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House Republicans and Democrats Continue Squabbling

Anita Kumar

Republicans and Democrats in the House have been bickering since the legislative session started last week.

First, there was the flare up about changes to the rules, then committee assignments and yesterday, it was the question of whether raising per diems would be used later in campaign attack ads.

Today, Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax) brought the per diem issue back for a second day in a row by accusing Democrats of trying to smear GOP candidates in last year's legislative elections.

Hugo stood up on the House floor and criticized House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Henry) for the attacks against him during the November election when he was accused of working for a lobbying firm that overcharged the government, represented abusers at Abu Ghraib prison and profited from the war in Iraq.

Hugo said that when he talked to Armstrong during the campaign about the attacks the only response he got was "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

"Would you cross the line of decency, just to get here?" Hugo asked his colleagues. "If you would, what does that say about your victory? More importantly, what does it say about you as a person?"

Hugo's speech was met with applause and a standing ovation by Republicans.

Armstrong responded after conferring with staff and Del. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria), the chairman of the House Democratic caucus. He noted that Democratic candidates, particularly those in Virginia Beach, were also attacked.
"Campaigns are rough and tumble .....'' he said. "The campaign is over ..... It's now time for us to do the people's business."

To read today's Washington Post story on the pay raise dispute, click here

By Anita Kumar  |  January 17, 2008; 6:43 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Brian J. Moran , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Delegate Hugo loves to complain, but he didn't mention the many Republican campaigns that used the same smear tactics - part of the reason they were able to get to the majority in the first place.

The price for winning and holding an elected office has become too high, especially when your opponents are going to attack you on things that you have very little control over. That includes what your business partners do, what your business's clients do, and what your family does.

The reason we have so many inadequate legislators is that they are the only ones willing to pay the price for getting and holding elected office. This offense certainly applies to both parties.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

the campaign is never over

Posted by: Anonymous | January 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"Would you cross the line of decency, just to get here?"

I notice that Del. Hugo didn't call the attacks "lies". Maybe his line of decency and those of the voters are simply in different places.

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