Tuesday, April 05, 2005

57th District Gets Competition

Former Charlottesville City Councilor David Toscano, who once ran for Congress on the far-left Citizens' Party (Barry Commoner) ticket, now faces competition in his race to succeed retiring Delegate Mitch Van Yahres in the 57th House of Delegates District.

According to WINA radio,

A retiring member of the University of Virginia faculty hopes to succeed fellow Democrat Mitch Van Yahres in the House of Delegates. Rich Collins officially launched his campaign Monday on the downtown mall. Collins believes he can represent Charlottesville & Albemarle in the tradition of Van Yahres, and the late State Senator Emily Couric. He's stressing his credentials as an educator and an environmentalist.
The Daily Progress adds:
At an early evening rally on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, Collins announced his candidacy while proposing a plan to freeze rising real estate assessments, or what he calls the "growth tax."

"The way I see it, when your property assessment goes through the roof, that extra money being charged is, in effect, a raise in taxes," Collins said.

The 70-year-old said he wants localities to choose if assessments should rise and, if so, how revenue from those assessments should be spent.
That sounds like a sensible position. But it seems anomalous when one considers Collins' background as a no-growth environmental activist -- unless one looks at tax caps as a means to prevent economic growth (a perverse position, but one that might be argued).

In an email to friends and colleagues inviting them to attend Collins' campaign launch, one of Collins' early supporters wrote:
Rich is a UVa professor and a founder of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation and Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population. He has served as chair of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, and the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority. He's a husband, father, grandfather, veteran and a helluva guy.
So it looks like the choice Democrats will face on June 14 is between the left and the far left. Mr. Hobson, call your office.

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