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Jeff Frederick
Jeff Frederick
The Politics of Principle

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January 25, 2013

Gerrymandering. Tax hikes. Elections.

Friends —

It’s 2013. In Virginia, that means two things, among others – the General Assembly is back in session (guard your money and property) and it’s a big election year in the Commonwealth.

Three quick things:

1. As you may have heard, the (slim) Republican majority in the state senate passed a new, fairer redistricting bill. While their tactics in doing so were less than gentlemanly, it is good legislation that will correct some of the awful gerrymandering done to these districts a couple years ago – where neighborhoods were split up, and in some cases, parts of districts were literally no wider than I-95. Anyway, that bill is now before the House of Delegates where a procedural maneuver could kill the legislation. Click here to find and write your Delegate encouraging them to have the backbone to reject backroom deals and have a full and open vote on the bill.

2. Governor McDonnell has proposed a massive $2.4 billion tax hike for transportation. Yet, he lacks the integrity to level with the citizens of Virginia by being honest about that fact as he attempts to sell the bill as revenue neutral (i.e. not a tax increase). If you’re interested in some easy-to-understand details on the plan, click here. Otherwise, suffice it to say that this is a bad deal for Virginia taxpayers by taking more out of hardworking family pockets to (among other things) subsidize out-of-state travelers and put Virginia small businesses at a competitive disadvantage with their regional competitors. Worse, these tax hikes will hit struggling families the most at a time when many are fighting to make ends meet as is. Sure, increasing funds dedicated to transportation is very much a priority, but this legislation avoids doing so all together and instead poses simply as a mirage of a solution to supposedly earn political points for a governor who has his heart set on running for national office (as unlikely as success in that endeavor may be). This is a great example of a bad political solution masquerading as a policy solution. There is no denying it is a massive tax increase with little or no benefit to the Virginia commuter – and I’d encourage you to contact your legislators to let them know you’ll hold them accountable on this vote.

3. In this year’s election, Amy and I are strongly supporting Scott Lingamfelter for Lieutenant Governor and Rob Bell for Attorney General. We also have some serious concerns about the candidacies of Susan Stimpson and Mark Obenshain. Learn more about why I’m supporting Scott and Rob and not-so-supportive of Susan and Mark by clicking here.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t so quick… sorry. I tried. Either way, I trust you’ll take a few minutes to register your thoughts with those who represent you in state government, and that you find my thoughts on this year’s crop of candidates helpful in your own deliberations.

I hope and trust 2013 is off to a great start for you and wish you all the best in the months to come.

-JMF.


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