Editor's Note: Although the Peninsula Clarion has announced new guidelines for letters to the editor for the remainder of the election season, in the spirit of fairness, we are allowing Jerry Ward to respond to letters printed Thursday and Friday.
In a recent letter to the Clarion, my opponent for the Republican nomination for state Senate, Tom Wagoner, stated "as far as the permanent fund and House Bill 11 go, let's be real clear: HB 11 did not take one dollar out of the permanent fund."
Yes, Tom, let's be clear. HB 11 reduced by half the amount of royalty oil money flowing into the permanent fund and took some $42 million to pay for more state government, as you acknowledged on a local radio program. In other words, the permanent fund has less money to pay out in dividends because you, Tom Wagoner, voted to divert it to feed a larger state government. The record is clear, you voted to raid the permanent fund, and that is the truth, Tom, and you know it.
You also mentioned user fees. I suppose you would put the quadrupling of fees that small business must pay the state to do business in that category. I call it a tax. Of course, your views on the fourfold increase of this "fee" are well known. Again, on a local radio show, you stated that peninsula businesses "have had a free ride for 25 years." Well, Tom, I don't share your view. Taking money from this area's mom and pop businesses to feed more state government may be part of your value system, but it's not part of mine.
Additionally, your daughter wrote a letter to the Clarion and stated that I had run for public office as a Democrat. Not true. I have never been elected or ran for public office as a Democrat as the letter stated. Tom, unlike you, I have only been elected as a Republican.
And a final word of truth, Tom. The tire tax I refer to in my campaign literature which you voted for in the Legislature imposes a tax on every tire purchased by peninsula families. Just because the governor was the sponsor of the bill does not take away the fact that you voted for it. You could have voted "no," but you didn't. I would have. Your vote was the wrong way to go.
For anyone interested in further information about these or other issues, I can be reached at 262-1692, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my Web site is www.senatorward.com.
Candidate for Senate District Q
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