Remembering the old Kaine

Published 10:36 am Friday, August 5, 2016

Last week at the Democrat Convention, the country was introduced to vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine. This was not the Tim Kaine that I met 14 years ago. In fact, quite the opposite from the trash talking showman at the convention.

My first contact was after he was elected lieutenant governor. On the day or so prior to his being sworn into office, we met in my office at the General Assembly Building.

Shortly after he arrived, the fire alarm went off. He was so focused on talking policy that he did not want to leave.

I respected that but I had to convince him that the building is a firetrap in order to get him moving.

Other things that come to mind was his commitment in his race for governor that he would not raise taxes. However, between election day and prior to being inaugurated, he “changed his mind” deciding that a major tax increase was needed to accomplish his goals to grow state government.

In Kaine’s last year in office he was irritated that the General Assembly did not agree to another of his proposed massive tax increases. In an act of revenge, he closed down the welcome centers along our interstates. Never mind that only months earlier VDOT had purchased the paint needed to improve the centers — clarifying this was nothing more than a stunt.

In addition to wanting to raise taxes and being dishonest about his desire to raise taxes, he also strangely set in motion the release of a gruesome murderer Jens Soering from Germany. 

Even though Kaine is a very likeable person, in my opinion, he evolved from a person who wanted to work across party lines to someone who insisted that things had to be his way.

Frank Ruff, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the Virginia Senate. His email address is