Speaker Howell's Legacy: Blocking Medicaid, Getting Primaried
The Republican Party of Virginia has become a playground for Tea Party extremists to run amok, pushing the party farther and farther right. As if replacing Eric Cantor with Tea Party radical David Brat wasn't enough, Speaker Bill Howell, the poster child for conservative obstruction and dysfunction in the General Assembly, is facing a primary challenge from the far right - the unflinchingly extremist Susan Stimpson.
Speaker Howell is already letting the Tea Party pressure get to him - just last week, he nearly let extreme Tea Partiers tank a vital transportation deal in a failed attempt to appease the right wing. And far from looking for common-sense solutions to give 400,000 uninsured Virginians access to the healthcare they deserve, Speaker Howell boasts about how he's stood in the way of progress. In a Washington Post article this week, Howell says that through 26 years in the House of Delegates, blocking Medicaid expansion is part of his "real legacy."
"After seeing the Tea Party run ramshod over Eric Cantor this summer, Virginia Republicans are running scared," said Morgan Finkelstein, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. "They're sprinting to the far right with the likes of David Brat and Susan Stimpson. Bill Bolling said it best himself - 'If Bill Howell is not conservative enough for you, you’ve got a problem.' And it's clear that the Republican Party of Virginia has a problem."