Tim Kaine: Catholic of Convenience

One surefire way to spot an election year is to check Tim Kaine’s closet. If he’s been rummaging around inside, looking for his clerical collar, someone is going to be voting in November. This time Kaine is being introduced to a new, nationwide electorate as the senator from Virginia joins Hillary Clinton on the Democrat ticket.

tim-kaine-catholic-protestKaine’s role in 2016 is an expansion of his usual Virginia performance as “designated Christian.” His nationwide rollout as the theological counterpoint to Hillary’s aggressively secular reputation generates unintentionally funny coverage. Kaine’s being a Christian and a Democrat is so novel, it’s newsworthy!

The media’s sympathetic coverage treats publicly announcing your belief in God is a disability that successful politicians work to overcome. That’s why a candidate caught with a church bulletin in his briefcase is geometrically more frightening to the Bernie Bros and the rest of the pagan Democrat base than Tim Kaine in a turban and a suspiciously bulky down jacket in August.

Independents are the real target for Kaine and that’s why he’s being introduced to them like he’s a man of the cloth. Already the Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio have called him a “devout Catholic” and other publications talk about his “[balancing his] catholic faith with Democrat politics.”

Yet somehow over the years when Kaine’s faith is weighed in that balance it always tilts toward Democrat orthodoxy and Christian heresy.

The truth is Tim Kaine is a devout Catholic like Judas was a devout follower of Jesus.

Judas’ willing participation in one big death rent the curtain guarding the Holy of Holies, while Kaine’s equally willing participation in millions abortion deaths rends our social fabric today.

Kaine finesses the Bible and his Catholic church’s prohibition against abortion with the same shuffle that Mario Cuomo tried in the 70’s. Kaine claims to be “strongly opposed” to abortion, but according to the Monitor, “he describes these convictions as personal beliefs. In accord with the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion, he doesn’t think the government has the right to dictate such an intimate decision for women.”

What this means is for Kaine when it comes to deciding how he will respond to the life or death of the unborn a judicial robe trumps priestly vestments.

Kaine is both wrong and actively misleading the public. Deciding to become a vegan is a personal belief. Belief in the sanctity of innocent life is being obedient to the call of Christ. A person who sincerely personally opposes abortion doesn’t have a 100 percent voting record with the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood.

Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis spent five days in jail defending the sanctity of marriage. Tim Kaine doesn’t have the courage to cast five votes to defend the sanctity of life.

There is nothing preventing Kaine from voting his conscience and opposing public funding for abortions. Or allowing Christian organizations to decide what medical procedures the company will cover, but Kaine’s votes are laid before the altar of abortion.

There is nothing preventing Kaine from joining thousands of other Catholics during the Right to Life March, yet the event somehow never makes it on his calendar.

The issues where Kaine does choose to highlight his flexible faith mark him as a Comintern Catholic who has adopted the Left’s “social justice” agenda. In Kaine’s view God needs to get with the program and move faster. Like ISIS, he wants to use the power of government inaugurate a paradise on earth, only without the public executions.

If men won’t change their hearts on their own Kaine, like Hillary, is happy to do it for them.

Marvin Olasky talks about college students functioning in an environment hostile to their belief when he says: “The milder form of surrender is to see the Bible as personally meaningful but irrelevant to public discussion. That’s also destructive to faith in Christ’s lordship.”

The same admonition applies to Kaine.

Kaine is a Catholic as long as it’s convenient. But faith always takes a seat in the back of the bus when it starts to interfere with his career as a Democrat professional politician. It’s time to tell Kaine he can’t have it both ways. If his faith isn’t strong enough to guide his voting record and his witness on issues that affect God’s kingdom, then he needs to leave his clerical collar in the closet and stop clinging to Jesus’ coattails.

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Amnesty: The Next GOP Leadership Betrayal

House GOP leaders prepare to negotiate amnesty with Democrats

House GOP leaders prepare to negotiate amnesty with Democrats

House Republican leadership is preparing to betray the base. Again. To illustrate the magnitude of the sellout I was going to use a hypothetical analogy with Democrats and their base. Initially I was going to posit that Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Secular) had changed his mind about abortion.

For years Kaine has said that although he’s personally opposed to abortion, he is not willing to impose his beliefs on a ‘woman’s right to choose.’ Essentially confessing that his Catholic faith is not strong enough to get in the way of his political ambitions. (In his last campaign he became even more weaselly, saying he didn’t want to stand in the way of a woman exercising her “constitutional choices,” unless the choice involved a handgun.)

In my hypothetical Kaine would announce he had decided that what the Catholic Church teaches and the Bible says is the truth and he will no longer support any abortion unless it is to save the life of the mother. Kaine would also declare that he will no longer vote for any taxpayer dollars to be given to Planned Parenthood since both his beliefs and opinion polls show Americans don’t think tax money should pay for or help support abortion facilities.

It’s a great analogy but it has one problem: No one, but no one would believe it. The Democrat base worships at the altar of abortion. The analogy is too fantastic for even temporary suspension of disbelief. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, put it nicely this week: “So what’s the difference between Boehner and Pelosi and McConnell and Reid? Answer: The Democratic leadership honors its promises. Republican leaders have abandoned theirs.”

This House GOP leadership betrayal is passage of an amnesty bill, probably before the November election. Erosion in GOP leadership backbones started with Paul Ryan (R–Cheese Brains) when he began talking about a path to citizenship for illegals. Speaker John Boehner (R–Tanning Bed) went back and forth on “immigration reform.” And now House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R–Sellout) says the leadership supports an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals that includes tighter border enforcement as a sop to conservatives.

This means Boehner and his merry men pay far more attention to agitation from people who shouldn’t be in the country than they do to conservative citizens. And unprincipled businessmen who want a steady supply of imported serfs to compete with and lower the wages of US citizens are far more influential than mere voters.

National Republicans are forever pursuing the ‘independent voter’ at the expense of the base. GOP campaigns downplay ‘social issues’ in an effort to appeal to the uncommitted vote. Democrats on the other hand solidify their base first and then move to the independents. You think that might be why they win elections?

Besides the betrayal of the base, which is bad enough, what political goal do these masterminds in House leadership (to borrow an adjective from Mark Levin) think they are going to accomplish?

Boehner has picked an issue that was a failure the last time Republicans supported it. Ronald Reagan signed a one–time–only–amnesty–that–will­–also–seal–the–border–tighter–than–a–teenage–miniskirt.

The results of that amnesty were threefold:

  1. The bill gave citizenship to people who came and stayed illegally
  2. It produced millions of new votes for Democrats
  3. Legalized an influx of low–skill labor for employers that served to reduce wage rates for          citizens
  4. It attracted another 12 million illegals who came after and who want their amnesty now.

Does Boehner expect amnesty to make inroads into the Hispanic vote? There is evidence in California that has a direct bearing, not that he will pay any attention. Hispanics now make up the largest ethic group in the state as a result of Reagan’s amnesty and the subsequent Democrat failure to seal the border. Today there is not one Republican statewide official in office. California is a GOP desert as Hispanics proved singularly ungrateful.

Does Boehner think amnesty will improve the party’s image among independents? Today’s Gallup poll lists a total of 3 percent of the populace ranking immigration “reform” as a top priority and I’m guessing all their names began with Jesus.

Does Boehner think amnesty will mean more contributions from big business? That’s possible and it may last a cycle or two, but once the amnestied voters gravitate to the Democrats, Republicans will start losing. And the Business Roundtable doesn’t back or finance losers for long.

Amnesty is a payoff to big business, Democrat interest groups and tribal voters. There is no compelling Republican rationale for passage either morally or politically.

