2010 WV Senate Candidates’ Debate

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

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.

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

US Congress, Third District, November 2010 General

Candidates for U S House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District

November 2, 2010 General Election

CANDIDATE Elliott “Spike” Maynard

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Mingo

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Elliott “Spike” Maynard is an Air Force veteran, where he served in reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Maynard was the Managing Director of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and practiced law. In 1976, Maynard was elected as a Prosecuting Attorney for Mingo County. He was appointed by Governor Rockefeller to the Thirtieth Judicial Circuit and was twice elected (exceeded word limit)

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

ANSWER . Congress must stop spending money we don’t have. Huge debt devastates our middle class. Stop raising taxes. No new taxes on anyone. Taxes are middle class job killers. Hands off Social Security. No cuts of any kind in social security benefits. Repeal Obamacare. Restore the $500 billion Congress took from our seniors in Medicare cuts. Stop bailouts and quit sending (exceeded word limit)

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

ANSWER. I support a strong military. I am a military veteran. As a veteran, I believe we must give our veterans the very best benefits, especially medical care, and never cut benefits or payments. Combat troops in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve the finest weapons and support no matter what it costs. We must never finance any domestic spending program at the expense of the lives (exceeded word limit)

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

ANSWER. First, Congress must not simply throw money at the problem. We need to teach more science, math and language arts. We need standards to measure skills of both students and teachers. Schools which do not perform should be closed. Most urgently, we need to restore order and discipline in the classroom and zero tolerance for drugs and school violence.

CANDIDATE Nick J. Rahall II

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Raleigh

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

I have had the honor of representing the people of southern West Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1976. I have fought for and will continue to fight for jobs, our seniors, our veterans, for better educational opportunities for our children and for working men and women while seeking improvements in our public works, roads and highways.

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

ANSWER . America cannot afford the cuts in and privatizing Social Security and give-aways to the super-rich that Republican leaders in Washington support.  These policies led to the failures of Wall Street and the housing market collapse.  I support building up our domestic manufacturing base, enforcing Buy American policies, closing tax loopholes that encourage outsourcing  American jobs overseas and preserving Social Security.

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

ANSWER. The last Administration cut domestic spending to increase defense spending and  reduce taxes for the wealthiest, while axing funding for mine safety inspectors, highways, and public services.  Waste, fraud, and abuse resulted at the Pentagon. That must end. We can ensure sufficient funds for our troops to be well-trained and equipped, while providing more sufficient funding levels for domestic needs.

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

ANSWER Congress should reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to secure educational improvements for all kids – particularly those in rural areas.  It will also help to recruit and reward quality teachers.  We must increase access to higher education through full funding of Pell grant providing greater access to affordable educational loans, and creating incentives for students to attend college.

US Congress, Second District, November 2010 General

Candidates for U S House of Representatives, 2nd Congressional District

November 2, 2010 General Election

CANDIDATE Shelly Moore Capito

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Member, U.S. Congress serving on the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Financial Services Committees, Ranking Member, House Select Committee on Independence and Global Warming, Founding Member, Congressional Coal Caucus, Former Member, West Virginia House of Delegates, Former Career Counselor, West Virginia State University, Graduate, Duke University and University of Virginia. For more information log onto www.capitoforcongress.com.

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

ANSWER. Congress needs to prevent the tax hike on all Americans next year by extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. If we don’t act, the 10% rate will go to 15%, married couples will pay more, the amount parents deduct through the child tax credit will be slashed in half, and most small businesses will experience a 13% increase.

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

ANSWER. We must provide our troops the resources necessary to complete their missions while we eliminate our deficit and reduce the debt. This starts with ending the bailouts and so-called stimulus spending that has cost taxpayers over $1 trillion and includes holding weekly YouCut votes like we did nine times this year that would have cut $120 billion in wasteful spending.

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

ANSWER. Congress needs to allow teachers to teach and place more control of classrooms at the local level. West Virginia needs to have greater flexibility to make decisions as states and local schools should not be hamstrung with federal regulations that ultimately take time away from students learning. We need to ensure that there is accountability at all levels.

CANDIDATE Virginia Lynch Graf

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Jefferson

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

My experiences as innovator, educator and activist enable me to legislate intelligently, creatively and fairly.  I am running a clean election taking no money from special interest groups.   A democratic republic succeeds when elected officials work for the good of all.   My campaign motto represents me best,  “It’s time to stick our necks out for West Virginia.” Website: grafforcongress.com

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

ANSWER . Elizabeth Warren’s appointment to oversee the Consumer Protection Agency was an excellent step. Someone of her caliber should replace Larry Summers on the President’s economic team. Also: restructure tax systems fairly, cutting all loopholes; allow Bush cuts for the wealthy to expire; stop government subsidization of oil and gas companies; purchase green energy and transportation for military and domestic use.

