Governor Tim Kaine in Bristol VA




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Originally uploaded by Thirdlayer

It was great to have Governor Tim Kaine here again with us in Bristol! Here he is walking with Mayor Edward K. Harlow at the 2012 Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

George Allen criticizes… George Allen’s poor leadership

July 11, 2012
Ashley Bauman

Richmond, VA – Yesterday, on a radio show based in his home state of California, former Senator George Allen discussed the impending sequestration cuts that his budget-busting fiscal recklessness helped necessitate, calling them “another example of poor leadership.”

“Poor leadership?” We’re pretty sure George Allen knows a thing or two about that.

“Poor leadership” is driving up the nation’s deficits and debt like Allen did as Senator and then leaving future leaders to clean up your mess.

“Poor leadership” is digging in your heels and calling for Republicans to use the debt crisis as “leverage” like Allen did when countless members of both parties – including Governor Bob McDonnell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – have called for compromise.

“Poor leadership” is contributing to the downgrade of the nation’s credit rating like Allen did by refusing to stand up for a bipartisan agreement to pay for the spending he voted for in the first place.

“Poor leadership” is pointing your finger at others for political gain like George Allen has done instead of taking responsibility for the fiscal recklessness that helped run up our debt in the first place.

“Poor leadership” is maxing out the nation’s credit card like Allen did in the Senate and then complaining about the cuts that resulted in an effort to deal with his runaway spending.

Despite his blame-shifting rhetoric, George Allen had six years to put this country on a better fiscal path and he wound up making this worse. Virginians can’t afford to trust him with another six. ###

VA GOP Throws Cantor Under the Bus on Debt Deal

Brian Coy
July 12, 2012

Richmond, VA – This afternoon the Republican Party of Virginia released statements from Governor Bob McDonnell, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli condemning looming defense cuts that are part of the deal negotiated by Congress to force automatic cuts after the failure of the bipartisan “supercommittee.”

The release condemns the deal as a threat to national security and Virginia’s economy. It does not however state whether the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Attorney General called House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and condemned him personally for negotiating the deal and ensuring its passage, or if they decided to let him find out like the rest of us.

Also missing from the release is an explanation of how Republican congressmen Scott Rigell, Bob Goodlatte, Robert Hurt, Frank Wolf and Rob Wittman responded to their own party attacking them for voting to “weaken national security” as McDonnell says they did.

McDonnell, Cuccinelli and Bolling’s rabid, bipartisan attack on the debt deal would be bad enough if it didn’t conveniently dismiss the reason the deal was necessary – Republican refusal to prioritize the needs of, as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta put it, “the poor, middle-class Americans, homeowners and other vulnerable parts of our American constituencies,” ahead of big oil companies and millionaires benefitting from taxpayer handouts.

Finally, the GOP press release today also did not cover how any Republican who has endorsed former Senator George Allen to return to the U.S. Senate can talk about responsible spending with a straight face.

It is after all Allen’s gross fiscal recklessness that helped turn a record surplus into a massive deficit, add $3 trillion to the federal debt and set the stage for the debt deal in the first place.

There is no denying that the public needs responsible adults to come to the table and find a balanced approach to meeting this challenge. Regrettably that’s more than they can expect from Republicans like McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli. ###

George Allen’s votes against veterans

April 19, 2012
by Brian Coy

Richmond, VA – As Tim Kaine held a roundtable with veterans yesterday and earned the endorsement of VETPAC, a national veterans group dedicated to standing up for those who serve, one of his Republican opponents George Allen continued his reelection strategy of denying his record of voting against veterans programs and benefits like TRICARE.

Yesterday, Allen told a Norfolk TV station, “I think it’s absolutely wrong for America to do anything other than keep her promises to veterans and families for the benefits they have earned. That’s my record, that’s my promise, that’s my pledge, and that’s what I aim to do as a US Senator.”

The only problem?

During his six years in the Senate, Allen voted against investments in programs like TRICARE, health care for troops, and housing assistance. Allen’s newfound commitment would be a lot easier to believe if he had the record to back it up.

“It should come as no surprise that George Allen repeatedly chose to protect corporate tax loopholes for special interests while voting to deny investments in our veterans’ health care, but it is disturbing that he is so comfortable flat out denying that record,” said DPVA Executive Director David Mills.

