The roots of Ken Cuccinelli’s 2.5 point loss to ultrapartisan national Democrat and Hillary Clinton stalking horse Terry McAuliffe were planted by Republican incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.
McDonnell began with a damn good start on state fiscal issues, cutting back runaway state overspending to balance the budget with no tax increases. But he finished by throwing in with the crony capitalist Northern Virginia business establishment, which always wants more tax increases (on others) to finance still more road building. McDonnell consequently ended his term by winning still another sales tax increase for roads, to further increase state spending on a Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce plan to pave over Northern Virginia.
These tax increasing crony capitalists have a long history of leading those who go along with their tax and spending schemes to political defeat in Virginia. McDonnell’s tax increasing sellout to them polluted the Republican brand just before Cuccinelli’s campaign began.
Arnold Schwarzenegger won re-election handily in 2006, defeating his hapless opponent Phil Angelides by a 56% to 38.9% margin. Yet this sizable win was a meaningless victory for the GOP. Similarly, Chris Christie’s thumping victory on Tuesday night over an equally forgettable candidate contains almost no national meaning, save that Chris Christie is good for Chris Christie. Like Schwarzenegger, Christie cruised to re-election not as a real Republican but as a preening non-partisan moderate. Like Schwarzenegger, Christie’s popularity hasn’t translated into any support for Republicans in his own legislature.
Which raises the question: How could Christie turn blue states red nationwide if he can’t turn his own legislature red?
Cuccinelli calls out the Party Animal on spending.