To the Editor:
In the March 1 Mount Vernon Gazette, Frank Medico, Jay McConville and I had our letters to the editor published discussing the legislative agenda of Del. Scott Surovell. I was unaware the other letters had been submitted. The response by others in last week's Gazette was "fast and furious."
Ron Brandt and Jeff Carver favor reinstatement of the estate tax. Mr. Brandt punctuated his support for reinstatement with the words "Of course." Mr. Carver used the extreme example of Paris Hilton's prospective inheritance. What could be more unfair than paying a tax when earning money, paying a second tax on the earnings from the portion of the money that was saved, then paying a third tax on the principal after death. Estate taxes threaten the ability of families to pass family businesses on to their heirs. Triple taxing the fruits of one's labors is grossly inequitable and smacks of redistribution of assets via the government from those who were successful to those who were less so.
Mr. Carver went further, attempting to tie me to the "transvaginal ultrasound" bill that was withdrawn. Re-read my letter Mr. Carver; I clearly and specifically stated my opposition to that bill.
Anne A. Andrews decried the voter ID law, claiming it discriminates against non-drivers, the elderly and African-Americans. She claims "there have been practically no cases of 'fraud' that need to be 'corrected' by these ID laws ..." How would she or anyone else really know? This very week, Project Veritas members visited polling places during the Vermont Republican primary election with lists of registered voters including the deceased. They asked to vote in the names of those people and were never refused a ballot. See link for video evidence: http://theprojectveritas.com/voterfraud3. They didn't use those ballots but proved the point. Who knows how much voter fraud exists? Requiring an ID puts a stop to most of it and prevents the votes of legitimate voters from being illegally diluted. The Virginia voter ID law, Va. Code Section 24.2-643 was amended this year to require the following forms of ID, the changes shown in italics:
"his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Virginia driver's license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; or any valid student identification card issued by any four-year institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia; any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer's business; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter."
The amendments retain the leniency of identification requirements of Virginia law. As far as I am concerned, anyone who can't produce one of the listed items, six of which don't comprise a photo ID, should not be permitted to vote.
A new low in civic discourse was achieved by Queenie Cox, an African-American civic activist and former co-chair of the MVCCA and Supervisor Hyland's Visioning Task Force. Playing the race card, Ms Cox attempted to equate opposition to a bill seeking to restore voting rights to those convicted of non-violent felonies, who have paid their debt to society, with support for Jim Crow laws which intentionally discriminated against African-Americans. Here's a message to you Ms. Cox: Before you inject race into a civic debate, please document your contention. Please show the community a study that demonstrates that African-Americans are disproportionately convicted of non-violent felonies under circumstances in which they really didn't commit the crimes for which they have been convicted.
H. Jay Spiegel