Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Statement of Chairman Steve Thomas on the Committee of 500 forum

For Immediate Release
Contact: Steven Thomas

Statement of Spotsylvania GOP Chairman on the Committee of 500 Forum

While we respect the attempt to bring the public together in a forum, the Committee of 500 gathering Sunday was a disappointment. Our disappointment stems from the presentations, including one espousing the merits of the local government controlling the development process rather than allowing free market economic forces to guide it, while protecting property rights. Another presented the need for the General Assembly to provide more revenues to the local governments or for the local government to find new ways to raise the revenues. Or better put, have the taxpayers pay more in taxes at a local and state level.

We had thought that the statism espoused by the speakers and C-500 Board members was discredited with the failure of the Democratically-controlled Congress and Administration. But this group- many of which actually supported and endorsed Obama, including C-500 Chair Christine Lynch and Chancellor supervisor Hap Connors- has sadly become a proxy for the Spotsylvania Democrats.

While each speaker gave reasons why taxes should go up in perpetuity and government should get ever-larger, the voices of many participants- including many Spotsylvania Republicans- seemed to be dismissed in favor of infringement on property rights, runaway government spending, and the seeming “fairfaxization” of Spotsylvania. Even more disappointing was how out of touch some in the room were as to the main challenge of the time- jobs and economic development.

There was no better example of this than the list of groups that were not invited to the narrow echo-chamber. Where were the Spotsylvania Landowners' Assocation? Where was the local Farm Bureau? Where was the local Chamber of Commerce? In fact, those with the greatest stake in the local private economy and on the front lines in job creation were never even notified of this forum, let alone invited to it.

The Spotsylvania Republicans will continue to focus on economic development by seeking industries that would add to the employment base to the county and offer current residents the opportunity to work locally. We will resist the growth of taxes and government as the priorities that we believe most Spotsylvanians share with us.

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