Immigration polling, which has evidently frightened the GOP leadership, is dishonest. Respondents are offered choices that simply don’t exist here in reality land, as Ann Coulter pointed out. For instance the Public Religion Research Institute proclaims, “This support for a path to citizenship has remained unchanged from earlier this year, when in both March and August 2013 an identical number (63%) supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.”

Yet their poll offers three choices that are false or too general to be useful: “become citizens provided they meet certain requirements,” “become permanent legal residents but not citizens” or “Identify and deport them.”

“Certain requirements” is not defined and therefore is useless in determining public policy. Poll respondents can interpret “certain requirements” in a number of ways ranging from “learn to speak English like Tom Brokaw & pay back taxes and a fine” to “stand in a long line for an autographed photo of Obama.”

“Legal residents but not citizens” is an outcome that creates a permanent helot class that won’t survive the first Democrat Congress. And no sane conservative has ever advocated mass deportation. We believe they got here under their own power and they can leave the same way.

I have yet to see a poll that asks a question that offers a conservative choice. For instance: Do you support a step–by–step approach to the immigration problem that begins by removing the economic incentive for illegal immigration thru a law that makes it a criminal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens?

I’ll even agree to change “illegal aliens” to “undocumented workers” if someone will just ask the dang question. But it won’t happen because the support it will receive doesn’t fit the MSM story line of overwhelming support for “immigration reform.”

If illegals can’t work and they can’t collect welfare and rebates from the IRS then the invasion will begin to reverse. Presto the “immigration problem” solves itself! Sure the bill won’t pass the current Senate, but so what? It offers a conservative alternative to the amnesty now crowd and it preserves the rule of law, but that pales in comparison to Boehner’s dreams of campaign contributions from the Business Roundtable.

Before elected officials — Republicans again — got cold feet in Prince William County, illegals were fleeing after an anti–illegal enforcement act was passed. The county saved millions as they fled to nearby “sanctuary” cities and states. The same can happen in a nation that takes its own immigration laws seriously.

Unfortunately that is not this nation and it’s not this Republican Party.

Consultants Who Think They Are Kingmakers

Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans,

Boyd Marcus (the Karl Rove lookalike on the right) when he still consorted with Republicans.

A Virginia consultant no voter ever heard of endorses a candidate for governor nobody really likes and somehow it’s on the front page of the Washington Post’s Metro section. It reminds me of what Democrats formerly called the ‘Shrum Primary.’  That was the jockeying Democrat presidential candidates went through to try and persuade Bob Shrum to join their campaign as lead media consultant and strategist.

It wasn’t quite like a barefoot Emperor Henry IV standing in the snow begging the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII, but it was close. The Shrum spectacle went on for a number of presidential elections until someone noticed (keep in mind Democrats are often blind to the obvious) that Shrum candidates were never called Mr. President after the election.

There is a larger question regarding both of these instances — who cares and how large does your ego have to be to think someone does?

This week’s ‘newsmaker’ is Boyd Marcus, described by the Posties as “a veteran Republican political consultant.” Marcus is famous as the architect of George Allen’s U.S. Senate victory over incumbent senator Tim Kaine last November. At a time when madcap TEA Party candidates were discussing women’s private parts or God’s plan for rape, ‘mainstream’ George Allen was cruising to victory.

Wait, my mistake. That’s what Marcus assured us was going to happen after ‘electable’ Allen (he can raise money, you know) got the nomination. So when November came around, Marcus and the rest of the Allen brain trust were lounging inside the Mitt Romney Momentum Express waiting for the acceleration to kick in. They are still waiting.

It’s completely in character for Marcus to move from Republican Allen’s rerun Senate candidacy to a revenge endorsement of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in this year’s Virginia governor’s race. Marcus, who formerly only worked in Republican campaigns, says he is proud to endorse McAuliffe because Terry is the only candidate for governor willing to cut him a check.

Whoops, another mistake on my part.

For public consumption Marcus said, “I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done.” Then McAuliffe wrote him the check. And what a deal! If only endorsements for the Democrat money–man were all a simple financial transaction! McAuliffe wouldn’t have to waste time shaking hands and pretending to be interested in what some Virginia hillbilly thinks about the deficit.

