway of higher profits for oil companies?) But today, McEachin sent an email claiming the hybrid tax, which made national headlines, was “hidden” in the transportation bill and linking not to the existing Democratic petition, but to a petition of his own calling for the hybrid tax’s repeal.

McEachin’s disingenuous email puts him in a long line of Virginia Democrats who’ve helped Republicans achieve their goals, then afterwards claim they wuz robbed (see: Mary Margaret Whipple on the Dominion re-regulation bill; anything Dick Saslaw has ever done). Why not just vote the right way in the first place? Dispiriting “leadership” like this is why Virginia Democrats turn out for Barack Obama but stay home for Creigh Deeds.

But it’s also an example of how too often, Virginia Democratic leaders would rather fight over the crown of the Biggest Loser than stand together to achieve bigger victories. Is this about delivering wins to middle-class families to improve our roads and public transit and lower energy costs, or using losses to add a couple of names to your email list?

  • FreeDem

    I know many progressives in Virginia view McEachin as a hero, especially given the warm feelings generated by his primary victory that brought him to the State Senate. But I’m starting to question his leadership. I know he tends to have the right priorities on most issues, but I can’t find much evidence that he’s particularly effective in anything.

  • DJRippert

    Donnie Mac was one of the State Senators who voted against Chap Petersen’s sensible proposed constitutional amendment to provide sunset provisions to state tax breaks for corporations (SJ281).  Petersen’s proposed amendment would have allowed the General Assembly to continue handing out selective tax breaks to their friends and family.  However, it would require that those tax breaks end after five years unless the General Assembly overtly votes for an extension.  Petersen says the lack of a sunset provision costs the state $2B per year in lost revenue.

    $2B per year!

    Here is the senate vote.


    Interesting to see the so-called progressives like McEachin and Janet Howell run away from limits on corporate welfare.

    $2B per year pays for the state’s additional needs in transportation and provides another vast sum for education – all with no tax increase, no hybrid tax, etc.

    Am I missing something or is the State Senate really that corrupt?

  • The Richmonder

    We need to impose a tax on feet to make those pesky, freeloading pedestrians pay their fair share.

  • To:      Members of the Senate of Virginia

    From:  Jeff Painter

    Date:    01/31/2013

    Re:      Position on Legislation

    The Senate of Virginia is scheduled to consider SJR 281 (Second Reading – Contested Calendar) on Friday, February 1st. We encourage you to OPPOSE SJR 281.

    We will continue to provide updates for your consideration during session.  A current bill chart may be found at http://www.valcv.org, by clicking “VALCV 2013 Legislative Positions.” Thank you for your consideration.

    S.J.R. 281 (Petersen) Constitutional amendment; tax credits.              OPPOSE

    Provides that no tax credit shall remain in effect longer than five years unless it is reenacted by the General Assembly. Targets proven long-standing tax credit programs such as Agricultural Best Management Practices and Land Preservation to expire.

    ·      Two long-range programs, the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit and the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, may suffer greatly as a result of this legislation.

       Virginia, through the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit program, has been able to permanently protect more than 619,000 acres of farmland, open space, historic battlefields and forestland.

       The Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program, during its first fifteen years, has generated a statewide economic impact of $3.62 billion. For every $1 million spent on rehabilitation, 15.6 jobs are created in the construction industry and 14.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

    ·      If the Generally Assembly finds that certain programs are not effective or is in need of reform, then it may vote to change or eliminate those specific programs, such as it is doing this session via HB 2047 relating to the long-term health care insurance tax credit program.

    ·      SJR 281 is opposed by the Piedmont Environmental Council, The Natural Conservancy, Preservation Virginia, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and the Civil War Trust

    Thank you for your consideration. I hope we can count on your support.

    Jeffrey L. Painter

    Executive Director

    Virginia League of Conservation Voters

  • kindler

    …that too many Democratic politicians just don’t understand how to win at the game of politics.  They don’t lay down firm goals, don’t mobilize their constituencies to push for these goals, don’t play hardball, don’t stay on offense and then give in to easily.  And herd the sheep to support whatever lousy result the leaders managed to mis-negotiate.  

    And so, we are the party of half a loaf.  

    It’s pretty amazing, especially considering that this was the same term in which the Repubs pulled that amazing trick of trying to force a fully-fleshed-out unconstitutional redistricting plan down the Democrats’ throat while one was away.  Even after that, they STILL didn’t learn their lesson.

    One thing that greatly impresses me is how well Obama learned his lessons from his first term, and has adjusted how he deals with the Cro-Magnon party.  We need to be the ones on permanent offense, put them on permanent defense and not let them lead us around by the noses.