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Letter: Put the $4 million proposed for Redskins to better use


I recently learned that Gov. McDonnell has offered $4 million in state funds to the Washington Redskins organization to motivate their maintaining their headquarters and their training facility in Virginia.

I sent the governor the following response to this proposal, which I think will sum up my position on the subject.

Mr. McDonnell:
The purpose of this letter is to take issue with a plan attributed to your office, per my understanding, to provide $4 million in Virginia state funds (variously characterized as an "investment" or "grant") to the Washington Redskins to relocate their training facilities to the Richmond area.
Several points I wish to make:
1) As a Virginia taxpayer, I don't personally care where the Redskins operate their training facility and I see no reason for the state to expend tax dollars to influence their decision.
2) As a Shenandoah County resident, I have even less interest in seeing my county neighbors' taxes funding something that will have no benefit to us (and be of dubious value to Richmond residents, for that matter).
3) I believe that Dan Snyder and the rest of the Redskins management are the last people to need of state financial help. Here in my county, I live on a gravel road that was slated for paving until the recent budget crunch. That road contains a bridge that is in desperate need of repair. I'm sure that there are many other such projects in the state that could use some or all of the $4 million that's been so generously offered to the Redskins.
4) I object in principle to government funding for private businesses with what amounts to a "free lunch." There are numerous examples of this happening in the past, and the majority of them, subjected to later analysis, provide no measurable benefit to the taxpayer.
In summary, I urge you to drop this idea, despite the apparent initial appeal it has had. The $4 million can be put to better use, especially during the current economic slowdown.

Does anyone else think that this is a dumb idea?

Zack Stough, Edinburg


SPORTS, sports, sports - that's all this society thinks of. Check out the schools. How many more coaches do they need? Don't worry about education - play ball!

McDonnell is what he is. If the Democrats had run someone against him who had a chance of winning - at least this Republican would not be there.

Guess McDonnell will go back to doing other great things now that he's not the V.P. pick for Romney.

They sure know what's important. Too bad these rich folk don't live in the real world.

I agree. Football empires are financially stable enough to pay their own way. I know they bring tax dollars into communities, but tax incentives should be for small business owners who aren't swimming in funds to come to towns and create jobs for the community.

I have no problem with people making huge salaries if the money is there, so as long as football players, managers, ceo's etc are making millions of dollar's I think they should be the ones sacrificing for their franchises...not the tax payers.

and Diane while I agree that Governor McDonnell has not been the greatest, I really don't see that a Democrat would be any different. Football and the love of all things sports seems to cross political lines. If anyone was honest they would see that Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coins. They both end up with the same ends (power for themselves), they just use different words and different methods. I have a hard time seeing any difference between the two (when it comes to outcomes)...

Good letter Zack...

I posted on another opinion piece in NVD the hypocrisy of this governor re children's health issues for our state.

"The McDonnell administration will expand loan forgiveness and scholarship programs for health care professionals with an emphasis on placing health care professionals in rural areas,” the campaign wrote in a policy paper. This promise is very similar to another one we rated recently, that McDonnell would train more doctors and nurses to practice in rural areas, which we rated In the Works....Today, the state still receives $400,000 from the federal government for the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program but does not provide the required 50 percent match. (PotitiFact)

Amazing, the "priorities" of these Republicans; e.g., in his thirteen years in the House, the two bills Ryan passed to help his home state of Wisconsin:

2000 -- Passed a bill to have the local post office renamed; the post office on 1818 Milton Ave. in Janesville, Wis., is now known as "Les Aspin Post Office Building."

2008 --Passed a bill to change the way arrows (as in bows and arrows) are hit with an excise tax. Specifically, his bill amended the Internal Revenue Code to impose a 39-cent tax per arrow shaft, instead of a 12.4 percent tax on the sales price. The bill also "includes points suitable for use with arrows in the 11 percent excise tax on arrow parts and accessories."

Hey Jane your a real TOOL. Have to go back to 2000 on Ryan.

You kinda left out that Les Aspin was a democrat and the SECDEF under Clinton not to mention a US Rep from 1971 to 1993.

Do research and let us know all of the democrats that passed this bill, you TOOL.

You must work for MSNBC.

As long as big money buys our politicians, it will run the process and rule our lives. No candidate is free from accepting these contributions because it has become nothing but the "money game" and our Supreme Court is keeping it that way.

TV is making a killing on these negative/positive ads: they couldn't care less who wins. And this entire election process is drawn out far too long. Real debates are needed - lots of them. Cut the ads out and get down to the real issues!

Yes, very good letter Mr. Stough. Kim, you've made some valid comments, but the Republicans scare me more! And McDonnell is a lightweight, willing to please those who own him not the average Virginian like you or me.

I knew EXACTLY who Aspen was when I posted; it still doesn't change the outcome. Personally, I would hate some politician to come into one our surrounding towns and change the name of our local post offices.

As far as my going back to 2000, look at it this way, Mohawk Man...at least I gave Ryan credit for doing two things for his home state in the past 13 years. Had I not included that one, in 13 years the ONLY thing Ryan has done for Wisconsin was help his buddy (look it up). Ryan is an avid archer...hope he at least got a free set for his trouble!

State funds DO NOT need to subsidize private enterprise, PERIOD!

Wonder will TEA TIME will wade into this one?

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