Tag: Forced Pooling

Seriously, What Century is it in West Virginia?

Republicans are marching West Virginia into the darkest corners of the past. Here are nine examples:

  1. The last time unions did not have the right to bargain for a union shop was 1947. In 2016, West Virginia Republicans brought that back.
    When Delegate Justin Marcum spoke up against union busting, you can hear how working people responded, and how the Republican Speaker of the House tried to shout them down.
  2. At least as far back as 1891, reasonable regulations of concealed weapons were allowed. We got rid of those last week.
  3. West Virginia currently has the lowest voter turnout in the nation. Republicans are passing bills to make it harder to vote.
  4. West Virginia workers have been entitled to prevailing wages on public projects since 1961. Not anymore — working people are now considered “free riders.”
    Senator Bob Beach spoke out about giving our jobs away to other states to please big business, but the Republicans did it anyway.
  5. Vaccinations have saved hundreds of millions of lives worldwide. Republicans tried to weaken West Virginia’s vaccination program.
  6. Equal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation is standard 21st century practice. West Virginia Republicans have moved to reverse that too.
  7. The basic principle that a landowner owns his land dates back to the Magna Carta amendments in the 14th and 15th centuries. Republicans are taking that away to give the power to gas companies to take land.
  8. Our constitution prohibits the government from imposing religion on the citizens. But the West Virginia GOP is calling for theocratic government from the House floor.
  9. In fact, the radical new majority plans to reconsider the United States Constitution and take us back to absolute rule by wealth and power.

West Virginia needs leaders with ideas about the future, not a dismal forced march into the past. We’re going to have to jump through extra hoops, “qualify” for our right to vote, and turn out in record numbers, or we’ll all be looking for another place to live.

Looting of WV Continues with Gas Company Giveaways, Budget Cuts

There’s a budget crisis in West Virginia, to be sure, but it appears that it is a budget crisis for certain people and not for others. While working West Virginia families are suffering, the new Republican leadership is busy handing out expensive goodies to all their pals in corporate America. The party of the rich is having a party in Charleston, and you are not invited, but you will be paying the tab.

Look at these bills for gas companies as an example. They take away property rights for landowners, allowing drillers to do and take what they want, even in residential areas, and ordinary people will have no recourse. Ordinarily, the companies would have to pay landowners for the rights to do these things, but now they just take at will. Forced pooling legislation that takes your mineral rights and hands them over the gas company involuntarily has also been introduced.

At the same time, the Republicans are considering tax cuts for billionaires, like Bob Murray, who came down to tell the majority he financed with campaign contributions that he’s the one who is hard up. Last year, Bill Cole detailed plans to cut taxes on his own corporations. All of these giveaways will have to be paid for by regular people who are already suffering. But those are the orders the Republican Senators received in Palm Springs, California, from the billionaires who finance their campaigns.

How are we supposed to pay for all the handouts to the Republicans’ rich friends? We’re starting to find out this week. The powerful Republican Finance Chair, Eric Nelson, solicited reports on how many ways there were to take the money Bill Cole and Bob Murray demand for themselves out of ordinary people’s basic services. Now we’re contemplating closing down wings of hospitals, laying off dozens of state troopers in the middle of the drug crisis, slashing funding for education, child care, and other things people desperately need.

So while you’ll hear a lot about “West Virginia feeling the pain,” that means YOU, not them. As we’ve seen in states around the country, time and time again, Republicans promise jobs and a better “business climate,” and so on. But when they get their hands on the keys, the looting of the state starts and it might not end until West Virginia is completely bankrupt. It’s happened before and now it is happening right here. You might not like Democrats, but you simply can’t trust Republicans. They do the same thing every time.

When the Republicans in Charleston aren’t picking our pockets, they’re hiding the ball with total distractions and time-wasters. Pro-discrimination bills, unnecessary gun bills, and calling for religious government all make the list of things the lawmakers are focused on, when what the state needs is to focus on increasing paychecks, job security, and fighting the drug problem. The behavior of the GOP majority has now become a national disgrace. It can’t end soon enough.

We can stop the looting of West Virginia, if we remember in November.

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