Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 18, 2014

Jan. 18, 2014: Cheers & Jeers


Kokomo Tribune

---- — ‘Vote the man out of office’

Tony Shell of Kokomo sends this Jeer for the legislative record of state Rep. Heath VanNatter, R-Kokomo:

“In December, I received from Heath VanNatter, first, a Christmas card. From the design of it, it is obvious it was paid for with franking-privilege money. About a week later, I received a constituent survey, also paid with franking-privilege money. So much for saving us tax dollars.

“From his survey, we can get a good idea of what his goals are for this legislative session.

“He wants to exempt businesses from paying taxes on personal property. It doesn’t matter to him that every dollar’s cut they get goes directly on our real property taxes. He tries to make the argument it costs small business more than the tax it pays. Guess what? Me too.

“Mr. VanNatter wants to make it OK to carry guns to schools. He argues people can now carry guns in their cars, and it is illegal to leave them alone. Tell me this: Isn’t it true the guns the students were killed with carried in? If it is illegal to leave the gun in the car, why carry it with you when you are going someplace that will cause you to break the law? A car stolen with a gun locked in it will just arm a criminal.

“Mr. VanNatter wants to instill prejudice into our state constitution. I’ve been married more than 40 years, and I just cannot see how any two individuals’ desire to share their lives will weaken that bond. States all over the country are doing just the opposite of what he wants and are letting their citizens wed. States that have passed this law already are having them overturned by the courts because of equal protection in the Constitution.

“You construction workers better really watch out for VanNatter. He is attacking your paychecks. He wants to end the prevailing wage law. You union workers will be hurt the worst, but you non-union workers will also be hurt. In states where they have ended prevailing wage, the average pay of all construction workers has fallen.

“You taxpayers have a dog in this battle too. Well-educated and trained workers have been shown to be more productive, giving higher quality work than someone who just picks up a hammer and says, ‘I’ll fix it.’ Don’t be fooled by this anti-labor rhetoric.

“VanNatter also wants to protect agri-business by shielding its actions from the public eye. He wants such businesses shielded from regulation and open business practices. He has joined with farmer legislators to block access to their operations. Doesn’t matter to him if these practices stink up all the area around where you live.

“VanNatter’s right back where he was last year. Wanting to take the food off the tables of poor children by instilling drug testing on welfare and food-stamp recipients. They tried it in Florida. The results of drug use among the poor was so low that it cost more to implement than the government saved.

“VanNatter wants to use a test to determine who uses drugs to get around the court challenge that is going to happen. What’s the test going to ask? ‘By the way, do you use drugs?’ Answer ‘yes’ so we can take the food off your table. What’s going to happen is blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic groups are going to be targeted by a test planned just to catch them.

“Mr VanNatter is a far-right-wing extremist, out to attack workers, minorities and the poor. It would behoove us to vote the man out of office and replace him with anyone who is more moderate in their views.”