Del. Athey blames DLS for abuser fees.

Del. Clay Athey may find he’ll have some trouble getting legislation drawn up for the 2008 session after this comment to the Washington Post on the topic of the much-maligned transportation abuser fees:

“I think clearly the overwhelming majority of delegates and senators never meant or expected it would apply to these lesser charges,” said Del. C.L. “Clay” Athey Jr. (R-Warren). “There was obviously a drafting error.”

Legislators don’t write their bills — they just give their idea to the good folks at the Division of Legislative Services, who turn it into a proposed change in law. Del. Athey is saying, basically, “don’t blame us, we didn’t write the law,” which is a bullshit excuse on par with “my dog ate my homework.”

It would not surprise me if he had a few snags this year — bills taking longer than usual to be written, other delegates’ competing bills being finished first, maybe a few getting lost. But, hey, he can’t complain — after all, he said himself that Legislative Services makes mistakes.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

6 replies on “Del. Athey blames DLS for abuser fees.”

  1. He could’ve said that he didn’t really like the heavy punishment and the unfair burden on Virginia residents, but thought that was the only way to get transportation funded. He could have said that it was an omnibus bill and sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. He could have said that he didn’t understand exactly what the bill meant. He could’ve said that he never read the bill and relied on the recommendations of his party leadership.

    He could have said lots of things that would have been understandable. But, to blame his failure to predict the political fallout over this bill on a drafting error by Legislative Services? That’s bush league. I’d say an apology is in order, along with the Delegate standing up and taking personal responsibility for his vote.

  2. Even if it was a drafting error, the real error lies with the delegates who voted for a bill that said something incorrect (and their staffs who should be reading those bills for them). So the appropriate statement would have been to emphasize the error on his part, voting for a bill that said something other than what he thought it said, rather than blaming Legislative Services.

  3. Clay Athey has made a political career of blaming government for the Commonwealth’s problems. Nothing new here. What is new is that his “no tax” pledge was exposed for what it is, a foolish lie made for foolish people. Hardly lofty statesmanship. But even a fool knows that a “fee” is a tax by another name. Lies and deceit demonstrate the true “values” of Virginia Republicans.

  4. Athey is just openly and candidly admitting that not only do most legislators not write the laws, but they don’t even bother to read them before voting on them while in session. His apathy is reprehisible, but his candor is appreciated.

    It is encouraging, because it means that to be an effective legislator the gates are opened to anyone who can barely read, and that is encouraging, though it makes the fact that no one is opposing Albo for his seat this year even more embarrassing.

  5. “The fees, which Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) supported as part of the bipartisan transportation agreement…”
    Well Bubby, let’s not forget that lies and deceit are a hallmark of today’s political process, and are not limited to only one party.

  6. Nice try at equivocation Tom, but when Governor Kaine said that he could support some form of Abusive Driver fees for felony DUI and Reckless offenses as part of a funding package he never envisioned $1,000 “fees” for having bald tires..

    Kaine has a transportation system to run, and if Republican Delegates want to legislate the worst possible version of taxation to fund it, then hey, they can explain why.

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