Bill Howell: Above Politics?
As embattled House Speaker Bill Howell clings tenuously to his shrinking majority, he has attempted to lay preemptive blame for Virginia’s transportation crisis on Democrats – before a plan has even been introduced.
You’ll excuse us if his complaints ring hollow, since Bill Howell is no stranger to playing politics when he lacks the will to offer a solution.
Bill Howell on fixing transportation:
“‘It makes you wonder if, in fact, this is all to put it off to the 2009 election’ and try to use the issue to attack GOP House candidates, Howell said.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/3/08]
Bill Howell on property tax relief:
“House Speaker Bill Howell admitted to Chamber of Commerce leaders last month that a plan to discount property taxes would penalize Virginia’s businesses and harm its communities. In the same breath, however, Howell said he would do nothing to stop a bad idea from becoming law. His reasoning: ‘My guys are up for election next year.'” [Virginian-Pilot, 2/10/08]
“Republicans would not stand in the way of the proposal, Howell said, because doing so would be used against by political opponents. ‘You’ve got to look at the politics of it,’ he told a crowd of about 250 gathered at the Library of Virginia. ‘My guys are up for election next year.'” [Sun Gazette, 1/25/08]
“The Speaker of the House came to us and said, ‘We’d like you to kill this bill in the Senate.’ There was a bill in the House as well. One of my guys stood up and said, ‘You’re going to kill it in the House too, right?’ ‘Oh, no, we’re up for re-election in 2009, we can’t vote against a tax cut.’ And sure enough, they passed it.” [Sen. Tommy Norment, Virginia Gazette, 3/22/08]