Kenney and his promises
1. He wants to pass a law that says life begins at conception.
2. Wants a "taxpayer bill of rights" that caps local property tax increases by 5% and repeal the $1.4 billion increase from last year.
His opponent, Bobby Orrock, contends on the first point that legislators shouldn't pass laws that the medical community doesn't even agree on. My problems are first and foremost: What exactly will this bill accomplish?
When exactly will conception be defined? If the morning after pill is a target, conception doesn't always occur immediately but can take several days. If abortion is the target then the bill is in for a rough time.
For the second point, Orrock raises a valid point: Depriving the state government of needed revenues and depriving local government of their most important source of funding is not fiscally responsible.
First, the obvious question: What gets cut? Head start programs? Are we going to put state troopers with families to support on food stamps (again that's inherently fiscally irresponsible), are we going to increase college tuition even more? For local areas, especially Spotsylvania, how are you going to take care of the dire transportation and land-use quagmire that is the Route 3 corridor?
Additionally, the car-tax repeal has already stressed local governments because that was the other way to get revenue. Now they must rely on the state to give them that money. Without sufficient real-estate tax revenue and a state budget decrease, how is Spotsylvania going to pay for the school voucher program and tax credits you're proposing? You can't promise increased services with decreased revenues without explaining how you will pay for them.
Finally, the most obvious flaw that's been discussed in various parts of the blogosphere: Limiting the real-estate tax increase isn't enough - counties can just assess your home even higher to make up the difference. That fact is fairly transparent to voters. Besides, why not leave that debate up to the gubernatorial candidates? Focus on issues pertninent to your district... real issues that affect daily life and then explain how you will pay for them and enanct them.
By painting himself as yet another radical Dick Black-wannabe and not answering how he proposes to actually pay for his "taxpayer bill of rights", Kenney has revealed that should he be elected, the 54th district will receive a legislator who garners a lot of press coverage without results.
Note to all politicians: It's one thing to make promises to get elected (hint: stating that you're not making promises "just to get elected" is like when I get a credit card offer and the envelope says "Do Not Discard", I see right through the bunk... ) but Richmond often serves as a wake-up call. The state is mandated to balance its budget, and local governments are tired of having the burden pushed on them. Folks like me are also tired of all this time spent on issues that don't affect me or 99% of everyone else.
Why not focus on ways to provide health insurance to people who can't afford it? Why not focus on ways to create affordable housing (I want to move back up to Fredericksburg but currently cannot afford to buy a house there)? Why not work on ways to better public education (instead of offering band-aid solutions)?
As a FredTalk user said: "...as a conservative, I am pretty uncomfortable with Shaun's candidacy... I don't think District 54 needs an inexperienced delegate who needs to do some serious learning on the job."