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Perriello Can Be Trusted

Editor, The Herald:

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny”-Mahatmas Gandhi

Since the last national election, we have experienced more heat than light. Times are tough. Change has not happened quickly enough, and in some instances it seems it's business as usual. But in the Fifth District a great deal has changed. Congressman, Tom Perriello has changed the status quo. In his first year in office he brought $350 million in public-private investments into the District. He is working hard to protect seniors' social security, and has worked to extend Medicare for another generation. He supported tax cuts for the middle class, and is working hard to keep jobs in his district instead of sending them overseas. He supports innovative green technologies, and educational resources to build a strong economic base here in Virginia. He constantly travels the district, listening to his constituents, to small-businessmen and women, to seniors, educators, and the unemployed.

Contrary to some of the opinions expressed in letters to this paper, Congressman Perriello does not vote lockstep with anyone. He is very independent – more conservative on some issues, more liberal on others. He makes his decisions considering the views of his constituents, researching the issues, and following his conscience and best judgment.

Here is a representative I can trust and respect. I don't agree with all of his positions, but I trust him because of his character, his sincerity, his hard work for his constituents, and because he is beholden to no one. He takes no money from lobbyists and corporations. I have observed him fielding questions: he gives thoughtful, thorough and respectful replies. And he has a thorough understanding of the issues. What I respect most about our Congressman is his own respectful behavior toward the people he meets. It doesn't matter what the question might be, each person receives a considered and considerate answer. He is very open. He does not make back room deals or meet secretly with other politicians or interests (a rampant practice in politics), but works hard to end corrupt practices in “the system.”

What is at stake in all elections is an informed electorate. Negativity produces anger and disengagement, working to the advantage of those with an agenda. Americans speak of freedom, but this requires us to be well informed and truly engaged. Freedom demands that we refute distortions of fact and manipulation. We must have full and balanced information to make informed decisions. Freedom means understanding the implications of positions and understanding the intentions of those who support a position. Freedom means courage and respect, the ability to listen and discuss calmly, to see viewpoints that are not our own, and to move together jointly to create value and solutions.

Noelle Prince Shear

Farmville