Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mon County Democrats Run False Ad Touting Food Tax Cut & Property Rights Support, Frich Responds

There's a weekly free paper in Morgantown called the Morgantown Times that's mailed to every home in Monongalia County. It consists primarily of ads and informational articles. A lot of communities have publications like this. Mine normally heads straight to the trash can without being read.

Yesterday, I just happened to look at the paper briefly before going to the trash can, whereupon I found on the back a full-page political ad by the Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee. The ad is as follows:

Click here for larger version"Our Team is Working for YOU in Charleston. We supported the 1% reduction in the tax on food. We supported protecting property owners' rights."

This ad's claim on property rights is nothing but a lie. The Ruling Party did nothing on eminent domain except block a resolution (SCR 402) that would have put the Legislature on the record as being for reforming the state's eminent domain laws in the wake of the Kelo decision. All it said was the Legislature should take substantive action in January. Yet, both presiding officers ruled the resolutions out of order because it was not a "ceremonial resolution."

William Stewart has more on this.

Today, Delegate Cindy Frich, R-Monongalia, issued the following response to this false & misleading ad:

To the Editor:

My respect for the voters of my district are utmost in my thoughts at all times, particularly while making choices as your legislator. I have no desire to deceive any of my constituents just as I do not appreciate being deceived. It is very difficult for me to inform you of what transpires in Charleston because of the financial restraints of advertising and an occasional insurmountable media bias against Republicans.

In the September 21, 2005 edition of the Morgantown Times, the Monongalia County Democratic Executive Committee ran a full page ad that was painfully misleading. I hope that the politicians whose photo appeared in the ad do not support spreading this false information regarding their performance in Charleston.

It is true that they supported the 1% reduction in the tax on food. Personally, I don't understand why they would be bragging about it. They blocked allowing an up or down vote on my amendment to eliminate the food tax and they blocked an amendment to phase out the food tax.

What concerns me about this ad is the statement "We supported protecting property owner's rights." I would be interested in hearing their interpretation of how this could possibly be a true statement.

The truth is that, unlike me, every politician in the ad supported the Governor's bill in his January Special Session to expand the government's power to take private property and give it to a different private entity. I was the ONLY member of the House of Delegates to vote against this.

This month I asked the Governor to allow my resolution on his September Special Session call. My resolution states that the Legislature intends to pass legislation in the 2006 Regular Session so we can protect private property rights. The Governor has a copy of my resolution and the original is setting in the House Clerk's Office gathering dust after going through the proper procedures to appear on the House agenda. Unfortunately, the Governor and House leadership only allowed resolutions naming bridges on the agenda. A commitment to protect private property rights wasn't important enough to deal with even though the Special Session spent $40,000 a day in Charleston naming bridges.

Funny, the Republicans in the Senate forced a vote in the Senate on the exact same eminent domain resolution that I sponsored in the House. How did the Senators in the Morgantown Times ad vote? "NO". What did they do to support protecting property owner's rights? Worse than nothing.

Since these politicians seem to believe that they already protected your property rights, it will be difficult to have their support in the regular session to actually do something to protect private property rights. I plan on doing something.

The first bill which has completed it's way through the legislative bill drafting process for the 2006 Regular Session is my bill to protect private property from being taken for private gain.

I would prefer to not be forced into a situation of trying to lay out the facts in this manner. However, I was denied the opportunity to respond in any way in the Morgantown Times publication to the untruthful ad that they published. I can certainly not afford to match their ad, which costs around $1,000.

You might try calling your other legislators and ask them what they did to protect property owner's rights. After the silence, please ask them to support my bill to protect your property.


Cindy Frich
WV House of Delegates, 44th