Friday, November 9, 2007

Senator Astle Flip Flops: Allows Passage of Tax Plan

In response to my letter, John Astle had this to say:
Thank you for your letter concerning the special session and the potential
tax increases. Your views are important to me and I appreciate you taking the
time to voice them.

I did not want to see this special session,
unfortunately, as an individual member of the legislature there is nothing I
could or can do to prevent it.

At this point I am not comfortable voting for any increase in taxes. The
state needs to look at ways to better manage spending. There may be some
programs that have outlived there (
sic) usefulness and now is the time to look
at them carefully. You can be assured I am not going to be making any hasty
decisions when voting on this tax plan.

Again, I appreciate your correspondence. If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

John C. Astle

So let's make sure we're understanding this are against taxes and want to "manage" spending, possibly to include eliminating programs that are no longer useful. Right? Right. Ok.

So how did Senator Astle end up voting? Well, as reported here and here, John Astle voted against taxes when they came up for a vote ONLY BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT IT WOULD PASS WITHOUT HIM. From O'Malley Watch:
SENATORS WITHOUT BACKBONE: The following Senators want to have it both
ways. If just one of them voted for their constituents and kept the filibuster
going, this tax bill would have died. Instead these folks voted to end the
filibuster and now all our taxes are going up. Will Senators ASTLE, DYSON,
KRAMER, DEGRANGE AND ZIRKIN please grow a backbone. It is directly their fault that this tax bill is moving forward and they should be held accountable if
their constituents are against these taxes.

THE FILIBUSTER FAILED BY 1 VOTE (Of course it was designed this way
to protect conservative Democrats) All the Republicans voted to stop the tax
bill along with Della, Klausmeier, Stone and of course Senator

And from Brian Griffiths:
Memo to Sens. Astle, DeGrange, Dyson, Kramer and Zirkin: for not having the
courage to support the filibuster, the tax hikes are your fault. Nobody cares
that you didn't vote for the bill on its third reading. Everybody cares that you
allowed the third reading vote to happen...

I guess we should not be surprised.

His response to me uses phrases like "at this point in time" and promises not to make any "hasty" decisions. Funny how a couple of days was enough time to avoid hastiness and totally reverse your position.

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