In the run-up to the November election, the Democrat leadership in both chambers remained resolutely silent on raising the gas tax to fund the Transportation Trust Fund. Good politics on their part -- and it paid off. Republican leaders, on the other hand, put on their policy caps and openly discussed any and all options for addressing the problem. They put policy before politics and look what it got them.
Meanwhile, the coalition of Leftists -- underwritten by funding from corporate leaders and working people's union dues -- who it appears are charged with passing the gas tax without compromise, made a lot of noise against any tax cuts to balance a rise in the tax on gasoline. Saul Alinsky would be proud. Somebody has read "Rules for Radicals."
So along come two libertarian Republicans -- Senator Mike Doherty and Senator Jennifer Beck -- with an idea about how to address the TTF funding issue without raising the gas tax and they are attacked as if in a political campaign by a "mainstream" TTF group -- again, underwritten by funding from corporate leaders and working people's union dues. When have Democrat Senators faced such a coarse response?
This should not be tolerated by either Republican caucus. If these folks (and they are not without sin) want to make this political, then let's make it political. The Democrats have their nicely expanded majority and they can pass pretty much whatever they want to. Well then... do it. You have all the firepower you need. Throw down boys. Make it an all-Democrat show and see what happens.
If, on the other hand, the Democrat leadership -- and their house Leftists, front groups, and corporate funders -- want to make this a serious policy discussion, treat your Legislative colleagues in the Republican Caucus with respect and address their ideas from the position of policy... not politics.