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Delegate speaks out about letter

By Staff | Apr 15, 2011

It was with amazement that I read the letter from Patricia Rucker in the April 8 edition of The Chronicle. She purported to inform readers of my record during this year’s regular legislative session, but she must have confused me with another delegate.

She said I “voted against every opportunity to relieve the taxpayers in any way,” using as an example that I “voted against lowering the food tax by 1 percent.” Beg pardon, but I did in fact vote for the bill that lowered the sales tax on food, so her entire statement is false. She also accused Delegate Tiffany Lawrence of the same thing, and that accusation is also false.

Ms. Rucker said neither Delegate Lawrence or I “could find it in their hearts to support seniors by passing a Homestead exemption.” In fact, both Delegate Lawrence and I are on the record favoring an increase in the homestead exemption and have said so to the leadership of the House of Delegates. The leadership has chosen to not bring this matter to a vote because of too much opposition from other parts of the state (by both Democrats and Republicans).

Finally, she accuses me of “helping big corporations” because I voted to give “the private gaming industry over $100 million dollars (sic)” to help modernize equipment. I was opposed to this part of the bill in question, but that bill contained another provision which I believed to be necessary. The bill also removed the very low “cap” of $5 per bet on video slots. Competing “racinos” (racetracks with casinos) in other states have no such limit and our tracks should be on a level playing field with them. I accepted a provision I did not like to get something I think we need.

I don’t mind being criticized for things I’ve actually done. But it troubles me when criticisms include serious distortions and outright falsehoods.