One possible problem for Hurt’s candidacy is that he voted in favor of a $1.4 billion tax increase in 2004 that closed a gap in Virginia’s budget that threatened the state’s AAA bond rating and increased spending on education, public safety and mental health services.
The tax increase has been a sore spot for the Republican rank-and-file ever since. The issue has come up, for example, in this year’s gubernatorial race between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. McDonnell has criticized Deeds for backing the 2004 vote, saying it was the largest tax increase in Virginia’s history — and unnecessary.
The response I see everywhere, although often from the same one or two individuals, is that we MUST defeat Tom Perriello and Hurt is the ONLY Republican who can do so. Or at least the BEST challenger.
Look, winning isn't everything. It's the only thing. But you've got to know how to play the game. The game isn't over after the election. That's just the first half.
After a series of Democrat victories in Congressional elections and the election of Barack Obama Republicans could have just given up. Oh, we lost, that's it. Guess we'll just roll over and play dead until 2010. Although I have a lot of problems with the Republican leadership, they have not given up in fighting Obama and the Democrats tooth and nail. And the grassroots movement of Tea Party members and other American patriots fed up with big government have their back.
Elections are important. They are the foundation of our representative democracy. But once you get elected the battle has just begun. You have lobbyists, special interest groups, newspaper editorials, pundits, constituents, and your own Congressional peers all applying pressure to you. You think an election's bad? Try being a member of Congress.
Well, try being a member of Congress that worries about doing the right thing. If you don't worry about doing the right thing, if you don't worry about your constituents, you can just kick your feet up on your desk and wait to go vote the way Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner tell you to. No worries. But you no longer are an independence voice advocating for your constituents.
Being a conservative is about more than having the R next to your name on the ballot. It means you are an independent thinker that stands up to the leadership of either party, Democrat or Republican, when they do the wrong thing. It means having a spine.
It means not buckling under pressure and voting for the largest tax increase in the history of Virginia.
The problem with RINOs like Rob Hurt and Dede Scozzafava up in upstate New York is that they buckle and give cover to Democrat legislation. Not only was Warner able to get through his massive tax increase he was able to claim it was bipartisan. And Hurt helped make that possible.
Is that the type of man we want to send to Congress to fight with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama? Hurt would have a big bulls-eye on his back telling liberals that he's the guy to put pressure on and get to buckle when you want your legislation to be "bipartisan."
So if all you care about is defeating Tom Perriello, go ahead, support Rob Hurt. But if you want to actually win and push a conservative agenda in Congress, keep your options open.