Friday, September 23, 2005

Virginia Coalition of Police and Deputy Sheriffs Endorses Tim Kaine for Governor

Virginia Coalition of Police and Deputy Sheriffs, with over 3,000 law enforcement members, honored Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia with a recent endorsement.

Understanding that to fight crime takes more than catchy slogans and parsing fitting laws to gain headlines, Kaine believes to wage war you should fund initiatives advanced by law enforcement officers; and in an interview with VCOP, Kaine laid bare for constituents why he is the best man to be Virginia's next governor.

The would-be governor told the association he believes the best way to fight crime is to reward crime fighters; and to that end, Kaine supports increasing retirement benefits for state and local police officers.

He said he will work to protect the "Line of Duty Act" that guarantees benefits to families of “fallen police and firefighters.” Recently, the Republican led legislation tried to reduce their benefit package.

Kaine also expressed support for state tax cuts to offset added cost of health insurance for retired public safety officers who do not yet qualify for Medicare. When local and state officers retire, benefits immediately stop; yet too often retired officials have preexisting health conditions that help raise the cost of their health insurance premiums.

Public safety professionals should not have to wait in long check-out lines to lobby for a share of what rightfully belongs to them; and Kaine understands this basic principle. Too often, the happy corporate-welfare crowd in Richmond is insensitive to the plight of the very people entrusted to protect the public.

Tim Kaine is a public servant who recognizes the critical role of first-responders; and how vital their work is to communities. For Kaine, no catchphrases and tired memes with worn out promises rarely kept. Only honest dialogue and a pledge to do the hard work that leads Virginia forward.

A chief component Kaine wishes voters to ask in a few months is the bottom line, summed up with a question he asked during the recent debate with Kilgore; an exchange televised only by local cable, without Independent Republican third-party candidate Russ Potts, as demanded by Kilgore.

The question that has to be asked … is Virginia better off as a state after four years of the Warner-Kaine administration?” Kaine said. “Do you want this state to go forward, or do you want it to go backward?

With Kaine as governor, Virginians can look forward to fiscal moderation with priorities that make sense; an independent voice with commitments to public safety, state education, road funding, health care and civil liberties; sensible governance that does not bankrupt the future nor hamper present prospects.

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