GOP blasts Vida Miller's support for gas tax increase

Contact: Tom Swatzel 843-222-7456

GEORGETOWN--The Georgetown County Republican Party Tuesday blasted Democrat state Rep. Vida Miller for supporting an increase in the gas tax, even after saying during her reelection campaign in October that she did not support an increase in the tax "right now."

According to Monday's Georgetown Times, when addressing a recent women's conference, "Rep. Vida Miller said the gasoline tax hasn't been raised in 20 years" and "it is critical to improving roads and infrastructure."

According to the October 9th Coastal Observer, Miller said during a debate with her Republican opponent Jill Kelso that a gas tax increase "is something we need to look at, but not right now. Right now gasoline is too high and the market is too volatile to do that, but we are going to have to address that issue at some time."

Georgetown County Republican Party chairman Tom Swatzel said, "Clearly Rep. Miller intentionally deceived voters about where she really stood on the gas tax issue last fall. Her pursuit now of a gas tax increase, even before being sworn into office, betrays voters in the face of one of this nation's worst economic recessions and will seriously hurt working families in this county and our state."

"Even President-elect Obama, a liberal Democrat, realizes that tax cuts, not increases, are needed now to help working families in this time of economic crisis. The county GOP calls upon Rep. Miller to stand with families by ceasing her pursuit of a gas tax increase, and instead actually working for needed tax reductions," Swatzel said.

In October, the county Republican Party made issue with Miller's documented support for a gas tax increase and opposition to offshore drilling in a radio ad that ran for weeks prior to the November election.

The ad stated in part: "Been to the gas pump lately? The Sun News reported that Vida Miller, quote, 'supports a gas tax increase, even though many people cringe at the thought,' unquote. . .What about offshore drilling, so we're not dependent on terror-exporting countries in the Middle East? Vida Miller told the Georgetown Times, quote, 'I cannot support state legislation that would allow drilling'...unquote. Make the price we pay for gas even higher? Oppose letting America drill here at home? . . . We can't afford higher gas. We can't afford Vida Miller."

Miller, a five term incumbent, defeated first-time candidate Jill Kelso by only 256 votes in Georgetown County, while losing all but one precinct on the Waccamaw Neck, including her home precinct.

Kelso has already announced her intention to run again in 2010.