I would like to respond to the accusations from a recent letter to the editor that said that, Jon Hellander running for House District 53, is a puppet of a number of state legislators. It is absurd to think that a strong willed, principled individual like Jon is submissive to anyone. In fact, he has influenced me to reconsider my position on the state-wide property tax equalization proposals that I have vigorously supported during my four years in the legislature.
Through our discussions ranging from budget and tax policy to healthcare and transportation Jon expressed his desire not to be a politician and simply say what people want to hear. It became apparent to me that he meant it. So when our conversation turned to public education and state-wide equalization he asked me a very simple but sincere question, “How could any conservative support taking money from one group of people and giving it to another?” His unabashed question caught me off-guard. I am one of the top conservatives in the House each year. I vote for less government. And here I had an ordinary man, with no agenda, wondering why a conservative would vote for this type of legislation. Wow!
My principles had been challenged and not by vigorous debate, but by a forthright question of inquiry. Because of this experience with Jon, I will no longer be supporting state-wide equalization bills. I realize now that state-wide equalization is not conservatism. Conservatism is the pursuit of less government, lower taxes, local control, and the elimination of regulations in a season when there is an incessant march towards absolute socialism at the federal and state level. Jon will not compromise his principles:
Of parental, individual, property, and gun rights. He is purely himself and is not a clone of another legislator. His honest sincerity influenced me, the Vice Chair of the Education Committee, to change my position to not supporting state-wide property tax equalization.
Rep Ken Sumsion,
House District 56