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Gilmore's crimes against Virginia still being tallied


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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 2/21/2002

By RICHARD AMRHINE

ONCE THE U.N. war-crimes
tribunal completes its case
against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, maybe it should take on former Gov. Jim Gilmore for his atrocities committed against the state of Virginia between 1997 and 2001.

OK, so maybe that won't happen. But it might provide a measure of satisfaction
for Virginians to imagine Gilmore taking Milosevic's place in court.

Consider Milosevic's first comments to the court: "I challenge the very legality
of this tribunal because it is not established on the basis of law. This tribunal does not have the competence to try me," Milosevic said.

Now picture Gilmore saying the same
sort of thing, bringing the same sort
of arrogance to the table. Not too difficult,
is it? It would simply be more of the
same overbearing air of self-importance that Gilmore brought to his job from Day One.

Or maybe we could put him in the stocks at Williamsburg and offer up bushels of rotten tomatoes to all comers. Now there's satisfaction.

Of all the administrations of any kind
that ever presided over any constituency across this country, none could ever beat Gilmore's obsession with tax relief for
the sake of tax relief. Never have a politician's successes been made more irrelevant by his foolish and relentless pursuit of the campaign promise that
put him in office in the first place.

If only he'd had the courage to acknowledge
that economic conditions were changing, and to
abide by the promise he made to abort car-tax
relief if the economy sagged.

The rise and fall of the Gilmore administration should be required study
for every elected official
in charge of a budget or
any would-be political
kingmaker.

The flagrancy of the crime Gilmore committed while Virginians watched--and even applauded--has yet to be fully measured. Every day the reports from Richmond reflect a deepening concern about the state's fiscal ill-health. These are not the cries of chicken-little Democrats, but bipartisan warnings that suggest that no matter how bad you think the situation is, it is worse than that.


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