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Virginia Politics
Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 03/01/2012

State GOP targets Senate Democrats on budget

The Republican Party of Virginia is targeting Senate Democrats, who voted against the state’s $85 billion budget Wednesday, through phone calls and e-mail.

Since Tuesday, the party has urged volunteers and staff from across the state to call the 20 Democrats who helped kill the second version of the budget.

The party has made thousands of calls into the districts of more than half of the senators, even transferring the calls to their offices.

“Last week in Richmond, Democrats, including Senator XXX, made clear that unless they get more seats on committees, they won’t vote to fund teachers, police officers and fire fighters in our communities. In short, they put partisan politics over public policy. That’s not right. That’s not the Virginia way,’’ according to a script of the calls.

Pat Mullins, party chairman, sent out a blast e-mail to supporters Monday, which listed every senator’s office phone number.

“The Democrats here in Richmond are having a temper tantrum. Unless we ignore the election results from last year and return them to power, the Democrats in the State Senate are going to refuse to do their job,’’ according to the e-mail. “They have decreed that they will not vote for a budget to fund Virginia’s government unless their demands are met. By refusing to pass a budget in a blatant attempt to seize power, they are putting partisan politics over public policy. It’s just not right and it’s not the Virginia way.”

In response, Joshua Karp, a spokesman for the Senate Democratic caucus said:

Republicans are playing politics with the budget and these calls prove they are trying to manufacture outrage. They are engaging in slash-and-burn political attacks while Democratic Senators are focused on the budget. These are the same folks who took less than three weeks in power to make Virginia a national laughingstock with their extreme social agenda.
The fact is that this budget severely underfunds education while giving taxpayer dollars to private academies and forces 4,500 elderly Virginians in nursing homes off Medicaid. This budget implements the Republican agenda that is taking Virginia backwards, such as mandatory ultrasounds, voter suppression and discrimination against gays and lesbians. Democrats are taking a stand against this divisive agenda.

The spending plan died in a partisan vote a week after the House had approved it. Democrats had already rejected the Senate version.

It is possible for a new budget plan — from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) or one brought forward by lawmakers — to pass before legislators adjourn March 10.

By  |  12:50 PM ET, 03/01/2012

 
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