The McAuliffe campaign also issued its own bizarre Marcus quote, “I’ve never before supported any Democrat, but this election Terry is the clear choice for mainstream conservatives.” Translation: McAuliffe is the clear choice for self–involved turncoats whose support is for sale.

The real reason Marcus decided to monetize his political sympathies was his candidate for governor in Virginia — Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling — dropped out of the race when Ken Cuccinelli supporters in the Republican Party changed the nomination format from a primary to a convention. This completely upset the Bolling applecart consultants and all.

In spite of the fact Bolling had been light governor for eight years he and Marcus somehow overlooked the importance of building an organization during his two terms. No real connection with the grassroots means no delegates at the convention. So TEA Party fave Cuccinelli walked away with the nomination.

That meant Marcus lacked a meal ticket this fall. Cuccinelli certainly wasn’t going to hire him and there were no wealthy Virginia RINOs running for other statewide offices available to aid his cash flow.

An operative with even a shred of integrity would simply sit this one out. What one doesn’t do is what Marcus did — sign on with a candidate that is the antithesis of everything for which the Virginia, and for that matter national, Republican Party stands. This is what the average American hates about politics: The mercenaries and their candidates who ‘grow’ in office and have infinitely malleable principles.

How many pro–life bills does Marcus think uber–Democrat McAuliffe is going to sign? How many taxes will McAuliffe be willing to cut? How much government intrusion into the free market is McAuliffe going to prevent? And how often will McAuliffe oppose public employee union attempts to put one over on the taxpayer? Will McAuliffe fight Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion? Will McAuliffe be a voice against pressure from the left to legalize illegals?

In a nutshell, none, none, none, never, no and no. The things McAuliffe will get “done” involve abortion, alternate lifestyles, amnesty and helping Hillary gear up for 2016.

The vast majority of Virginia Republicans really believe in the party’s platform. They don’t change their positions like Marcus changes his socks. Marcus’ politics of petulance is one of the many problems with GOP ‘leadership’ today.

I know a little about changing political parties. Up until about 2000 I was a Democrat, but as I experienced more of reality and the Democrat party decided to embrace unreality, we drifted apart. I made the change official in the 2002 election and I stopped working for Democrat candidates and limited myself to Republicans.

Switch–hitting in baseball is fine (and leftists would have you believe it makes for an exciting marriage) but in politics it only indicates opportunism and a lack of core beliefs.

It will say a great deal about Marcus if he tries to work for Republicans in the future. And it will say even more about any Republican who hires him. Conservatives beware.

The Media Beats a Dead Macaca

Macaca, the Republican gift that keeps on giving.

Former Virginia GOP Senator George Allen has always been more politician than movement conservative. Allen throws us the occasional social issue vote — he opposes abortions, except in the politically expedient case of rape and incest, and he’s on record as supporting gravity and man/woman marriage — but George is also a big spender and crony capitalist, which come to think of it, is also politically expedient.

But after watching his performance in the Fairfax County Chamber’s Senate Candidate debate with former Governor Tim Kaine, one starts to wonder if he’s much of a politician.

In 1994 Republicans took the House after Hillarycare collapsed. In 2010 Republicans took the House in response to Obamacare. A majority of the public still opposes Obamacare and wants to see it repealed. Discussion of and opposition to Obamacare should be a given for any conservative Senate candidate.

Yet during the debate Allen uses the leaden euphemism “healthcare tax bill” instead of the more obvious Obamacare.

This is a mistake on two levels. “Healthcare tax bill” is a term that only saw light after Chief Justice John Roberts applied for asylum at the White House and ruled Obamacare constitutional. To understand the term a listener must be reminded of the decision — something conservatives want to forget — and then connect it with Obamacare.

So it’s a descriptor that’s once removed from the topic at hand. Secondly this bloodless term has none of the baggage and negative connotations that Obamacare has acquired. So why use it at all unless your goal is to discourage your own vote?