“Between his claims of fiscal responsibility after he voted for $3 trillion in new debt and to raise his own pay and his continued effort to paper over his votes against the best interests of men and women who serve, Virginians simply can’t trust the words that come out of George Allen’s mouth. Fortunately, the votes speak for themselves, even if they tell a markedly different story than Allen’s campaign rhetoric.”

ALLEN VOTED AGAINST MEASURES TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR VETERANS AND TROOP HEALTH CARE BENEFITS, INCLUDING TRICARE:

  • 2006: Allen Voted Against Measure To Increase TRICARE Funding And Block Fee And Co-Payment Increases. In 2006, Allen voted against an amendment that would have put more money into Tricare, and would have blocked a Bush administration proposal to raise fees and co-payments for younger retirees on Tricare. The amendment would have been paid for by closing tax loopholes. Republicans DeWine and Chafee voted for the amendment, which failed 46-53. Allen voted no. [Roll Call Vote No. 67, 3/16/06]
  • Amendment Allen Opposed Would Have Closed Tax Loopholes And Raised $10.4 Billion For TRICARE And Blocked Bush Proposal To Increase Tricare Fees. The Navy Times reported, “Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., offered an amendment that would have blocked a Bush administration proposal to increase health care fees and co-payments for military retirees under age 65 who are covered by Tricare, but that amendment was defeated by a 53-46 vote. Kerry’s amendment would have closed tax loopholes to raise $10.4 billion over five years as an alternative to increasing Tricare fees for younger retirees.” [Navy Times, 3/27/06]
  • 2003: Allen Voted Against Increasing Spending On Military Health Care By $21 Billion. On March 25, 2003, Allen voted against increased spending on military health care that was offset by a reduction in tax cuts. The amendment increased spending on the TRICARE program by $21 billion over 10 years to give members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families greater access to the health care program. More than 20 percent of those in the National Guard and Reserves do not have health insurance. [Vote 81, 3/25/03; Blanche Lincoln, Floor Statement, 3/25/03]
  • 2006: Allen Voted Against Increasing Veterans Health Care. In 2006, Allen voted against an amendment to fund veterans’ health care. The purpose of the measure was: “To provide an assured stream of funding for veteran’s health care that will take into account the annual changes in the veteran’s population and inflation to be paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy.” [Vote 63, 3/16/06]
  • 2006: Allen Rejected $1.5 Billion for Veterans’ Health Care Paid For By Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes. During debate on the FY 2007 budget resolution, Allen voted to kill an amendment that would have closed corporate tax loopholes in order to increase veterans’ health care funding by $1.5 billion. [Vote 41, 3/14/06; Spokesman-Review, 3/15/06]
  • 2006: Allen Voted Against Prioritizing Veterans’ Health Care Over Millionaire Tax Cuts. In February 2006, Allen voted against a motion to instruct conferees on the 2006 tax cut package to insist that the conference report include funding to support health needs of veterans and military personnel in lieu of an extension of tax breaks for millionaires. The motion’s sponsor explained that the money saved by rolling back tax cuts for just 0.2% of all taxpayers could be used to pay for veterans’ health care and disability payments for veterans. [Vote 15, 2/13/06; Dodd Floor Speech, 2/13/06]
  • 2006: Allen Voted Against $19 Billion Hike in Veterans’ Health Care Funding. In February 2006, Allen voted against an amendment that would have provided at least $19 billion for military and veterans hospitals, to be offset by rolling back tax cuts for millionaires. According to an official from the American Legion, the proposed funding “acknowledges the need for adequate funding to ensure our nation’s veterans receive the healthcare and other benefits to which they are entitled.” [Vote 7, 2/2/06; Dodd Floor Speech, 2/2/06]
  • 2005: Allen Voted Against Mandatory Veterans’ Health Care Funding. In October 2005, Allen voted against establishing a funding formula for veterans’ health care that would keep pace with inflation and population growth. [Vote 251, 10/5/05; CQ Today, 10/5/05]
  • 2005: Allen Rejected $500 Million a Year for Vets’ Mental Health Care. In November 2005, Allen killed a proposal to provide an additional $500 million a year over five years for veterans’ mental health services, to be offset by rolling back tax cuts for millionaires. [Vote 343, 11/17/05]
