Read the following Letter to the Editor in the Connection this week:
Letter: Taking Exception
Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
We take exception to former 10th District Democratic congressional candidate Jeff Barnett’s misrepresentation of our Delegate, Barbara Comstock ["Getting What We Pay For," April 20-26 issue]. While a debate over governing philosophy is a healthy tradition Virginians are long known for, mischaracterizations and distortions represent partisanship at its worst and seem to be part of a political campaign that should have ended when Mr. Barnett lost to Congressman Frank Wolf last November.
Barnett’s misguided attacks ignore that Delegate Comstock has indeed focused on our top priorities. She was a sponsor for the first major investment in transportation in 20 years – the $4B transportation bill which was passed this year with overwhelming bipartisan support. Every Fairfax County Delegate and Senator, except one, voted for the bill. Among others things, it will provide $30m for widening Route 7; funds that Comstock vigorously worked to secure. Further, Delegate Comstock’s bill to change the revenue sharing formula to provide more transportation funds for Fairfax County was incorporated, a fact that Barnett conveniently ignored. Delegate Comstock also was a leader in working with our community to prevent the further extension of the Hot Lanes to the Maryland border, holding two town hall meetings on the issue. In Great Falls, she similarly worked with the community and VDOT, to stop the two-lane turn from Route 7 and work for a single lane solution.
On education, Delegate Comstock was among the first to reach out and team with Governor McDonnell on behalf of Fairfax County students – I know because I was among those that met with her in advance. She was one of the first leaders in our community to fight to reverse former Governor Tim Kaine’s proposed change of the school funding formula which would have cost Fairfax schools over $60m. She came to our children’s school, Churchill Elementary, in the early days of January 2010, and fought with us to reverse Kaine’s action. Jeff Barnett was a proud supporter of Kaine, who wanted to cut $60m for our schools at the same time he wanted to add $2 billion in additional taxes.
Delegate Comstock also was a leader in advocating for more in-state slots for our college students. The $50m Higher Education bill that she sponsored and was passed this year with unanimous support, provides for more in-state slots for our students as well as significant STEM investments.
On the economic and jobs front, Delegate Comstock was chosen by the Governor to serve on his Job Creation and Economic Development Commission and she was the Chief Co-Patron on the R & D Tax Credit which was a priority of our high tech community and the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC). Comstock’s legislation for a Tele-work Tax Credit was also a priority for NVTC and again passed with broad bipartisan support.
Finally, Delegate Comstock has promoted quality of life issues by founding the first House Arts Caucus and by addressing Lyme Disease prevention and passing a resolution supported by the National Capital Lyme Foundation making May "Lyme Disease Awareness Month." She also worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to strengthen penalties in Virginia to fight human trafficking.
Already, as a freshman, Delegate Comstock has been selected for leadership positions as Chairman of the Housing Subcommittee and as a Deputy Whip in her caucus. In addition, she was one of only 50 state legislators around the country to be chosen to participate in the University of Virginia’s bipartisan "Emerging Political Leaders Program."
We appreciate Delegate Comstock’s strong work ethic and her commitment to the people she so ably represents. We also appreciate that these significant accomplishments were secured while balancing our budget, not raising our taxes, and returning more money to hard working taxpayers.
Nuala and Glenn Kelly