Does some consultant think that using Obamacare will alienate independents? Good grief, even Obama embraces Obamacare as a label. And is that also why Allen talks about reforming the “healthcare tax bill” rather than repealing it?

Even in Minnesota — a state that sent Al Franken to the Senate! — a majority of likely voters want Obamacare repealed. In 2010 Virginia voters didn’t defeat Democrat incumbent Congressmen Glenn Nye, Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello because they wanted to send Obamacare to rehab.

Voters want it sent to Restland.

Consultant–pecked candidates pledging to tinker around the edges of Obamacare are everything that’s wrong with conservative politics today. It sucks the enthusiasm out of your own base in a futile effort to seem less threatening to people who won’t vote for you anyway.

However, I know this discussion is inside political baseball. Readers are really asking: What about Macaca? The term Allen used to describe a Democrat tracker during the Senate re–election campaign he lost over six years ago.

It just so happens 34 minutes and 31 seconds into the debate Macaca reared its ugly head (on second thought this particular topic might not be the best candidate for personification, so let’s just say the question appeared).

Holy smoke! What’s the statute of limitations on stupidity? George Allen is a serial apologizer for his Macaca comment. Allen personally endowed the Macaca Studies chair at the University of Virgina. He journeyed overseas and built a school in Macaca’s village. The entire Allen family sends him a non–denominational “Season’s Greetings” card every winter solstice.

What more does the media want?

Why does the MSM have a memory like an elephant for Republican mistakes, but when a Democrat sounds like a jackass interest dies in a month? In mid–August Vice Buffoon Joe Biden tells a campaign audience full of blacks that Republican policies are designed “to put y’all back in chains.” By mid–September the controversy is gone.

By comparison, what would the MSM would do if Paul Ryan told an audience of Jews that Democrat policies on Iran are designed to “put y’all back in the ovens?” Let me save you the trouble. For the next decade demonstrators dressed as kitchen appliances would appear outside Ryan events as the media jostled each other for the chance to interview the burner with a brain.

And should Ryan participate in a debate, he would be peppered with penetrating questions from Anderson Cooper, just as soon as Andy was able to remove his Jenn–Air costume.

If George is paying attention, there’s actually a lesson in semantics buried here among the bias. The debate questioner didn’t ask George about “an unfortunate slip of the tongue” during a campaign rally. She asked about Macaca because she knew the word had impact, would put Allen on the spot and would reaffirm her caring credentials among peers and watching Democrats. (Save your email. I know this is redundant.)

Obamacare does the same thing for public policy. The word is motivational. It shows conservatives that Allen is on their side and the unpopularity of the issue puts Kaine on the spot.

Allen’s consultants appear to be telling him otherwise, but I suggest if he has any doubts, George should call former Congressmen Boucher, Nye or Perriello and ask whoever answers the phone if Obamacare is a good word for Republicans and a bad one for Democrats.

Finally a Democrat on the Right Side of Taxes

The Widow’s mite of Biblical fame.

Tim Kaine — known here as Gov. Flowmax after closing Virginia’s interstate rest stops — occasionally comes down on the right side of an issue. During the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate between Senate candidates Kaine and former Sen. George Allen, Kaine observed that he would be “open” to the idea of everyone paying some level of federal income tax.

Subsequent media and online coverage was dominated by the charge that Kaine wants to tax everyone. Republican websites instantly pounced on the tax statement in an effort to put Kaine on the defensive. This is typical of today’s politics where candidates and consultants go for short–term political advantage at the cost of long term damage to the country.

Readers of last week’s column know I think it’s a good idea for every adult to pay federal tax. Otherwise some enjoy Taxation Without Participation where those who don’t pay federal taxes are happy to vote for politicians who will increase the taxes of those who do.

There is no government free lunch, although it may seem like it as long as the Chinese allow Uncle Sam to run a tab. If everyone pays, then everyone is aware of the cost of government when taxes increase. Normally Democrats oppose this.

