Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Scrambled Eggs With Cheese

Yesterday's post about fuel prices was apparently timely - in today's DNR there is "Schools Take On Rising Fuel Costs" detailing some of the actions that will likely help deal with soaring costs: turning off buses rather than idling in lines and delaying purchases of new buses (might be safety and economy foolish in the long run). It is smart to shut down rather than idle at a construction zone or delays longer than 30 seconds. An exchange student I met told me European motorists have for years shut down at stoplights and other long delays. High prices will likely force similar behavior changes among Americans. Heaven forbid we turn off the A/C.
Delegate Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) has joined a northern Virginia law firm in which his buddy David Albo (R-Fairfax) is a partner. No, he won't be making the long commute to NOVA to practice law, they'll open an office in Salem and take in an associate to free up time for Griffith's legislative work. Griffith is House majority leader and hopes to be speaker if the GOP can hold on to its dwindling majority. The firm does have a policy against lobbying the General Assembly - guess you don't have to lobby when you have roosters in the coop.
Yesterday a Republican member of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors was on the news talking roads and sent a not-so-subtle shot across Griffith's and other Republican delegates' bows. He noted roads are issue #1 with local governments and issue #1 with his constituents and doing nothing will be remembered in November, 2009. Wonder if Griffith, Saxman, Landes, Lohr, Cline, and others heard his clucking? Or if they cared?
What will the General Assembly do with transportation? After a day of posturing and laying out their turf, today should see some fireworks (just in time for the 4th). House Republicans will kill the governor's bill - the only question is, will it go quietly in a hostile committee or be a wild shootout on the floor of the House? Senate Democrats rightfully killed bills about using royalties from off-shore drilling to pay for transportation. At best those bills are premature since the issue is before Congress and no royalties exist; at worst blatant political posturing. There are multiple fracture lines in the General Assembly - the Senate is controlled by Democrats, the House by anti-tax Republicans; most Democrats want a statewide funding solution, many Republicans favor regional funding (aren't we one commonwealth?); and the perennial split between urban and rural legislators over how funding will be directed.
The supervisor is right - Virginians will watch as our legislators run around like chickens with their heads chopped off. Might be time for a new flock in '09.

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