  • 2005: Allen Voted Against Providing An Additional $10 Million For The Readjustment Counseling Service. In 2005, Allen voted against the Akaka amendment that would provide an additional $10 million for the Readjustment Counseling Service, offset with a $10 million reduction in the HealthVet account. The amendment was rejected, 48-50. [Vote 242, 9/22/05]
  • 2005: Allen Twice Supported the FY06 Budget Resolution That Cut Funding for Veterans. The Senate Republicans’ initial FY06 budget resolution slashed domestic discretionary programs by $204 billion over five years, including significant cuts to veterans’ benefits. Arguing against the budget, the leader of the American Legion said, “No veteran should be shortchanged by those in Congress with higher national priorities than the ongoing cost of war.” The final version of the budget included $212 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary programs, including veterans’ health care. Twice, Allen voted in favor of the budget. [Vote 81, 3/17/05; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/1/05; American Legion Press Release, 3/18/05; Vote 114,4/28/05; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/6/05; Congressional Record, 4/28/05]
  • 2005: Allen Voted Against $2.8 Billion for Veteran Health Care. In 2005, Allen voted against an amendment that would increase funding for veterans health care by $2.8 billion for fiscal 2006 and reduce the deficit by $2.8 billion. [Vote 55, 3/16/05]
  • Allen Voted Against $610 Million Funding Hike for Troop Health Care. In 2005, Allen voted against increasing funding for the health care needs of U.S. service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan by $610 million. The same amendment Allen opposed would have increased funding for veterans’ health care, and it was strongly supported by the Disabled Veterans of America, who said the funding was “urgently needed to stem the flow of red ink that threatens health care for today’s veterans and thousands of men and women injured and disabled during the war in Iraq andAfghanistan.” [Vote 89, 4/12/05; Disabled Veterans of America Release, 4/14/05]
  • 2004: Allen Opposed Mandatory Full Funding of Veterans Health Care. In 2004, Allen helped defeat an amendment that would ensure that all veterans have access to the health services and prescription drugs they need and deserve. The amendment would have established a new funding process intended to guarantee Veterans health programs are fully funded. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that this amendment would permit another 3 million veterans to receive pharmaceutical and health services from the VA. [S 2400, Vote 145, 6/23/04]
  • 2004: Allen Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Medical Care by $1.8 Billion. In 2004, Allen voted against an amendment to create a reserve fund to allow for an increase in veterans’ medical care by $1.8 billion. The spending would have been offset by revenue increases. [Vote 40, 3/10/04]
  • 2004: Allen Voted Against Reducing Taxes to Pay for Veterans’ Health Care. In 2004, Allen voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans’ medical care by $2.7 billion and lower the national debt by reducing the President’s tax breaks for taxpayers with incomes in excess of $1 million a year. [Vote 34, 3/9/04]
  • 2003: Allen Opposed $1 Billion For Veterans. During debate on the FY 2004 budget resolution, Allen opposed an amendment that would have increased veterans’ funding by $1 billion, to be offset by rolling back tax cuts. [Vote 74, 3/21/03]
  • 2001: Allen Chose Tax Cuts for the Rich Instead of Health Care for Veterans. In 2001, Allen voted against an amendment to increase funding for Veteran’s health care by $1.7 billion. The budget resolution’s funding level was inadequate to meet the needs of veteran’s health programs, according to a budget authored by forty veteran’s organizations and medical societies. [H Con Res 83, Vote 84, 4/6/01]
  • 2001: Allen Voted Against $650 Million for Medical Spending For Veterans. In 2001, Allen voted against an amendment that would increase the amount provided to the Veterans Health Administration for medical care by $650 million, for a total of $22.020 billion. No offsets would be provided to pay for the increased cost. The bill would already provide an increase of $1.1 billion for veterans’ medical care, and it will provide that increase within its budget allocation. [HR 2620, Vote 263, 8/1/01]