The whole idea of some individuals being exempt from responsibility is another of the modern “progressive” ideas that have done so much to damage the nation. “Forward” into oblivion one might say.

Contrast “progressive” tax policy with Biblical tithe policy. God — who one would think knows something about the human heart and fairness — did not exempt anyone from paying their obligation. Luke 21:1 – 4 relates the incident of the widow’s mite: And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

The widow’s poverty did not exempt her, in fact it served to glorify her. Yet modern man, who evidently has a more finely attuned sense of justice than God, doesn’t think everyone should contribute to the nation’s upkeep. What’s more, the widow paid the same percentage tithe as those in “their abundance.” Proving God doesn’t believe in “progressive” tax rates either, but that’s a topic for another column.

Kaine was also asked if he supports eliminating charitable and mortgage interest deductions. Kaine answered that he supports broadening the base and rather than enduring a political battle over each deduction, he supports setting an aggregate total.

What this innocuous phrase means is Kaine wants the federal government to decide what’s a reasonable amount for you to give to charity. I’m sure if Kaine has his way the federally–approved donation deduction will be somewhere between the widow’s mite that Joe Biden delivers by motorcade each December 25th and the 30 percent Mitt Romney has donated to charity in 2011.

If instituted, the fed’s final decision on what’s allowed will be closer to the 3 to 5 percent charitable average for the US. For Christians who give a 10 percent tithe, this means they will be paying taxes on at least half of the money they donate. Proving Leviathan tolerates the worship of God as long as you save some Mammon for it.

This is a curious policy for a Catholic like Kaine to support, but it’s not the only issue where the former governor has a secular take on his faith. When the subject came up Kaine didn’t come right out and say he supported “abortion.” After all, this wasn’t the Democrat National Convention where abortion is part of the party platform.

Kaine’s genuflection came when he declared support for a woman’s right to exercise “constitutional choices.” But certainly not the “constitutional choice” that allows a woman to carry a concealed weapon. Kaine’s bloodless euphemism is just his feeble attempt to conceal the ugly truth of abortion.

Kaine will tell you that as a Catholic he is personally opposed to abortion, but is not willing to impose his beliefs on others. This is a classic dodge that weaselly Southern Democrats have been using for over 200 years.

Before the Civil War Democrats claimed to be personally opposed to slavery, but unwilling to impose their beliefs on the planter aristocracy.

The outcome in the one case was involuntary servitude, in the other involuntary death. I fail to see any improvement in Democrat philosophy over the years.

It’s a real shame that Tim Kaine is not willing to extend his “open” to everyone paying taxes to being “open” to everyone being born.

 

Unelected, Unaccountable Boards Like Spending Your Money

Dinner wine selections are somewhat limited under the new austerity rules at the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority.

It’s been a rough few weeks for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that manages airports in the Washington, DC area and coordinates board member travel to luxury destinations.

MWAA is the unelected and unaccountable board former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (Obama’s choice to head the Democrat National Committee and current candidate for the US Senate) unilaterally selected to oversee construction of Metrorail to Dulles. The board is really great choice since the its prior transportation empire had consisted solely of a rattle–trap collection of ambidextrous shuttle buses at Dulles Airport that caused departing travelers to add an extra 30 minutes to the time necessary to arrive at the gate and arriving passengers to wonder if they were being taken to a re–education camp.

For Kaine’s handoff to work the board needed a source of revenue, preferably one insulated from voters. Kaine accomplished this by transfering ownership of the Dulles Toll Road to the board. The turnpike was worth nearly $3.52 billion and almost paid off, but Kaine didn’t even get a free E–ZPass transponder in return for his gift.

Once MWAA was the proud owner of a slightly–used toll road the board could use toll revenue to pay for construction of a rail line drivers might never use. All without any messy accusations of tax increases or votes in the legislature.

