While the Republicans were in the Palace Theater voting for someone to “tango” with the Democrats rather than “tangle” with them, I was next door having a sit-down with former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore who is running for President.
I got the better of that deal.
With four other NH activists, I spent about an hour talking to James Gilmore around a small table set up for a lunch for Republicans after the State Convention. I can say this after meeting the former governor. If Republicans and Independents are looking for a serious Regan style candidate this guy is about as close as you can get.
His record is solid as any governor can get. Small government, low taxes, personal responsibility.
He is anti-tax to the bitter end and does not sell out under pressure from the legislature. (See the “Virginia Car Tax” battle for details.) He also cut income taxes for military personnel living in Virginia, lowered college tuition by 20 percent, and eliminated Virginia's tax on prescription drugs. All-in-all he presided over the largest tax cuts in Va. History.
As the former Attorney General of Va. he has a tough on crime record.
Second amendment? On the Board of Directors of the NRA.
Pro-life. He is not 100%. But is a pro-life movement supporter.
Supported home-schoolers as Governor. Instituted statewide testing for public education.
I would trust him with Supreme Court appointments because of his record as governor.
Now the interesting issues.
Governor Gilmore was asked to chair a national commission, the E-Commerce Commission, that was rigged from the start. to sell the idea of taxing the inter-net. He took on the task. When it was over, his commission report was the opposite of what the commissions intended results would have been. Taxpayers and inter-net users won. He says the repercussions of that action still stick with him. Big government proponents were hopping mad. The tax and spend crowd at the national as well as state level were counting on this new form of taxation for new revenue.
I followed this commission back then because Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform was on the commission as well and constantly alerted (by email) our taxpayer organization here in NH. It was a cliff-hanger at the time as to whether or not the inter-net would become regulated and taxed. I do not think the idea has been abandoned by taxers.
Governor Gilmore headed a commission regarding homeland security that bears his name. It was tasked with protecting our country as well as civil rights while coordinating national, state, local and private resources in an effective manner to respond to attacks. In fact Governor Gilmore was involved with this same issue before 9/11.
Many people are not aware that on 9/11 Governor Gilmore faced an attack on the Pentagon located in his own state. He had what was at the time potentially hostile commercial passenger aircraft flying in Va. airspace. I was impressed with the list of rapid, sensible actions he took on 9/11 during a surprise attack on our country.
This is a serious candidate. He looks you in the eye. He has a message. He is no-nonsense and has a record to prove it.. No evolution is necessary.
Anyone not looking at Governor Gilmore as a presidential candidate is cheating themselves.