Skubick: If a potential governor candidate votes for a tax hike

With Lt. Gov. Brian Calley casting the 20th and deciding vote to hike the state gasoline tax, there are some who figure there is no way he can get elected governor if he voted for a tax hike. 

First of all, he has not decided if he will even run, but assuming he does, some might say it's be a tad premature and perhaps even a little silly to write him off a full 1,215 days before the next election. 

For openers, two words: Jim Blanchard.       

The soothsayers in this town way back when were composing the political obit for then Governor Jim Blanchard after he presided over a 38 percent increase in the state income tax to balance the books during his first year in office. 

One term wonder. 

Blanchard: A Marked Man. 

And similar descriptions will attached to the Democratic governor, but when they counted the votes in his re-election bid  three years later, he won with a whopping 68 percent of the vote.   

This is not to say that a B.C. candidacy would produce the same results, but the point is, it's not automatic that somebody loses because they did what they thought was the right thing to do without factoring in the political ramifications. Which he says he did not. 

To be sure if somebody else gets into the GOP race for governor, and those somebodies know whom they are, they would undoubtedly plaster Mr. Calley with that vote. It's a fair issue to raise but seldom are elections won or lost on one perceived miscue.

He is also potentially vulnerable because he has refused to sign the no tax -pledge. In some GOP primaries that carries some weight. How much is unclear. 

The better question is how many of those citizens would respond positively to Mr. Calley's explanation that signing the pledge is not good public policy ? Opponents of the pledge contend a good leader should never box him or herself into a corner by removing the tax increase option from consideration. That's because one never knows what the economic future holds and a tax hike might be needed. 

The current governor never signed the pledge and that didn't seem to hurt him when he ran the first time against other GOPers who did. 

Ironically the first time he ran, Gov.Blanchard did not sign the pledge and he won, but during a come back bid against Gov. Jennifer Granholm, he signed the pledge and lost.   

Certainly there were other factors at play but suffice it to say a tax hike vote is not necessarily a one-way ticket to the political graveyard.