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Jim Hyland attacked for Answering FCTA Candidate Questionnaire

posted Oct 30, 2009, 7:12 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 30, 2009, 9:52 PM by Arthur Purves ]
Connections Newspaper:  Letter to the Editor 10/21/2009

To the Editor:

In the race for the 35th delegate District, Democrat Mark Keam mailed a glossy ad criticizing Republican Jim Hyland for one of Hyland’s answers to the Northern Virginia Tea Party Candidate Questionnaire.

The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance mailed this questionnaire to Keam also. His staff signed the return receipt on Aug. 12. Keam has not yet responded. Democrat Del. Vivian Watts has. Responses were requested by Sept. 1.

So Keam is criticizing Hyland’s answer to a question that Keam himself is unwilling to answer. Here’s the question Hyland answered but Keam has not:

“Between 1998 and 2006, Virginia inflation-adjusted spending for public schools increased four times faster than enrollment (37 percent vs. 9 percent). Was this increase excessive?”

Does Keam believe it is necessary to increase public school spending four times faster than enrollment and inflation? He won’t say.

Another question Hyland answered but Keam has not:

“The ACT college admissions test High School Profile Report for the Virginia 2008 graduating class states that 26 percent of the 17,000 students tested statewide were ready for college-level coursework. Is academic achievement in Virginia public schools excellent, good, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory?”

Two more questions not answered by Keam:

“Between 1998 and 2006, inflation-adjusted budgets for Virginia four-year public colleges and universities increased three times faster than enrollment (46 percent vs. 15 percent). Was this increase excessive?”

“Between 1998 and 2007, Virginia’s annual budget doubled, from $17.6 billion to $35 billion. This increase was $9 billion more than needed to keep up with population and inflation. Was this increase excessive?”

To see the complete questionnaire and candidate responses, visit www.fcta.org. We urge Keam to answer these questions.

Arthur G. Purves

President, Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance