Republicans should continue backing Jones

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 2004

It’s refreshing during this time of political turmoil in our country to see the majority of Republicans continuing to support Del. S. Chris Jones, who took a tough stance during the last General Assembly budget stalemate.

Most recently in the headlines, Jones may be the centerfold on the Virginia Club for Growth’s recently unveiled poster depicting the 34 Republican lawmakers who voted for a $1.4 billion tax increase as &uot;Virginia’s Least Wanted.&uot;

The posters resemble Old West &uot;wanted&uot; signs, featuring 15 Republican senators and 19 GOP delegates who supported the tax increase at least once during last year’s extended legislative session. A check off box next to each picture indicates when each legislators’ term ends.

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While it would be easy for Republicans to distance themselves from Jones and others in the same boat, Suffolk Republican Party Chairman Stephen G. Trent said Jones is still in good graces with his constituents and most local party members.

And he should be

But three or four of the party’s 45 members are still upset by Jones’ actions during the session.

By the consensus of many Republicans and Democrats, Jones, as he proved during his stint in local politics, was the voice of reason during the legislative session. It was Jones who was credited with breaking last year’s historic 115-day budget impasse.

It’s unfortunate that some on both sides of the fence don’t get it: Jones took a badly needed approach to move the Commonwealth forward. We certainly don’t put our stamp of approval on every initiative that comes down the pipeline with a tax rate increase, but there are times that warrant taking a stand, regardless of whether the ideals are aligned with party objectives.