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Del. Greason to constituent: How ‘intellectually lazy’ are you?

State Del. Tag Greason, a leading Republican lawmaker and state budget negotiator, shot off a testy email to a disagreeable constituent March 28, calling the Leisure World parent community resident “the problem,” saying she was wasting his time and questioning “how intellectually lazy” she is.

When asked Monday about the exchange, Greason apologized and said he should have “handled it differently.”

Susan Merk, an elderly resident at Leisure World in eastern Loudoun County, initiated the noted email exchange with her delegate March 24 by voicing her support of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. “It's imperative that federal Medicaid aid is passing the [Virginia] budget,” Merk wrote.

Greason, an outspoken opponent of expanding Medicaid in Virginia, responded first by thanking Merk for contacting him. He went on to explain his position against expansion, reasoning that “ObamaCare has already proven to be inefficient, costly, and an utter disaster,” and that “Medicaid is one of the largest and fastest-growing parts” of the budget even without expansion.

Merk responded by saying, “This reply is pitiful – it's nothing but partisan rhetoric, false accusations and invalid excuses.”

“I will be sure to vote you out the next time you're up for election,” she said.

Greason's second response to the constituent, in full, is as follows:

“Pitiful because I am willing to enter a dialogue with you? All you liberals are the same. As soon as someone doesn't agree with you, you shut down communication, call the other side names, take your ball and go home. I understand and am saddened by this approach at the federal level … but your reaction below is THE problem. I did not have to write you back … but I did. I think discussing differences is the only way to solve problems … you would rather leap right to the insults. How intellectually lazy are you? You are the problem. Good luck to you. You can not insult your way to 'victory.' If you are not willing to have a civil discussion, please do not write me again. It is a waste of my time. Thanks, Tag.”

The third-term GOP delegate is among a select group of House budget negotiators, or conferees, tapped to work on a budget deal between the House and Senate. The Senate has its own slate of conferees who negotiate with Greason and his House colleagues.

Merk characterized Greason's response as “almost unreal” and “unprofessional.”

“I shouldn't write to him again because I am wasting his time?” Merk said. “How many emails do you think he gets per day from people who disagree with him just like I did? It's his job to listen to the people he represents.”

Greason walked back his remarks Monday.

“I must have been having a very bad day,” Greason told the Times-Mirror. “When one is passionate about his or her role, he can get carried away. Clearly I overstepped with Ms. Merk and for that I am truly sorry. I should have known better than to shoot back at Ms. Merk, it was wrong and I apologize for that."

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Tag does not even know what he talking about he is just repeating what ALEC told him to say. His “facts” are made up and incorrect to actual facts.

Tag Greason needs to grow a thicker skin instead of that dirty looking beard.

Sorry, I don’t buy it.  Her intent was to insult Tag and his stance - you can conjugate it anyway you like, she attacked him.

westLOUDouner, “Your reply is pitiful” is not a personal attack because the word “pitiful” is an adjective referring to the noun “reply.”  Had she written “You are pitiful,” you and Tag would be correct in calling it a personal attack because in that instance, the adjective “pitiful” describes the noun “you.”

1A in question?  ““Your reply is pitiful” -sounds like a personal attack to me.”

Merk didn’t say “you are pitiful” - that would be attack.

“Your reply is pitiful” -sounds like a personal attack to me.

Can’t say I blame Tag for telling the irritating lady to basically stuff it, but he shouldn’t have replied they way he did. All too often constituents think just because someone is their elected official it gives them the right to be rude in ways they would not normally. Perhaps this particular constituent can admit this wasn’t her finest hour either.

It’s funny to see left wingers do the exact same thing with the same old tag lines.

@fedupdude, even sadder that most pick a party and stand by them no matter how corrupt they are…Both parties are ruining this country.

Its funny to see right wingers complaining about tactics their own party uses and they supported in the past to hold something they didn’t like up. Smell the hypocrisy.

@sbmerk, you’re senile if you feel it’s a good idea to hold up an entire state budget for only 400K people. By the way, how much tax do you pay living in Loudoun? Another tax loophole that should be modified. You should have had to live here over 10 years before not paying property taxes. Oh, and I can’t stand Tag, just using common sense something many lack on this topic.

