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Full letter to editor: Mountain Xpress

October 13, 2012

Hello! I’m just back from vacation. I picked up the Mountain Xpress this evening and discovered that they left out a very important part of the letter to the editor that I had submitted to them before I left. I’ve highlighted the missing portion of my letter below:

To the Editor;

In 2010, a Raleigh Tea Bag tycoon named Art Pope funded campaigns across the state through direct donations and through several political action committees (PACs). Pope targeted even the most moderate state assembly Democrats, as detailed in a New Yorker investigation. As a result, the statehouse became not just right-wing, but radically right-wing. Radical right-wingers want to privatize or dismantle all parts of government that do not serve business. For them, democracy, financial and environmental regulation, the ability to sue for negligence, etc., are more than a bother – they cut into profit.

In contrast, the politicians I’m volunteering for this year (Jane Whilden, Susan Wilson, Susan Fisher, and Patsy Keever) believe government should exist to protect and empower everyone equally. They know that we all pool our taxes to build and operate roads, schools, research centers, parks, etc., for the benefit of all, including business. Government has to regulate responsibly in order to protect the public from unscrupulous polluters, cheaters, and predators.

All this brings me to Buncombe state representative Tim Moffitt. In 2010, Pope’s outfit targeted Moffitt’s opponent, Jane Whilden, sending out a vicious negative mailers. Moffitt received $16,000 in direct Pope family contributions as well as thousands in corporate PAC money. Moffitt won. In Raleigh, he propelled the radical agenda of gutting public education, women’s rights, and laws that protect our environment.

With the help of Henderson County politicos, Moffitt launched a ruthless campaign against his Asheville neighbors to take the City’s water system and airport without compensation. He also changed our county elections in Raleigh without any public process by having the state add two new seats to the County Commission and separating the county into districts. Despite the fact that commissioners represent all of Buncombe, voters can only vote for two candidates in their district plus the Chair. It’s a ploy to get two Republicans on the board, and it may not even work. Either way, taxpayers now have to fund two extra commissioner salaries thanks to Moffitt’s little game.

Moffitt brags about cutting taxes, but what he’s talking about is letting the ¾-cent sales tax expire. That failed to make a dent in my purse, but it did cripple the state’s budget by $1.3 billion. Moffitt also passed a tax break meant to help small businesses – with a loophole that went to rich business owners. That cost the state $336 million in lost revenue. In the meantime, Buncombe County schools lost $622 million from their discretionary budget this year; the PAC money is back; and voters know what they’re getting with Moffitt.

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