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Del. Ken Plum: My Election Picks

by Del. Ken Plum — October 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is a commentary by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Voters in the 36th legislative district, which I represent, will receive my annual voting guide in their mailboxes this week. I hope you will find it useful. You can also view the guide online at www.kenplum.com.

Of course individuals make their own choices in voting, but many people ask me for my advice. That is why I started sending out a guide many years ago. In addition to sharing my election picks, the guide provides voters with advanced notice of what is on the ballot in addition to high-profile races.

For example, in addition to voting for the next president this year, voters in my district will elect their member of the House of Representatives, and they may vote on a referendum on a tax, two state constitutional amendments, and a bond referendum.

I enthusiastically recommend a vote for the electors for Hillary Clinton for president and Tim Kaine for vice-president. My endorsement of Hillary Clinton is not because of her political party, her being a woman or her being “the lesser of two evils” as some people are saying. I support her because she is the best-qualified and most experienced person with the clearest agenda of any person I have ever supported in my lifetime — and that goes back to John Kennedy.

Tim Kaine, whom I know personally, is one of the most honest and decent persons I know in public life. He can do a lot to restore confidence in public service that has taken a negative hit during this election cycle.

My legislative district is in two congressional districts: the 11th, where Congressman Gerry Connolly deserves re-election; and the 10th, where LuAnn Bennett should be elected to replace an incumbent who has been part of the do-nothing congressional majority.

Two state constitutional amendments are on the ballot. The first that is termed “right to work” should be defeated as I explained in my column last week. Its provisions are already the law in Virginia and including it in the constitution would interfere with employers who seek a collaborative relationship with their employees. The second that would allow local governments to grant property relief to spouses of fire, police and emergency services workers who die in the line of duty should be approved.

The local meals tax referendum should be approved. We have witnessed in recent years the difficulties the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board are having in balancing the budget because of a lack of revenue. The parents, grandparents and others I talk to in my district insist on the best possible schools for our children. Seventy percent of the revenues raised by the tax would go to the schools. I also support the bond referenda on the ballot by Fairfax County.

My recommendations are given to you respectfully to provide some more information before you vote on Nov. 8. Not voting is never a good choice. Still need more information, go to vote.virginia.gov.

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