On March 7, I posted about 2018 Virginia GOP U.S. Senate candidate Del. Nick Freitas (R-NRA) going on the John Fredericks Show and proceeding to warn his fierce rival for the nomination – Corey Stewart – in no uncertain terms that if Corey played rough, Freitas would play even rougher. As Freitas said in that interview, “I’m a man before I’m a politician. And if there’s certain things that you attack, prepare to get attacked back.” Freitas also alluded to attacks on street brawler Stewart to come, referring to “some of the baggage that is commonly associated with people running for office that have been in this business for decades.” Hmmm…what could that “baggage” possibly be?
Well now, after Freitas’ appearance yesterday on that same radio show (audio below), I think we can be pretty darn sure what at least one of Freitas’ main lines of attack on Corey Stewart will be – taxes, and specifically, Stewart’s history of raising taxes in Prince William County as long-time Chairman of the Board there. See below for the audio, as Freitas rips Stewart on this ever-so-sensitive subject among right-wing, anti-government Republicans. Here’s a key attack quote by Freitas (at around 13:16 in the audio):
“I would say, if taxes are higher as a result of your voting record, you can give me a variety of reasons why that’s so, but I’m going to question it. Because I can’t imagine when you look at government, whether it’s state, local, or federal, if you can’t find any areas where you can cut or become more efficient before you raise taxes on your citizens, again, I’m going to view that with skepticism.“
For good measure, Freitas twists the knife even further:
“…it becomes problematic if you’re on a platform of ‘I cut taxes’ but actually you’ve increased them several times, you’re going to have to find a way to explain that contradiction.”
Yep, them there’s serious fightin’ words among far-right Republicans vying to portray themselves to their “base” as the most extreme they can possibly be.
As if that’s not confrontational enough, check out what Freitas has to say about Stewart’s record, around 11:47 of the audio (bolding added by me for emphasis):
“I think that fundamentally on a lot of issues with respect to the appropriate role of government, Corey and I have some differences. As I look at his record on the Board of Supervisors, Corey and I would have differences with respect to what are the appropriate ways to tax people or what should tax cuts look like, what should tax policy look like? I think when it comes to government intervening in the economy, determining which businesses are going to have to do what or which businesses are going to potentially get subsidies, I think there’s some differences there as well. I do not like the idea of government picking winners and losers in the economy.”
Niiiice. Of course, from a Democratic perspective, it’s pop-up-some-hot-buttered-popcorn time, because the Republican U.S. Senate primary appears to be headed for a free-for-all, brouhaha, no-holds-barred/blood-on-the-floor melee, cage match, you name it.
Now, clearly, we progressives understand that taxes are necessary to fund critical services — education, police, transit, roads, parks, libraries, you name it. That’s called “reality,” also known as “behaving like responsible adults.” In stark contrast, far-right Republicans like Nick Freitas and Corey Freitas run around flapping their gums about slashing evilevilevil taxes, despite how badly doing so would hurt teachers, police, etc. And both, of course, can’t stop sucking up to Donald Trump and Paul Ryan/Mitch McConnell Republicans for cutting taxes for the very very rich – and basically screwing everyone else, while running up massive deficits and debt – at the end of 2017.
As for how the GOP primary plays out, it increasingly appears that Freitas is going to keep seizing on a serious weak spot for Corey Stewart – his record raising taxes as Chairman of the Board in Prince William County. The question is, when will Corey hit back? Perhaps Corey will show up with more than toilet paper at Saturday’s GOP debate to finally swing back at Nick, who seems dead set on going after Corey directly? Or not? We’ll see soon enough.
Last but not least, how pathetic is it that the supposedly “establishment”/”less extreme”/”more moderate” Republican candidate (Freitas) is apparently so afraid of neo-Confederate nutjob Corey that he is already going negative and trying to use Corey’s own playbook against him? I don’t know about you, but personally, as a Democrat who wants Tim Kaine to win YUGE this November, I’m going to sit back and savor every moment of this one.