I'm always amused when I get mail from Gib Armstrong Jr. I've not exactly been kind to the representative for the 100th District, you know, but technically speaking, I am one of his constituents. I'm just one of a burgeoning group who'd like to be known as one of his former constituents.

Anyway, last week, we were lucky enough here in the "Rudwick" household-it would be nice if my junk mail from Gib at least had my name spelled right-to hear from Gib twice in two days, even though I'm still waiting for my letter of congratulations for winning ribbons at the Solanco Fair, like my wife and stepson got.

The first day, we got a newsletter highlighting all the things Gib has been up to lately, led by a brief note from Gib himself, and you can be certain he wrote it himself because there's an auto-signature at the end.

One paragraph in that letter struck me as a little bit odd. Gib starts by saying that Harrisburg takes too much of our money in taxes, but he brings back "a lot of money for agriculture." He then states he'd like to see those programs eliminated, and just lower taxes.

He'd like to see those agricultural programs eliminated. Yet what is one of the committees he serves on? The Governor's Agricultural-Energy Advisory Council. I guess his he counsels the governor to drop agricultural programs.

But even though he can't stand that the programs exist-gets in the way of lower taxes-he proudly lists as accomplishments the various grants he's gotten for local applicants. Seems like he's not working too hard to get rid of those programs.

Gib says we've had "serious debate" on property tax reform. Unfortunately, I'm not certain he understands the principle of "debate", as in an exchange of often-times opposing ideas. Later in the same newsletter, Gib says that the sales tax idea is the only one that will work. In other words, it's not up for debate-put in a regressive tax that would have those least able to afford it shoulder a disproportionate share of the burden so that those who can better afford it pay less in property taxes.

For all Gib's talk about shrinking the size of government, I personally would like to know how much taxpayer money is being spent on his crusade to rid our colleges of liberal professors. Gib has held a series of hearings at schools throughout the commonwealth designed to prove that "liberal indoctrination" of students by professors is widespread, and that poor conservative-minded students are being discriminated against.

So far, near as I can tell, the hearings have come up with a big, fat, steaming bowl of nothing. But that won't stop him from scheduling more and more until he gets the answer he's looking for. Then what? A new government agency to ensure that absolutely no one in any college is allowed to have a viewpoint?

Maybe Gib thinks his appointment to the Dairy Task Force will be enough to spur someone to use the voter registration form he sent and vote for him. Ridding the state of liberal cows won't do it for me. I'm already a registered Democrat. But I just might use the form to change my affiliation, if only so I can enjoy the pleasure of pulling the lever next to Bryan Cutler's name in the primaries.

Bill Rudick has listened to Cutler's ideas, and thinks he might not be so bad, at least for a Republican. Rudick's e-mail is brudick@epix.net.

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