From Northern Virginia's 37th House District

From reporter Leef Smith in the 37th House District, a swath of Northern Virginia that includes Fairfax City:

At 2 p.m., it seemed like there were more campaign volunteers than voters at Woodson High School in Fairfax County.

Several voters exiting the polls said it was the annoying but persistent leaflet and advertising campaigns that got them out to cast their ballots.

One man, a 47-year-old naturalized citizen who has been living in the United States since his family moved from Iran 31 years ago, said he is unhappy with Kaine's stand supporting benefits for illegal immigrants and came out to vote for Kilgore.

He criticized Kaine's position, which he said advocates the use of public dollars to help immigrants, effectively helping big corporations by giving them cheap labor.

"We're getting ripped off as taxpayers," said the man, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. "We had to go through a number of challenges to become citizens [when we came from Iran]. And we had to learn the language. So it means a lot to me that people follow the same rules."

John Amos, 60, who retired in 2000 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics where he was supervising economist, said he has voted every year "since LBJ was in office." But he said it was the rise in real estate taxes, a problem he says has gotten "out of hand" in Fairfax, that prompted him to arrive at the polls with plenty of time to spare.

His choice for Governor? Kilgore.

"He has a better track record on taxes than Kaine," said Amos, who has lived in Fairfax since 1972. "Of course it's a crapshoot. They all promise everything ... I don't know what they're going to do [about the taxes] but I hope they do something."

For lieutenant governor he chose Republican Bill Bolling over Democratic challenger Leslie L. Byrne.

"Leslie Byrne I knew as a congresswoman," Amos said. "I voted for her then. But I didn't think she did much."

Debbie Altman, 35, a homemaker, moved to Fairfax from Alabama a year ago with her husband, who is in the Air Force, and three preschool-aged children. She voted the Republican ticket but not before doing some research on candidates.

John Mason, a Republican running in the 37th District House race against Democrat David Bulova, the son of veteran Faifax County Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova, visited Altman's home while campaigning in her neighborhood.

"It led me to research his positions," Altman said. "It liked that he's a former mayor and he knows the area and issues very well. He's retired military and we're a military family. Maybe there's a kinship," she said.

Moments after casting their ballots in Fairfax County, many voters said they couldn't recall whom they chose for lieutenant governor, explaining they voted their party's ticket.

But one man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he voted for Byrne because she was one politician on the ballot he could pick out of a crowd.

"I liked her government and the way she works," said the man, who identified himself only as a 60-year-old, self-employed businessman who works with filing systems. "She's a friendly face I knew."

By Robert Thomson |  November 8, 2005; 3:50 PM ET  | Category:  Misc.
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In reference to the anonymous Iranian immigrant, I wonder what his views would have been had his family tried to leave AFTER the revolution. My father was lucky enough to have just entered the country, legally, from Iran right before the revolution and for the past 30+ years has never been able to get even ONE of his immediate family members out of Iran in to the U.S. because of the new government.

Granted, there are all sorts of circumstances and factors that can be argued on the immigration situation. By preventing people from crossing over we solve the problem but only partially. The real issue is what to do with the ones that are here, more than likely their children are citizens by natural birth. Without even thinking about the impact on the people who would be separated from the various intricacies of birth citizenship, it's a much bigger project to find, detain, and remove them than it would be help integrate them into our society while reducing the flow of illegal immigrants.

On a different subject, taxes are always an issue. Those who are upset about the increase in the past year must not get the fact that had we not had that increase, it is more than likely that, the state would have had another state financial issue. We've only barely gotten past the financial crisis of the Gilmore Era and now that they're in place, all the opponents of the increase, Kilgore being one of them, and even its supporters are just dying to divert the surplus for other projects. Neither side is going to repeal it, and another increase can't be justified since we do have a surplus. Besides, as a paid lobbyist, Kilgore tried to get the legislature to raise natural gas taxes by 66% and said his property tax plan would allow localities to raise our property taxes "as they want... Bristol Herald Courier, 1/1/00 and 1/16/00; SB 213 (2000); Kilgore, Remarks to the Vienna (Va.) Rotary Club, 8/24/05
How does he have a better record on taxes then Kaine?

Posted by: VT Senior | November 8, 2005 06:03 PM

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