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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Fix McDonnell's 29-hour mistake
In addition to resisting Medicaid expansion to include the working poor ("Business sense on Medicaid," March 28 editorial), Virginia's Bob McDonnell ordered all state agencies to follow the 29-hour rule, developed by private employers. This rule, which lawmakers may approve today, will limit the number of hours that part-time employees may legally work for the state for one reason: to deny them their right to health insurance.
McDonnell's order may cost the state more money than it saves in order to recruit, hire and retain a large number of replacement workers to spread part-time hours thinly enough.
Of equal concern, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have warned employers against taking action for the primary purpose of disqualifying employees from their right to health care guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. Retroactive benefits and large fines may prove costly to Virginia.
When they vote on the state budget today, our representatives must curb McDonnell's drive to buck the Affordable Care Act whenever his passion overrides good business sense. Irrespective of his political biases and aspirations, the governor must do the right thing: Respect all Virginians, our jobs and our right to health care.
Allowing cats to stalk birds is cruel, too
Judy Hume is mistaken. It is her way, not "nature's way," when she opens her door to let her cat out to hunt ("Don't demonize cats for natural behavior," March 24 letter). Hume is playing God.
I have inside cats and now two outside strays (and cannot count the many kittens dumped on me). There is nothing Hume has experienced I have not experienced, but pigs will fly before I'll allow my inside cats to kill any living creature.
I am trying to get my strays adopted. Reluctantly, I, too, am playing God.
Either the birds or the strays live. If my strays were to continually kill birds, they would have to be put down.
Hume blames irresponsible humans. Great rhetoric, but useless. Do irresponsible humans care that she blames them? They are rid of their cat. That's all they care about.
By allowing her cat to kill other creatures, Hume is just as uncaring as those who dumped their 5-week-old kitten on her.
I find it unnerving she can listen to Canada geese being slaughtered by dogs, can see hawks plucking birds out of the sky, but looks forward to the return of hummingbirds.
Vote for Christley in Roanoke County
All the rhetoric, fist-pounding and barn-storming on national and state levels in an effort to reclaim our true constitutional form of government will avail us more of what we have now unless we put forth strong efforts to elect people with like principles into our local governing positions who are brave enough to walk the walk after they have talked the talk.
I believe we have found such a person to run for Roanoke County supervisor in RoxAnne Christley. With a tried and tested background in faith in God, commitment to family and community and good common sense, Christley brings a fresh face to government and will not be swayed by smooth talk nor coercive pressure from those in or out of the conservative movement.
As her senior by more than 20 years, I think her strong trait is that she is teachable and can face up to her mistakes, something we all need in government today.
I encourage all who could be affected by this election to search out the facts concerning Christley and her values.
Those who do, I trust to make right decisions.
Virginia needs McAuliffe as governor
In contrast to Raymond Weeks' March 31 letter ("McAuliffe? Not now, not later, not ever"), now is the time to elect Terry McAuliffe as Virginia's next governor.
Besides his experience as chairman of the Democratic Party, McAuliffe has been successful as a businessman, starting his first company at age 14.
His net worth is in the millions, but he has invested heavily in local governments in the Northern Virginia area where he has lived for 20 years.
McAuliffe also has a strong interest in Southwest Virginia, as I learned last year when he called to congratulate me on being elected chairwoman of the Giles County Democratic Committee.
Our conversation focused on innovative technologies and education's role in creating jobs in the area (e.g., Virginia Tech's Corporate Research Center).
As governor, McAuliffe will put jobs first, unlike his opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, who with his unsuccessful lawsuits has put his own ideologies ahead of Virginia's needs. His state Senate record also does not bode well.
Former Virginia Republican Sen. Russ Potts described Cuccinelli as a "radical, out-of-the-mainstream legislator."
I urge Virginians to vote for McAuliffe in the June 11 Democratic primary and in November.
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