We need the money out of both parties. Everyone knows it, but we don’t seem to be able to do it. Why? Because the parties aren’t putting up honest people, by and large.

You remember all the scandals related to Mylan and Senator Joe Manchin. His daughter is Heather Bresch, the CEO. Mylan bought the patent of this lifesaving product (developed with taxpayer money), moved HQ overseas to avoid paying US taxes…jacked the price of epipens by nearly 500%, successfully lobbied the government to require schools to buy more pens, and then donated a bunch of money to Manchin. Government money pouring in to Mylan spiked after Bresch became CEO, and her compensation jumped by about 600%, to nearly $19 million/year. It doesn’t take a business genius to make huge profits, with 40% of your revenue coming from something like epipens: it just takes greed, arrogant disregard, a complete lack of empathy–and connections. Because as we all know, suspicions of cronyism and nepotism abounded when  WVU “mysteriously” issued Bresch an MBA she didn’t earn, so she could take the job of COO, later to be promoted to CEO.

That’s right. I’m a Democrat, but I agree that Manchin is simply out for himself, too.

I don’t spare Republicans, either, though.

For instance, you remember Delegate Woody Ireland, of course. He’s the Republican from this district who got a sweetheart deal from Antero, with huge royalties… 18%, to be exact! Coincidentally–or not!–he was pushing the forced pooling bill, which would have forced regular people to lease their mineral rights at a price the gas and oil companies name–and with only a minimum of 12.5% royalties in compensation. Market price, they claim? Well, it’s not a free market when no one has the power to hold out for a better price. And how are regular people to negotiate for a better royalty rate, say 18%, when they legally have no power to negotiate? Ireland’s negotiations got him a sweetheart deal, that’s for sure. Of course, the companies could always purchase or lease these mineral rights by offering a price that the owners felt was worth it. But they don’t want to have to negotiate and give any significant profit to the owners. They’d rather buy politicians and then legally force the owners to sell/lease low and be unable to even negotiate royalty rates… because their legal ability to do so has been removed. BOUGHT.

There is more to protect than just what’s beneath the ground.

This is why I won’t have a lot of money to run. I recognize that there is more to protect than just what is beneath the ground. I’m not running to protect gas and oil company profits so they’ll give me money to get re-elected—or so I can retire rich! I’m running to protect regular people—to get the best deal for all of us. To represent people who can’t pay lobbyists for special access and special treatment.

Will the state Democrats support me, even when I call the bad ones out? I doubt it, but we’ll see. Truth is, both parties need cleaned out.

I support a resolution demanding clean and fair elections, via a 28th amendment containing the core values suggested by WolfPAC. However, that is not something that WV can enact by itself.

For that reason, I also support something like this proposal for public campaign financing in WV state elections. However, I believe the public financing must be made mandatory for state races. If it’s not mandatory, then we’ll still be seeing races like the senatorial race in the eastern panhandle this year, where more than $500,000 is spent by outside groups. Public financing  would give senatorial candidates in that district a top figure of only $60K, which can hardly counter the half a mil outside groups are willing to spend for state senate races.

In fact, if it’s not mandatory, all the public financing would do is save these SuperPACs money to use in other races. They wouldn’t have to spend $500K to buy a senate race. It might be purchased for half or less that amount, and they could use their savings to buy other WV districts.

I promise I will always put regular people first—and even though I’m a Democrat, I will never, never endorse a candidate or official just because he or she may be in my party, too. I’ve voted for Republicans, Democrats, and third party candidates in my life. I guess that’s what happens, sometimes, when your mom is a Republican and your dad is a Democrat: you put people over party.