Yesterday, after my podcast with Virginia's 2nd District Congressman Glenn Nye (aka, one of the most vulnerable congressmen in America), he posed a question to me:
"I find it interesting that Scott claims he's against any tax increase, as he pledged to the Hampton Roads Tea Party, yet he gave $10,000 in support of the 2002 Tax Referendum which would have raised taxes on transportation in Hampton Roads."
Fair question. So, I asked both the Rigell campaign and Karen Hurd, head of the Hampton Roads Tea Party, for their thoughts on the subject.
"Rigell did indeed give $10,000 to raise the sales tax in the YES Campaign in 2002. Now, 8 years later, he is on record with the Pledge to the People of the Second District to not raise taxes. Given the American public's abhorrence of increased taxes, and Rigell's repeated statements that he is opposed to tax increases across the board, the Hampton Roads Tea Party fully expects him to follow through on his pledge. If for some reason he fails to uphold his pledge, we will hold him accountable."
As the Hampton Roads Tea Party should.
I must say, though, that her comment almost sounds like an endorsement. Nowhere in the statement does it offer a caveat of "if Rigell is elected", or something of that effect. It almost reads to me like it's a forgone conclusion that Rigell is going to be the Congressman representing the 2nd Distirct, but I digress.
The bottom-line for the Tea Party is that they have one candidate who has pledged not to raise taxes. That candidate is not Glenn Nye.
Of course, the Rigell camp will parse the donation a little. They say that it was Rigell's company, not Rigell himself who gave the money to the campaign.
Jason Miyares, campaign manager, was a bit more emphatic (his bold, not mine):
It should be pointed out that Scott Rigell never personally donated to the YES Campaign, but one of his dealerships, of which he was not the sole owner at the time, did donate.
The bottom line is that Scott Rigell is the only candidate in this race who has signed a pledge never to raise taxes. He signed the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" and the no new taxes pledge was included in his Pledge to the People of the Second District. There is one candidate in this race who has voted for a $9.7 Billion tax increase on American businesses during a recession; that candidate is Democrat Glenn Nye. Raising taxes on American businesses is not the key to our economic recovery, and Glenn Nye's re-election means he will once again vote to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. Under her leadership we have seen over $3 trillion added to the national debt in less than 18 months, massive increases on taxes and regulation on our small business entrepreneurs, and a government take-over of our health care system. It is clear that the American people cannot afford another two years of a Pelosi/Nye Congress.
So, now that we see the response from the Tea Party and the Rigell campaign, I pose this question to Congressman Nye:
I share and appreciate your concern for possible tax increases, and appreciate your coming out in favor to extend the Bush Tax Cuts; but, in your asking me this question yesterday, does this mean you're prepared to also sign the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" or the Hampton Roads Tea Party pledge? After all, if you're committed to not raising taxes, signing the pledge should be rather easy.
Are you saying that raising taxes is inevitable, no matter who is elected? In your opinion, do you see it as highly likely that taxes will have to be raised during the next congress, meaning you're predisposed to doing so?
Methinks the Congressman doth protest too much - and it is a bit revealing.