Skip to comments.House panel rejects Kaine nominee for cabinet post (VA)
Posted on 03/07/2006 5:00:14 PM PST by csvset
RICHMOND House Republicans today rejected Gov. Timothy M. Kaines nomination of former labor leader Daniel LeBlanc to be secretary of the commonwealth, marking the first time legislators have denied a governor an appointee to his cabinet.
LeBlanc, was defeated on a party-line 55-42 vote with Republicans saying the former president of the state AFL-CIO could not be trusted to protect Virginias right-to-work law which bars compulsory union membership.
Kaine, a Democrat, was visibly angered during a meeting with reporters. He noted that none of the Houses complaints against LeBlanc were shared by the Senate, which confirmed the nominee by a 40-0 vote late last month.
I view it as not just an affront to me and the Senate and to Danny, Kaine said, but I view it as basically spitting in the face of regular people, regular working people, who had Danny as their champion.
The governor said House Republicans have taken a huge leap past any degree of partisanship thats ever been shown in this commonwealth and they have decided that Washington-style, McCarthy-style politics is what they want to practice here in the House of Delegates.
The rejection of LeBlanc and the sharp partisan rhetoric reflect growing tension between Kaine and the House GOP as the 2006 legislative session draws to a head. House Republicans have firmly rejected calls by Kaine and the Senate to raise taxes to improve transportation. The impasse is expected to keep the General Assembly in session past its scheduled adjournment on Saturday.
House Republicans voted unanimously against LeBlanc, an action that suggests the GOP is hanging tightly together as budget negotiations begin.
LeBlancs is the only nominee for cabinet appointment to be rejected since the cabinet system was put in place in the early 1970s by then-Gov. Linwood Holton, Kaines father in law.
The secretary of the commonwealth advises the governor on about 4,000 appointments to state boards and commissions. Republicans fretted that LeBlancs opposition to the right-to-work law could lead to its disintegration and the unionization of the state work force.
Other than the governor himself, the secretary of the commonwealth has the greatest power to affect policy of any other position in the Commonwealth, said Del. Timothy Hugo, R-Fairfax. He would possess the ability to fill these positions entirely with people who share his views on right to work.
Republicans complained that LeBlanc over the years had made derogatory comments about several of Virginias largest employers. Del. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, noted that LeBlanc once called Newport News Shipbuilding a plantation. Cosgrove said LeBlancs appointment would send the wrong message to businesses considering locating in Virginia..
Kaine supports right-to-work laws, and LeBlanc testified before the House earlier this year that he had no intention of undermining them. House Democrats conceded that some of LeBlancs past comments were over the top, but should be considered part of the rough-and tumble demands of his job at the AFL-CIO.
House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, said he did not trust Kaines pledge to uphold the right-to-work law. He said Kaine has already broken a campaign pledge not to seek tax increases until he won passage of a constitutional amendment that would protect transportation funds from being diverted to other services.
If he doesnt keep one promise, how can you expect him to keep a promise to protect the right-to-work law? Griffith said.
Kaine said the House GOP has rejected his bipartisan overtures. The governor noted that he has appointed several Republicans to key jobs, including the wife of Jerry W. Kilgore, his opponent in last falls election, as executive director of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation.
The bottom line that everyone can be around the table except someone who bears a union card or someone who fights for the least among us is abhorrent to me, Kaine said.
He said he would look for a position in his administration for LeBlanc that does not require confirmation.
Kaine portrayed the House GOP as out of step with Virginia on transportation and LeBlanc. I think theyre going to regret it because weve been able to accomplish a lot of good things in Virginia working in a bipartisan way, he said.
Reach Warren Fiske at (804) 697-1565 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The eyebrows are not amused!
Democrats only want to work in a bi-partisan way when they don't have the votes.
I don't recall many of them voting for Alito, for example.
Maybe national Democrats can take a lesson away from things like this.
When you're the majority party, you can reject executive nominees.
When you're in the minority, you don't have the power to unilaterally reject any nominee.
Looks like the 'era of good feelings' is over in Richmond.
Trying to put a union thug in this position is way over the top.
That says it all.
The next headline will be, Governor browbeats GOP. ha ha
Governor Kaine is a whack job. He cannot be trusted to keep Virginia safe either.
in the famous words of Bob Dylan:
How does it feel?
Gee, I wonder why anyone would think that...
Dim Paine is being reminded that Virginia is a red state.
At last the Virginia Republicans are acting like responsible adult leaders! Yea! They have not forgotten all they used to stand for like low or no taxes!
Yeah, I've been sayin' it ever since he won, but this state's gonna have one of the biggest hangovers of its life here shortly from a political perspective.
But hey, that's what happens when your candidate has a moron for a campaign manager and decides to run on one issue, the death penalty. Kilgore could have won this easily had he just had some people with brains in his camp.
The GOP VA legislature is tough. Or can be.
"But hey, that's what happens when your candidate has a moron for a campaign manager....."
Hutchison's head is full of moths isn't it?
As it is Kaine is now complaining that the House doesn't want to re-run that particular tax fiasco.
I am reminded of the black knight in Monte Python and the Search for the Holy Grail ~
It is definitely hangover time!
I think the House can initiate action to impeach this nut case.
It was a horrible campaign, one of the worst I've ever witnessed.
Jerry listened to the wrong people and just fritted away a sure victory.
All but about 6-8 of those Republicans are major RINOs
I think he did. VA is strong GOP. After Kaine's term, it will be again for several terms.
Kaine strikes me as being a complete dope. Frankly, I can't believe he won even with Kilgore running a joke of a campaign.
No double standard here. Nope! None whatsoever!
Senate Party is 34 members.
Please take a moment and THANK the VA Republican Delegates for voting down LeBlanc. Leblanc is an AFL-CIP union boss who has compared the right-to-work law as working on the "plantation".
These guys need to hear praise for (finally) growing a spine and standing up to our liberal governor.....