Since when is Greason a “leading Republican lawmaker”?  It seems like he is more of a back bencher who flipflops whichever way ALEC or leadership tells him to go. 

And you are not required to have auto insurance.  In Virginia, you can pay a $500 “Uninsured Motorist Fee” and drive with nothing, legally.

ArtMoFo you are so right. How unfortunate that this well thought out healthcare plan carries a black man’s name.

I honestly can’t think of another reason why the GOP would be against it.

Tag was dumb to crack foul on a voter from Leisure World where the residents are politically sophisticated, worldly-wise, and smart. They know the issues better than most elected officials and they VOTE. That precinct with the long lines during the snow storm on special election day in January was Leisure World’s. Maybe Tag isn’t running again next year, because at present he hasn’t made a dent in Richmond. On HB791, a horrendous bill that affects everyone living in an HOA—meaning Tag’s entire constituency—he voted for it the first time, did not vote the second time, and voted for it the third time. Funny that Dels. Ramadan and LaRock found time during the session to discuss it with people who aren’t even their constituents, but Greason was too scared to vote. Right now, in LW’s precinct, Tag is considered “forgotten but not gone.”

The letter doesn’t seem anything to apologize about.  So the entirety of this story is that an ‘elderly’ woman writes back a nasty reply and is shocked that the favor is returned in kind? Then she’s suddenly shocked and pretends to be the Church Lady, and puts on the ‘poor little old me’ routine for the media?  Not buying it.

Not only did Republicans and Democrats draft the ACA, but it was modeled after Romneycare, the Massachussets program that was based on ideas espoused by Newt Gingrich as long ago as the early 1990s. None other than the Heritage Foundation threw a party after its enactment, and trumpeted it as a model for a federal system. Mitt Romney himself in the 2008 GOP primaries race used it as part of his credientials for the nomination.

Conservatives philosophically loved the idea of an individual mandate back then, because it emphasizes personal responsibility. But they HATED the fact that the Obama administration took their idea and ran with it—it became something that HAD to be opposed simply for that reason. They could NOT allow Obama such a political victory.

So then—and this is the important part—those same conservatives flip-flopped on their own program. They began informing the uneducated, uncovered poor schmucks who were too dumb to think for themselves that the federal government was FORCING you to buy healthcare, and that was ANTI-FREEDOM. And that next, they would be forcing people to eat broccoli.

It was the ultimate in political cynicism. And sadly, Del. Greason apparently can’t see that. Which doesn’t say a lot for him.

This lost money has been debunked so many times I am surprised anyone would try and use it as a argument. The money to pay for this will come from the national debt increase as the shell game with taxpayer dollars continues. In Virginia alone it would be the same as giving 1.8 billion to the insurance companies and hospitals then getting 25% back and calling it a swell deal, not!

@more cowbell You obviously don’t even understand the Medicaid Expansion one bit…you did pay taxes for what was rightfully due BACK to the state for expansion $5M a day and we have lost $455M todate screwing around with the budget—not politics Mr BELL, facts. And the corrupt elected officials sling, your 1950’s McCarthy “blame big” to intimidate, dogma, sorry old enough to know how his LIES finally hug his game…either get your facts straight like not understanding how the ACA was drafted by bipartisan (you know what that word means, right?)—oh whoops, this anti-Medicaid for your neighbors who are the working poor and disabled and older,  is really about OBAMA BASHING, it is so loud and clear every time. What do you do in your own community to help others? Working poor, disabled, and aging (not old enough yet for medicare with preexisting conditions) individuals, DESERVE the same health care as you. Human beings sir, human beings, not animals.

Rude and oblivious. Perhaps he’s a little too representative of his district.

@clejeun, if you’re interested in the 400K that aren’t covered why don’t you pay more taxes to assist in paying for this to pass. The corrupt politicians spend more money on their campaigns then what it would cost to cover these people, yet you don’t see a single one offering to pay more in taxes. I feel I pay enough and don’t feel this is worth holding up a budget. If you feel this is good for Va, then pay up.

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