ALLEN VOTED AGAINST INCREASED FUNDING FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT:

  • 2005: Allen Voted Against Increasing Funding For The Veterans Affairs Department By $1.98 Billion. In 2005, Allen voted against consideration of Murray amendment which would have increased funding for the Veterans Affairs Department by $1.98 billion and designate it as emergency spending. It would stipulate that $840 million be used for veterans regional health networks; $610 million be used to address the needs of service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan; and $525 million be used to provide mental health care and treatment. [HR 1268, Vote 89, 4/12/05, Passed 46-54, D:44-0, R:1-54, I:1-0]

ALLEN VOTED AGAINST EXEMPTING MILITARY PERSONNEL & VETERANS FROM MEANS TESTING IN BANKRUPTCY CASES:

  • 2005: Allen Voted Against Exempting All Military Personnel & Veterans From Bankruptcy Means Test. In March 2005, Allen voted against an amendment that would have on exempted all military personnel and veterans from means testing in bankruptcy cases. “Many men and women in the military are making extraordinary sacrifices,” Sen. Dick Durbin said. “It’s unfair that they should come home to face this new harsh bankruptcy law.” The means testing was intended to determine whether people would need to repay their debts or whether they could see their debts canceled. Instead of supporting Durbin’s proposal, Republicans chose to provide special accommodations for some military members and veterans. [Vote 13, 3/1/05; Associated Press, 3/1/05]

ALLEN VOTED AGAINST TAX CREDITS FOR HIRING HOMELESS VETERANS:

  • 2001: Allen Voted Against Enacting A Tax Credit For Hiring Homeless Veterans. Allen voted against waiving the Budget Act for the consideration of the Boxer amendment (No. 767) to the Tax Relief Act of 2001 (H.R. 1836). The Boxer amendment would enact changes related to arsenic in drinking water. On May 24, 2001, the amendment was modified by unanimous consent to strike the provisions related to arsenic and in lieu thereof to insert substitute provisions. Those provisions would enact a new tax credit to encourage employers to hire homeless veterans. To offset the cost, the proposed tax relief for the top bracket would be reduced. The motion was rejected, 49-50. [Vote 148, 85/ (Motion rejected 49-50: R 1-48; D 48-2 (ND 40-1, SD 8-1)), S. Amdt. 767, Senate RPC, 5/22/01]

Allen defends taxpayer handouts for big oil as gas prices climb

March 26, 2012
Brian Coy, brian@vademocrats.org

Richmond, VA – As families and businesses across Virginia and the nation cope with rising gas prices, the U.S. Senate is considering a logical step to eliminate taxpayer giveaways to the largest U.S. oil companies that reap huge profits while Americans suffer.

The commonsense Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act is an important opportunity for elected leaders and candidates running for office to demonstrate that they stand with Virginia families and refuse to shower highly profitable oil companies with more taxpayer money. Or it should be anyway.

Unfortunately, George Allen is running for reelection on a record of voting for these exact types of taxpayer handouts to oil companies and a platform of defending them, ridiculing efforts to repeal them and attacking clean, renewable energy and the jobs that come with it.

“George Allen’s entire career has been defined by his loyalty to big oil companies that pay his salary and bankroll his campaigns, and his reelection campaign is no different,” said DPVA Executive Director David Mills. “As Virginians pay more and more to big oil companies at the pump, they deserve better than a Senator who thinks highly profitable oil companies deserve billions of their tax dollars too.”

Background:

  • Allen Has Accepted $498,597 From The Oil And Gas Industry. Since beginning his congressional career, Allen has accepted $498,597 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 3/26/11]
  • 2005: Allen Opposed Amendment To Repeal $2 Billion In Oil And Gas Subsidies. In November 2005, the Senate failed to adopt an amendment to reduce the deficit by roughly $2 billion by repealing tax deductions granted to major integrated oil companies for intangible drilling and exploration costs. Allen voted no. [Vote 332, 11/17/05]
  • 2006: Allen Supported Tax Bill Containing More Than $5 Billion In Tax Breaks For Big Oil Companies. In May 2006, the Senate adopted the final version of a $70 billion tax cut package that included benefits for big oil. According to the Boston Globe, “Big oil companies won their push to keep intact accounting changes that stand to net them $5.1 billion.”The oil industry loopholes were removed from the original Senate version of the bill in February 2006, but after heavy lobbying by the industry, Congressional negotiators reinserted them into the final bill. Allen voted yea. [Vote 118, 5/11/06; Boston Globe, 5/12/06; Washington Post, 4/26/06]
  • 2011: Allen Opposed Effort To Roll Back Tax Breaks For Big Oil Companies, Called It A “Political Stunt.” The Free-Lance Star reported, “U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine says he backs a push by Senate Democrats to end subsidies for oil companies. . Allen spokeswoman Katie Wright said, “Even some Senate Democrats realize this is a political stunt that will do nothing to bring down the price of gas for struggling families.” [The Free Lance-Star, 5/13/11]