Plus the board is larded with liberal Democrat appointees from Maryland and DC that outnumber Virginia appointees. So regardless of any Republican cretins that mouth–breathing Virginia voters might send to Richmond, management of the project would be Democrat dominated.

Everyone wins except the taxpayer who wants a more direct voice in how his money is spent.

Kaine’s taxpayer–sponsored legacy was in danger when we last visited the board, because funding for Phase II of rail to Dulles was in doubt. The MWAA was insisting Virginia boost its contribution to $300 million and agree to a mandatory Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that specifies only union contractors — or contractors that agree to pay union wages and observe union rules — may bid on the project.

Board members made the usual justifications for the mandatory PLA: Labor goons won’t picket our homes and tinkle in the shrubbery. Unions will endorse Tim Kaine in the 2012 Senate race. Union PACs will continue to contribute millions to other campaigns to elect Democrats. And, oh yes, we might get around to building a railroad.

But that’s old bad news. The new bad news is all that free taxpayer and toll road money allows the MWAA to be as generous with themselves as they are with unions.

The U.S. Transportation Department’s inspector general has blasted the board for a lack of adequate oversight on how it awards contracts and pays for travel and entertainment. In addition, the report says board member financial disclosure forms are approximately as detailed as those required to obtain a frequent shopper card at Ace Hardware.

My favorite quote from the report refers to an MWAA “culture that is largely unaccustomed to external audits…(and the board is) reluctant to provide access to key documents…”

However, the documents we have are bad enough.

Dennis Martire — the Tim Kaine appointee and labor union vice president who didn’t think it was a conflict of interest to vote for a PLA requiring union labor — also didn’t have a problem spending $9,192.30 of public money for a business–class airplane ticket to attend a conference in Prague.

Dennis also had a good time at an event in Hawaii (notice how these conferences never take place in say, Oklahoma City?) where dinner for board members came to a three–day total of $4,800. The menu included lobster, lamb, veal, crab cakes and seared hide of taxpayer.

Then there was the board dinner at the Ritz–Carlton where two bottles of wine totaled $238.

Fortunately, according to Jack Potter the new MWAA chief executive, there is no cause for alarm. The WaPost quotes him as assuring disgruntled taxpayers those expenses were “very exceptional” and in “no way represent what happens on a day–to–day basis.” We can rest easy knowing Potter now insists board members stick to the house red during catered lunches and the cleaning staff has been instructed not to order extra cheese on late night pizza deliveries.

And as for the $100,000 contract with Jenner & Block, a law firm the wife of board chairman Michael Curto works for, well the Harvard Business Review says word–of–mouth is the most effective form of advertising.

As a result, even the WaPost editorial board has grown disenchanted. It criticizes MWAA for “picking a largely gratuitous fight” over the PLA and urges it to drop the provision.

And I’m happy to report it did. In Wednesday’s meeting the board removed the PLA by an overwhelming vote, so a check for $150 million from Virginia is in the mail.

Now the only remaining hurdle is the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. If they opt out of phase II, it will delay and might kill the Dulles airport station. Maybe if the MWAA promises the rail line will be opened with a ribbon cutting and not a christening with a $15,000 bottle of Chateau Lafite, Loudoun supervisors will have fewer qualms about voting yes.

Next Stop: The White Elephant’s Graveyard

Construction nears completion on Phase I of the Dulles rail project.

Virginia just avoided a state–sized version of the popular “government shutdown” crisis. Democrats had twice defeated the budget in Senate votes and it looked like the usual hostages — children, teachers, social workers, grief counselors, underwater mortgage holders, illegals, addicts, the lame, the halt and the blind — were going to be bussed in to Richmond and threatened with self–sufficiency until stingy Republicans came up with a few more billions.

Then it all went away, like an Obama campaign promise, when a single Democrat senator broke ranks and voted ‘yes.’ (So far there are no media reports that praise him for “growing in office.”)

