Steve, on Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's proposed gas tax, I can't improve upon what my friend Doug Deeken, chairman of the Wayne County GOP, wrote on Facebook yesterday:
With all due respect Governor DeWine, I object to tax increases in general and this one in particular.
I hear people arguing that it’s OK since we haven’t raised gas taxes since 2005. Those of you in politics, do you remember the results of the 2006 election here in Ohio? I sure do. Want a repeat of that? I sure don’t.
Furthermore, the correct approach is to address the reasons why state construction projects are so expensive. Going broke is from excessive and wasteful spending, not insufficient revenue.
I encourage the administration to change their course on this. It is bad policy and bad politics. Failing that, I urge the General Assembly to stand up against this tax increase and exercise fiscal discipline.
In 2006 incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine was trounced, losing by 13 points to Sherrod Brown, who has been comfortably parked in that Senate seat ever since. The gubernatorial election was an outright bloodbath — Democrat Ted Strickland beat Ken Blackwell by 24 freaking points. It was an utter embarrassment for the Ohio GOP and likely paved the way for Obama to win the state two years later. No one (who is not part of the permanent political class or a member of a trade union) wants to see a repeat of that debacle.