Delegate’s Response Stirs Decorum Debate

Drew Dolson’s “Missed Manners” (Back Page, Feb. 18) points out something of more concern than mere discourtesy. Participation by constituents is the lifeblood of democracy. Any response from an elected official that discourages citizen feedback is more than discourteous — it is destructive to democracy itself.

Kathy Ellis

In regards to Drew Dolson’s whiney, complaining Back Page, I would like to make some comments. If he can’t find anyone who has studied the budget crisis and is still against raising taxes, he needs to get out more. My friends and I value every dollar we earn and every dollar that is taxed away by the government. Delegate Jack Reid keeps getting elected because he understands how working families feel about the money they earn and keeps his campaign promise not to raise taxes seriously.

As for his manners in dealing with Henrico voters, I would rather have a politician who isn’t scared to stand up for what he and the majority of his constituents believe in. Although Delegate Reid may not be a sweet-talking, feel-good politician, there is never any question of his integrity and what he believes in.

I am sure you would rather have a politician who smiles and tells you what you want to hear while taking the money out of your pocket. I think it is a sad world where liars such as Clinton politicians can succeed where honesty is condemned.

Tommy Branin

I am one of “these close-fisted neighbors Delegate Reid is talking about” (Back Page, Feb. 18) Almost all of Reid’s constituents know where he stands on taxes, including myself. That is why he has been overwhelmingly re-elected every time he has run, often without opposition.

Max Maizels

What Dolson calls rude, I refreshingly call candor! Dolson says Reid is no Virginia Gentleman. He should remember a “gentleman” keeps his word, which is just what Jack Reid has always done as a delegate. That’s also why we keep electing him from Henrico!

Linwood M. Cobb

I take great exception to your writer questioning Delegate Jack Reid’s manners. The problem Mr. Dolson has is that he doesn’t understand the political process.

Delegate Reid gave Mr. Dolson the best advice he could receive. Like everyone else in Virginia who likes tax increases, if you are so inclined, mail in your money! The state will gladly take it. Please don’t commit my money to your ideas or what you think is best for Virginia. I am trying to raise my two sons, one in college, and it’s all I can do to make ends meet. I don’t need another tax increase.

I trust Delegate Reid, who has been looking after the interest of Virginia citizens for a long time, to be able to separate the sugar from the cane when it comes to money problems in Virginia. He could have answered your correspondence, “Thanks for your views,” the standard political rhetoric, but he gave you a way to feel good about yourself. When you mail in your check to help the good people of Virginia, I’m sure you will get a thank-you letter, because, after all, that would be good manners.

John Cates

Please forward to Drew Dolson my condolences. Reid is also my delegate. He did not even respond to my inquiry about raising the cigarette tariff. I am appalled at how imperious and condescending he is.

Cinda Caiella

I recently sent an e-mail to my district representative, Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, requesting some insight on an issue that concerns me and my community. I am still waiting for a response. In my experience, no response is sometimes more rude than a flippant response. It can make a person feel unimportant and nonexistent.

So I agree with Mr. Dolson. Virginia’s public life no longer consists of the formal, elaborate courtesy on which it prided itself in the past. It barely consists of common courtesy, such as acknowledging that someone has asked a question that warrants some type of response.

Tracy Walker


The Old Original Bookbinders in Shockoe Bottom is not closed as “Stripped-Down Sibling” (Feb. 25) indicated. The Philadelphia location is closed for renovations and will reopen in late summer. Style regrets the error.



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