SALT Candidate Survey Responses - 2013

Candidate: Delegate Tom Rust

District: 86th Herndon


Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your 2013 legislative survey.  It is typically my policy to refrain from participating in this type of survey, and I regret to inform you that I will be maintaining this policy at this time.

Each type of survey varies with its question depth, balance, and complexity.  Legislation is complex and nuanced.  To discriminate against one for lack of intricacy would be prejudiced, and so it is generally my policy to withdraw my participation.

However, let me emphasize that my door is always open as you know, and I am always willing to discuss particular issues or legislative items at any time.

Thank you for your dedication to SALT.

Sincerely,  Tom (Rust)

SALT Response:

Dear Delegate Rust,

Thank you for acknowledging my request to participate in the "Candidate Survey." You are the only candidate to date who has refused to participate.

You note in your response: "Legislation is complex and nuanced." SALT members certainly understand complexity and nuance.

With that in mind, could you not respond to the questions in a way that addresses the complexity and nuance of the questions addressed in the Candidate Survey? We understand that not all candidates will respond in the same manner. However, we are looking for thoughtful responses, responses that manifest a candidate's ability to discern complexity and provide intelligent, creative and nuanced responses (supported by facts) to many issues that can only be addressed by those who represent the interest of voters and not any particular ideology.

Otherwise, how will we be able to determine your ability to address the complexity that comes with the territory of being a delegate? Our faith-based membership is nonpartisan, and members have no allegiance to any particular party or ideology. However, we need assurance that candidates will work to advance the common good, so that all, not just a few, will flourish, especially children.

This is your opportunity to educate our members regarding your ability to come to grips with the complexity and the claims of various constituents. Without cooperation from candidates and without their willingness to educate constituents on their positions, how is democracy to function effectively?  If you are capable of dealing with complexity, this is your opportunity support such a claim by providing nuanced responses to our questions--take as much time and space as needed for a response.

If there is no response, that is your choice. However, we will make public all responses and your non-response as well as your unwillingness to inform voters regarding your position on issues that advance the common good.

Sincerely,  John Horejsi,   SALT Coordinator