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Tea Party group chides Wittman
Wittman faces questions, Tea Party members at community meeting

 Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Montross), shown in Fredericksburg last month, fielded questions Tuesday in Montross.
MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 12/10/2009

BY FRANK DELANO

Members of the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party and questions about health care greeted Rep. Robert J. Wittman (R-Montross) at a gathering Tuesday night in his hometown.

"Where in the Constitution is government charged with protecting people's health?" asked Catherine T. Crabill, a maverick Republican who, despite being shunned by Wittman and state GOP leaders, came close last month to winning the seat Wittman once held in the House of Delegates.

"My frustration is that we don't want any government-run health care. The Constitution is the only thing that will save us from this death spiral that the country is in," Crabill said.

"Some elected officials are committing treason by not upholding their sacred oaths. Do you intend to uphold your oath of office and fight to make sure that your elected colleagues uphold theirs?" she asked Wittman, who promised he would.

"The federal government is gang-raping the people," said Mark Carpenter of Acorn, a Westmoreland County community--not the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

"We're headed where the people will have no recourse but to take things into their own hands," said Carpenter.

"Mark, that's a good point," said the unflappable Wittman. "A lot of people don't feel connected with their elected representatives. As elected officials, we need to re-establish that connection, like we're doing here tonight."

Traffic jams delayed Wittman's arrival by 40 minutes at Tuesday night's gathering, attended by about 50 people at Washington & Lee High School. The session was sponsored by the Westmoreland County Civic Association, whose members are frequent critics of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors that was once chaired by Wittman.

While waiting for Wittman to arrive, WCCA President Kennon Morris recalled how Wittman left all the dishes unwashed after he lived one summer in Morris' apartment at Virginia Tech in the 1980s.


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