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Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Northern Neck delegate seeks revenge on fellow legislator

By Jennifer Buske

The 2011 General Assembly session has just kicked into gear and a delegate from the Northern Neck is already seeking revenge on a fellow legislator.

Del. Albert C. Pollard Jr. (D- Northumberland) wants some constituents of Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) to be penalized after Miller submitted legislation that prohibits menhaden fishing in the Rappahannock River -- something Pollard claims will impact the economy in his region.

Pollard said he plans to introduce a bill Tuesday that would require all Virginia Railway Express riders in Manassas and Manassas Park to pay an extra $1 per trip to ride the commuter rail. The proceeds, Pollard said, will go to fund economic development projects in the Northern Neck.

"He seemed to be volunteering my constituents for the unemployment line, so I figured I would volunteer his constituents to help out with economic development," Pollard said. "If I represented an area with the highest foreclosure rates in Virginia and the worst traffic in the nation, I wouldn't be worrying about where people can fish."

VRE was "an easy target" and a part of the bill because it makes two stops to pick up commuters specifically in Miller's district, officials with Pollard's office said.

And what's an extra dollar to Northern Virginia commuters? A dollar, Pollard said, might not even buy a cup of coffee for those living in and around the beltway but will "still put food on [the] plates" of those in his district.

Not only will this bill hurt fishermen but also Omega Protein, a leading producer of omega 3 fish oil located in the Northern Neck. It is of the largest employers in Northumberland, a county that has only two stoplights and no incorporated towns, said Pollard -- a far cry from bustling Northern Virginia.

Pollard said he hasn't reached out to VRE about his bill, and VRE Chief Executive Dale Zehner said he preferred not to comment until the bill was officially filed.

Miller was unavailable for comment.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 18, 2011; 12:44 PM ET
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