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

ANSWER. Reduce military spending from 59% of the budget to 40%. We still would be a superpower with money for domestic needs. This can be achieved by: closing some bases around the world, e.g., Germany and Japan; reducing extravagant payment to technical service companies and mercenary groups; and eliminating obsolete weaponry and delivery systems.

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

ANSWER.  Overhaul how schools are funded and provide free quality education from elementary through college or technical school; connect teachers and students to research development centers for on-going education; employ multi-sensory learning techniques; teach critical thinking and problem-solving; reduce repetitive testing; use subjective and objective evaluation tools; re-create modest school size and avoid mega-size schools. Make free job training universally available.

CANDIDATE Phil Hudok

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Randolph

PARTY Constitution

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

A 60 year resident of WV, my wife Lynn and I have four daughters, three being in college. I’ve spent 37 years teaching, having a physics teaching degree and a masters in educational computing. I teach at Pickens School in Randolph County. I’ve had Century Photo since 1973. In several WV Supreme Court Cases I’ve successfully defended rights. www.hudok.com

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

ANSWER . First and foremost the Glass-Steagall Act must be reinstated to prevent bank speculation of public investments. Also, Congress must regain responsibility for and control of the issuance of money. The Federal Reserve Act was deceptively foisted upon the citizens when most congressmen were gone for the 1913 Christmas holiday. What Jefferson warned has transpired. Congress can’t lawfully delegate away responsibility.

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

ANSWER. Glad you asked. If we weren’t militarily where we don’t belong, fighting unjust, constitutionally undeclared wars, (only Congress can declare war!) we would be more respected, better liked, and not hemorrhaging to death. Let’s quit playing shell games with mercenaries and troops (National Guard at that) and strengthen ourselves from the inside out. Support the troops by bringing them home.

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

ANSWER. Glad you asked. As a 37 year teacher, who’s studied history, and hosted Charlotte Iserbyt, author of the “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”, we must get the unfunded mandating, politically correct, force feeding, federal government OUT of education. Government schools teach the government’s religion violating the first and tenth amendments. Why were we number one at the USDOE’s founding?


US Congress, First District, November 2010 General

Candidates for U S House of Representatives, 1st Congressional District

November 2, 2010 General Election

CANDIDATE David McKinley

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Ohio

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Principal, McKinley & Associates (professional engineering and architectural design firm); former member West Virginia House of Delegates (1981 – 1995); former chairman, West Virginia Republican Party (1994 – 1996); graduate, Perdue University, B.S.E.; wife, Mary; four children. www.McKinley2010.com

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

ANSWER. With unemployment in the construction industry at 35 percent, I propose a nationalprogram to retrofit public buildings for energy efficiency. Not only will that slash the jobless rate in this crippled sector and promote energy independence, it will spur manufacturing to supply materials for roof insulation, window replacement, energy-efficient HVAC systems and lighting controls. It can start a broader economic (exceeded word limit)

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

ANSWER. Without compromising national security we must rein in out-of-control spending on a program-by-program basis.

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

ANSWER A third of our college graduates hold degrees in science and engineering compared to 63 percent in Japan and 53 percent in China. We were once a world leader in awarding science and engineering degrees. But our college-age population is now at the bottom among nations in this regard. Also troubling is that of 22,500 doctorates in science and engineering (exceeded word limit)

CANDIDATE: Mike Oliverio

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

The grandson of Italian immigrants, Mike Oliverio worked through college and graduate school at WVU, where he became student body president. He achieved the rank of captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. A small business owner, he served two years in the West Virginia House of Delegates and 16 in the Senate. Mike and Melissa Oliverio have two children.

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

ANSWER. Closing the trade deficit with China is first. Over the last five years, we have imported $1.2 Trillion more than we have exported to China. It is the largest imbalance in the world. That imbalance costs us jobs in skilled, middle-class workers. We must end it. If we had fair trade with China, we wouldn’t have needed a stimulus plan.

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

ANSWER. I understand the value of the military, having served myself. As American forces continue to return, these costs will reduce in part. However, we live in a different world now. We cannot mothball our military as we have in decades past after a conflict. I applaud the work done at the Pentagon to trim duplicative projects and congressional pet perks.

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

ANSWER. We must allow more local control for our education system. Unfunded mandates from Washington are tying the hands of teachers who are trying innovative new techniques. Congress must have greater faith in our state and local school boards to teach our children the skills they need for the future.