In case you hadn’t noticed, it is that time of year when politicians show up at your door begging for your support both at the voting booth and financially. Or surrogates are handing out a candidate’s brochures spouting off about why so-and-so is the best person for the elective office.
Some of these politicians have been missing in action for years, that is until it gets close to election time. Signs pop up at intersections like dandelions. I think some of them have been in place from two or four years before depending upon the office up for election.
Attack ads fill the airwaves and mailboxes.
Candidates make wild promises, while some just try to twist your voting arm because they are affiliated with one particular political party. Some actually have platforms that make sense. However, my arm is really sore from all the arm twisting.
One board of supervisors’ candidate came to my door because he wanted to talk to me. Why me? Who knows? Anyway, we chatted about various issues. I doubt that anything came of it.
Well actually something did.
About an hour after the visit, I received a text message from a friend asking if I was being paid for the political advertisement of the door-knocking candidate. Huh?
It seems that the candidate had someone take a picture of us, with me holding my tiny Yorkie Riley in my arms, while the candidate and I chatted on the front porch. The friend who sent the text noted, quite correctly, that Riley was the best looking of the group.
Above the photo was a caption: “Walking our district and making sure your voice is heard on the Board of Supervisors! Thanks for your support! Vote November 5th”
I didn’t recall supporting that candidate.
I contacted the candidate and told him that I did not appreciate the inference that I supported him. Not that anybody would care one way or other if I did or not. Thankfully, the candidate did the right thing and took the picture and caption down.
A town council candidate sent a postcard in the mail that mentioned his platform, which included eliminating the “double tax” paid by town residents on vehicles.
If paying town personal property tax on vehicles after paying county taxes on those same vehicles is double taxation then logic would seem to indicate that paying town real estate taxes while paying county real estate taxes is double taxation as well. Nowhere on the postcard is the issue of double taxation on real estate taxes raised.
Town residents are also county residents and support county functions like the school system, parks and recreation and the sheriff’s office to name a few.
Having an inquiring mind, I called the candidate about his assertion regarding vehicular double taxation. I told him that it seemed that the tax, like the real estate tax, went toward services town residents receive that county residents do not. Town residents don’t have to wait for VDOT to plow snow or maintain the streets. Town residents have a public works department to tend to our streets and police department for protection. Townies have once a week garbage pickup as a result of these so-called double taxes.
The candidate agreed that town residents do get additional services for additional taxes. He noted that many citizens he contacted while knocking on doors complained about the so-called double taxation.
He said that he tries to educate those who call it a double tax. His postcard called it that, so I assume there is a bit of self-education there as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like paying taxes. I don’t think anyone does. Taxes are a necessary evil. But when you eliminate a tax, a service has to be cut or an additional tax imposed, or fee – a disguised word for tax – to maintain services. In this instance the town would lose about $470,000 in revenue.
Then there is a delegate race in which a candidate, who is not on the ballot, is blaming the opposition party for deleting his name. Forget that his campaign manager sent filing papers to a wrong state email address and didn’t follow-up, or that the candidate himself filed a required form weeks after the deadline. But all that is the opposition’s fault?
My advice is vote. Local and state elected officials have more impact on our lives than those useless folks in Washington. Of course, those folks in Washington receive a healthy paycheck and healthcare benefits for doing absolutely nothing.
In any event, election day, Tuesday Nov. 5, will be here soon. But until then look for more flyers, brochures and campaign literature on your doorstep and mailbox, while attacks ads pollute the airwaves.
After the election, campaign signs will be picked up, maybe. And the newly elected or reelected officials will disappear for a few years, that is until the next election.