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PO Box 283
Cairo, WV 26337
Who is buying elections in Ritchie and Pleasants Counties in West Virginia ?
As of 4-6-18, 67% of my opponent’s 2018 campaign money was given to him by PACs and lobbyists from corporations like TransCanada, Antero, Dominion, FirstEnergy, AEP, and Southwest Energy.
Click here to see the list of corporate lobbyists who threw him a fundraiser. It’s a list that outlines not only who they are, but also what rights they want to take away from regular people. These corporations essentially want to buy this district… and look, we’re not the only target. They’re doing the same things all over WV, because they need those votes in order to pass bad legislation like they did this year with the Forced Pooling/Forced leasing bill.
That’s why my opponent’s average donation hovers around $500, and two-thirds of his contributions come from Big Energy interests.
- In 2016, my opponent co-sponsored a bill that would have allowed gas and oil companies the “Right to Trespass” on your property without your permission.
- And in 2018, he voted to take away property rights from tax paying WV mineral owners, and give them to corporations.
Given his donors, these are the actions you’d expect. But they’re not the actions we need or want from our representatives.
Because in this district we lack basic infrastructure like reliable water, and we struggle to provide functioning sewer and maintained roads. Our representative should be doing things like protecting our property rights, improving our property values protections, and making certain that extraction industries cover the costs of maintaining the roads they’re damaging.
In fact, when the bill that would hand private property rights to corporations was debated in the legislature, I tried to use my measly one minute and 45 seconds of allotted time in the public hearing to share data showing that corporations were donating money to the same delegates who’d be voting on the bill. The result, though, was that they removed me from the hearing before my time was up. And then those same delegates all voted to pass the bill.
The vast majority of us agree that this can’t be how our democracy functions. Mere re-election can’t be the purpose of public service, and we can’t have our government officials wielding power simply to win corporate campaign donations. That co-opts a system meant to protect us into one that exploits us.
We have to break this cycle. And we can do that here in this district, and lead the way for other districts across West Virginia.
Witness the striking contrast: the average donation to my opponent’s campaign is nearly $500, and 2/3 of it comes from the corporations who are seizing our property rights, damaging our property values, and actually suing taxpaying citizens. But the average donation to my campaign is just $26, ALL of which—100%—has come from individual donors, not PACs or lobbyists.
We have a choice. Let’s use it to send a message that this cycle of selling legislative votes to lobbyists has to end.
I’m funded by regular people, so I’ll stand up for regular people—and I’ll stand up for YOU.