LTE to Sunday Gazette Mail – Oct. 24, 2010

In the October 24 Sunday Gazette-Mail, Christina Vogt wrote in her commentary entitled “A vote for Capito is bad for women, families” that “[m]ost women’s organizations rate her fairly low, including the bi-partisan League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women.”

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We neither support nor oppose any political party or candidate for public office.

The League of Women Voters sponsors candidate meetings and debates, publishes Voters Guides and organizes voter registration drives. We take positions on a variety of issues, such as campaign financing, health care and environmental concerns. We lobby local governments, the legislature and Congress.

However, when the League of Women Voters was founded in 1920, the choice was made to be nonpartisan and that choice continues today. It ensures that the League’s voice is heard above the tumult of party politics, adds strength to the League’s position on issues, and makes possible wide acceptance of the League’s voter education activities.

Susan K. Watkins, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia

pdf iconLetter to Editor.pdf

Wood County Voter Oct. Nov. 2010

doc iconOct – Nov 2010 Voter web.doc

November 15 Meeting

doc iconNovember 15 meeting.doc

2010 WV Senate Candidates’ Debate

Here is the complete (4 parts) WV Senate Debate!

Morgantown: Candidates Forum – Delegates – 2010 General Election

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Candidate Forum for the 10 candidates running for the West Virginia House of Delegates.  It will be on Wednesday, October 20, at 7 pm at the Suncrest United Methodist Church on Van Voorhis Road.  The public is invited.

The candidates attending are 4 Republicans:  Amanda Pasdon, Kevin Patrick, Jr., Kevin Poe, and Chris Walters, and  4 Democrats: Tony Barill, Steve Cook, Barbara Fleischauer, and Charlene Marshall.  Paul Brown, an Independent, and Tad Britch, a Libertarian will also be present.

The candidates will introduce themselves and then answer questions submitted by the audience.  Afterwards there will be refreshments  and time to talk individually with the candidates.

WV Senate Debate live on PBS

At 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 18, 2010, tune in to WVPBS to hear a live debate between Becker, Johnson, Manchin and Raese.  WVU Dean of Journalism will moderate the event, and the Morgantown League will be helping out with various activities.

Fall Natural Resources Report

Actions Taken

1. Comments to ORSANCO, asking the agency not to weaken standards for mercury in the Ohio River.

2. Comments to the Oil and Gas Office of the WV Department of Environmental Protection regarding the reclamation of oil and gas sites. The League asked that (1) the DEP require the use of native plants for revegetation rather than the list proposed that is made up of non-native, invasive plants, and (2) that the uses of the held topsoil shall be re-spread or used as a top dressing, rather than should.

3. We joined with other WV environmental organizations on comments to the DEP on the 2010 Triennial Review of WV Water Quality Standards. Thanks to the other organizations for their preparation of the comments. Salient parts are listed here: Continue reading Fall Natural Resources Report

Fall 2010 Voter

pdf iconVoterFall2010.pdf

WV Supreme Court November 2010 General

Candidates for Justice of the WV Supreme Court of Appeals

November 2, 2010 General Election

CANDIDATE Thomas E. McHugh

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Thomas E. McHugh has been a Justice for 19 years and a Circuit Judge for six years. He was born in Charleston, is a graduate of WVU (AB and Law) and was in the U. S. Army. He is married and has four children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

QUESTION 1. What do you see as the role of the Supreme Court of Appeals in assuring justice for the citizens of West Virginia?

ANSWER . No matter how tempting it may be, the best way for the Supreme Court to guarantee that it assures justice in all of its actions is not to bend to the prevailing political wind of the moment. Instead, the Court must rise above such political pressure and deal equitably, thus justly, with one case at a time.

QUESTION 2. What special background and experiences do you have that make you the better candidate for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals?

ANSWER. My nineteen years as a Supreme Court Justice, my six years as a circuit judge, my 20 years as an attorney and mediator, my 3 years in the U.S. Army, and my lifetime as a husband, father of four, grandfather of seven, and even a great-grandfather of one all qualify me for the work on the bench.

CANDIDATE John Yoder

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Jefferson

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Selected in national competition as U.S. Supreme Court Fellow. 35 years legal experience including all 3 branches of government. 5 years as a circuit judge and 3 years working for the Chief Justice of the U.S; 8 years as a WV State Senator; 3 years as Reagan appointee in the U.S. Department of Justice. BA, MBA, and JD degrees. www.judgeyoder.com.

QUESTION 1. What do you see as the role of the Supreme Court of Appeals in assuring justice for the citizens of West Virginia?

ANSWER . Diversity in experience and background are important to assure justice for all West Virginians. Unfortunately, 4 of the 5 justices are currently from Charleston (1 happens to be from Huntington), but Kanawha County only makes up 10% of the state’s population. The other 90% deserve a voice too. All West Virginia regions, viewpoints and perspectives should be represented.

QUESTION 2. What special background and experiences do you have that make you the better candidate for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals?

ANSWER. My service in all 3 branches of government helps me appreciate differences between the role of a legislator and that of a judge. A judge is supposed to enforce and uphold the law, not to legislate and enact social policy. We need a former legislator on the Court to help keep judges from acting as super-legislators rather than as judges.

US Senate, November 2010 General

Candidates for US Senate

November 2, 2010 General Election

CANDIDATE Jeff Becker

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Berkeley

PARTY Constitution

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Born in Kentucky, raised in New England and Ohio. Bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering from Ohio State University, Masters Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Kettering University. Registered Professional Engineer. Thirteen years Ohio and West Virginia Air National Guard in aircraft maintenance. Current Chairman of the Constitution Party of West Virginia. Teacher in Berkeley County. WV resident since 1998.

QUESTION 1. What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the middle class and the well-to-do?

ANSWER . The Federal Reserve Act, secretly foisted upon us on Christmas Eve, 1913, must be repealed. America must return to silver coin money as we had in 1964, and only gold and commodity-backed currency. Fiat paper “money” is the root of all inflation so Congress must stop putting it into circulation. The Glass-Steagall Act must be reinstated to end banking speculation.

QUESTION 2. How will you balance the continuing costs of the military with the costs of domestic needs?

ANSWER. Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution tells us that only Congress has the power to declare war, appropriations for armies shall only be for two years at a time, that the states are mostly responsible for training our militias, and that our Navy is paramount. Our founders only intended “General welfare” to mean well-being and happiness, not public assistance.

QUESTION 3. What measures should Congress enact to make our educational system more competitive with other developed nations?

ANSWER The Department of Education Organization Act went into effect in May of 1980 just as I was graduating from high school. I was able to receive a thorough and efficient education without any interference by the federal government. The word “education” appears nowhere in our Constitution, so the best thing Congress can do here is to repeal Public Law 96-88.

CANDIDATE Jesse Johnson

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Mountain

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Lobbyist, Freelance Writer and Lecturer on Political and Environmental issues. Former UN expedition leader, actor and filmmaker. Has spent a decade mobilizing the Mountain Party’s growing strength as the nominee for Governor in 2004 and 2008, making WV History by earning over 31,000 votes or 4.6% voter support and the only ‘third party’ candidate ever endorsed by The Sierra Club.

QUESTION 1. What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the middle class and the well-to-do?

ANSWER . We should stop with corporate welfare for industries that are realizing record growth and more importantly profit and incentivize research and development as well as renewable and therefore sustainable industry. We must design, build, ship, modify and trade. These have always been the cornerstones of economic prosperity. Tax breaks for the rich have not and will not revitalize this economy.

QUESTION 2. How will you balance the continuing costs of the military with the costs of domestic needs?

ANSWER. I will fight to cut military spending. Its appropriations are greater than all of our neighbors ‘potential threats’ put together. Last months Treasury statement shows that one in three of taxpayers dollars go to DOD. Every administration asks for more as does Congress. We have no conventional enemy of significant threat militarily. This waste must stop. Nation building starts here.

QUESTION 3. What measures should Congress enact to make our educational system more competitive with other developed nations?

ANSWER State and federally subsidized schools must provide to the citizens of this country, free life-long learning to empower our nation and its competitiveness in our world. Our public airwaves and library systems must be an integral part of our institutions of learning, working symbiotically to “…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

CANDIDATE Joe Manchin III

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Marion

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

As West Virginia’s 34th governor, Joe Manchin has cut taxes, created good jobs and got our financial house in order. He is from Farmington, W.Va. and served as a state legislator from 1982-1996 and as Secretary of State from 2000-2004. Joe is a pilot, outdoorsman and motorcyclist. He and his wife, Gayle, have three children and seven grandchildren. Visit www.joemanchinwv.com

QUESTION 1. What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the middle class and the well-to-do?

ANSWER . In this time of recovery, we must first get out nation’s financial house in order and cut wasteful spending, just like we have done in West Virginia. We need to make capital available to businesses willing to create full-time jobs with livable wages and benefits. We must focus on spurring private investments.

QUESTION 2. How will you balance the continuing costs of the military with the costs of domestic needs?

ANSWER. We have to make sure our soldiers in the field have the tools they need to do their jobs – it’s the least we can do given their dedication and sacrifices. Once we bring our combat commitment in Afghanistan to a close, we will have the opportunity to reevaluate our defense spending with an eye towards deficit reduction and domestic needs.

QUESTION 3. What measures should Congress enact to make our educational system more competitive with other developed nations?

ANSWER We must enact education reforms, because every child deserves a quality education. I support the federal Race-to-the-Top initiative, which sets performance and results as priorities. There is too much bureaucracy that prevents our educators from being innovative in the classrooms. States and their educators need flexibility. The federal government must set good examples so that states can adopt proven programs.

CANDIDATE John R. Raese

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply