Letter to the Editor:
You have done your readers a great service with your series of interviews with Jill Vogel, Shaun Broy and I. Thank you. And though you must accept on my word that attacking opponents isn’t my campaign style, my dilemma is whether an opponent’s claims that are exaggerated or simply not true should stand. I conclude they should not and therefore challenge Mrs. Vogel as follows:
The 2011 budget bill votes reveal Mrs. Vogel actually supported the budget bills, whereas she claimed she was opposed. Mrs. Vogel and her conservative Republican colleagues actually left it to the Governor to restore budgets on state trooper overtime (#46), land conservation (#43-4), sexually violent predators (#34) and virtual schools (pertinent to rural broadband, #18).
I also take offense at blithe promises ignoring truth. So broadband is problematical? And Mrs. Vogel wants government (meaning taxpayers) to pay when communications companies won’t? Really? Why? We have schools, fund those; and books, and satellite, and iPads and Kindles.
It is this disregard for promising what can’t be delivered that I find objectionable, and likewise pretend endorsements, which are much the same thing. A letter from four of five Sheriffs in the 27th Senatorial District ostensibly supported Mrs. Vogel. For those of you taking such letters seriously, the first question is which Sheriff wrote this letter. Or was it collaborative with each contributing in rotation? Sheriff Simpson’s computer, dictation equipment or pen apparently wasn’t working since he didn’t sign, or maybe he doesn’t share these sentiments?
The letter is not much more than a posterior covering exercise. As to substance, the Sheriffs purportedly praise Mrs. Vogel’s support of their efforts, as shown by a bill, SB329, from 2010. A direct quote reads that “no one has worked harder or done more to support the men and women who protect the public in the Commonwealth”. Huh? SB329 failed! Why? Because former Commonwealth Attorneys of Mrs.Vogel’s own party voted against it. And Mrs. Vogel was unpersuasive with her own colleagues in the House to pass it. And it wasn’t her bill.
Now to the exaggeration no one has done more than Mrs. Vogel. How’s that possible when the bill used as emblematic of her efforts wasn’t her bill, and didn’t pass. And her record shows no legislation from Mrs. Vogel on behalf of Sheriffs. What pertinent legislation she had was largely opposed by Sheriffs, having to do with guns in glove compartments, for instance. Not a single law enforcement officer in the United States favors guns in the glove compartments.
To now, I didn’t engage in characterizing voting records except to call Mrs. Vogel a loyal soldier moving in lock step with her conservative Republican caucus. I violated that but won’t brook exaggerations. Mrs. Vogel’s record is guns in glove compartments, opposition to universal healthcare, allowing Cuccinelli witch hunts and curtailing women’s reproductive rights.
It’s too bad we won’t be debating this or any other issue since Mrs. Vogel declined debates. But it’s conservative Republicans who refuse to provide adequate revenue for Sheriffs, the courts, and the medically and economically disadvantaged. Politics do make strange bedfellows, no?
Donald C. Marro
The Plains, Virginia
Mr. Marro is an Independent candidate for Virginia’s 27th District Senate seat