The ostensible reason for the “shutdown” crisis was the potential demise of Phase II of the planned $6 billion railroad to Dulles Airport that would connect with the existing Washington Metro.

There’s something about spending billions on 19th Century transportation solutions that liberals find irresistible. Frankly, I’m fearful that one of our local politicians, famous for his support of a commuter ferry on the Potomac, will learn the steamboat has been invented.

Senate Democrats claimed Dulles rail was threatened by Republican’s refusal to pony up an additional $300 million to subsidize drivers on the Dulles Airport Toll Road, which voters were promised would cover 75 percent of the construction cost of the Silver Line.

This is classic Democrat economics: Use money raised by selling long–term bonds to subsidize a recurring expense. Talk about your fiscal treadmill. Without subsidizing tolls, railroaders fear the cost will be so high that drivers will use nearby free roads. Effectively converting the toll lanes into a long, narrow asphalt preserve for Northern Virginia’s growing deer population and Obama’s golfing motorcades.

In the absence of taxpayer–funded bond money, the cost of a roundtrip toll next year will range between $4.50 and $9.00. By 2018 it is projected to be $13.50. And just thinking about using the toll road will deduct $2.00 from your E–Zpass account.

Naturally this is what you get when a Democrat governor goes legacy shopping. Former Gov. Tim Kaine (D–Flomax) concluded that closing all the rest stops in Virginia might get him in the history books, but not in the way he preferred. Instead, like Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones, Kaine took a moribund plan for a railroad to Dulles and breathed life into it by turning the project over to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA); an inspired choice for a multi–year, multi–billion–dollar operation.

Board appointees made by liberals in D.C. and Maryland vastly outnumber Virginia appointees. Consequently the carpetbaggers are more than happy to spend Virginia dollars for which they will never be held accountable.

While Dulles rail is sold to taxpayers as a mass transit project, the airport board uses it to reward cronies and amass chits for the next election (see: Government Motors bailout). This was done by tying construction contractors and sub–contractors to what is called a “project labor agreement” (PLA).

This means that during Phase I of the project all contractors and subcontractors “voluntarily” agreed to pay union wages, hire union workers and follow union work rules, in spite of the fact Virginia is a right to work state where union membership cannot be required as a condition of employment.

So Kaine gets his legacy project and unions — that supply free labor and millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Democrat candidates — don’t have to worry about bid competition from non–union firms.

One administration later, what’s “voluntary” under Democrat Kaine must be mandatory under Republican Bob McDonnell. So for Phase II the airport authority votes to require mandatory PLA compliance before bidding. And it just so happens that one of the board members voting ‘yes’ was Dennis Martire who is also Vice President of the Laborers’ International Union.

When you consider that in 1978 the Laborer’s union was termed “completely dominated…[by] organized crime” in a Dept. of Justice report and as recently as 2011 the mob still had links, it’s not surprising that Martire did not believe he had a conflict of interest when he voted ‘yes.’

Since only 4 percent of Virginia construction workers are unionized, the bulk of the Phase II hires would be residents of Maryland and DC, which is just fine with MWAA members, since it will improve their chances for carpooling to board meetings.

Taxpayers will be hit for an estimated $350 million to $750 million in increased costs that a PLA imposes on a project. Del. Bob Marshall (R–13th) recognizing the threat, introduced legislation prohibiting state money from being spent on any project requiring a PLA.

In response the board removed the requirement for a PLA, but in turn said it would rank contractors “voluntarily” agreeing to a PLA higher than those contractors that did not — a distinction without a difference.

The board believes it can get away with this obstinacy because the project is half complete and if the second phase founders the GOP–controlled General Assembly will be blamed. While the truth is the project was brought to the brink by a board that puts more emphasis on political payoffs than it does on completing a mass transit project.

Now that no additional funding will be forthcoming from the state, the financing package for Phase II of the Silver Line may well fall apart. But if that happens it won’t be because Republicans refused to pay a union–inspired ransom. The death certificate will read the project died of self–inflicted wounds.