By JON FRANK , The Virginian-Pilot © October 16, 2004 | Last updated 12:22 PM Oct. 17
VIRGINIA BEACH — James P. Polk, the state campaign coordinator for Ralph Nader, has been indicted on 10 counts of election fraud.
The charges stem from petitions to get the consumer-rights advocate on the Virginia presidential ballot in November.
The 10-count indictment alleges that Polk made or caused to be made “a false material statement or entry” on a petition to put Nader’s name on the ballot.
Polk, a former Republican activist and an Air Force veteran who lives in Virginia Beach, could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Polk, a psychologist, worked on the campaign of state Del. John J. Welch, a Virginia Beach Republican, before leaving the party in 2002 to help organize the Virginia Beach branch of the Green Party.
Letter to the Editor in Virginia Pilot (Va Beach)from James P. Polk, dated 12/29/94.
CUTS COULD ADD TO VIRGINIANS' BURDENS I want effective state government that provides the services my community needs to thrive. A good quality of life and making sure my family is safe are important to me. That is why I sympathize somewhat with our Republican governor and his right-wing, conservative establishment as they try to cut waste and the tax burden. On the surface it makes good common sense.
But does it make sense to plunge the commonwealth into billions of dollars of debt to build and maintain the vast prison system Governor Allen has told me I want? While proposing this, he also wants to cut taxes in a state that is already inching further into deficit. This sounds awfully similar to the federal-government policies of the 1980s, which have nearly strangled this nation in debt, where 25 percent of each tax dollar goes toward paying the interest on that debt.
However, the real horror is that the Republican governor wants to destroy some of the things that make my community great. He wants to eliminate adult day-care programs, respite care for care givers, delivered meals for homebound older adults and transportation to doctor's appointments. Our governor says these services are ``nonessential.
He wants to eliminate in-school dental clinics for young children in rural areas. He proposes cutting educational funds to all of our major universities and community colleges, as well as primary and secondary schools. He would severely reduce funding to museums, fine arts and, yes, even local police departments.
Our commonwealth already enjoys one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. Do we really want to gut our wonderful commonwealth for a $46 tax cut the first year, and a $368 cut the fifth year? I think not, but obviously Governor Allen wants to lay this on the Democratic legislature this spring to make it look ineffective before next fall. Well, at least we will have the finest prison system in the world. I wonder if there will be room there for the elderly who have nowhere to go.
JAMES P. POLK