State of West Virginia secondary Archives: on Government Reform


Richard Ojeda: Move toward public financing for campaigns

It's no surprise that Mr. Ojeda has called lobbyists "the absolute scum of the earth" and proposed (humorously) that they wear body cameras any time they meet with legislators. He hopes to help overturn the Supreme Court's decision that allows the wealthy to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political candidates and he hopes to move toward a system of public financing for election campaigns.
Source: The Pro-Gun Democrat on 2020 West Virginia Senate race Jun 1, 2020

Paula Jean Swearengin: We as voters need to hold representatives accountable

Primaries are the voters' opportunity to kick out politicians that aren't working for them. Right now both parties prop up and protect their incumbents and undermine primaries. Gerrymandering, voter suppression and corrupt millionaires and billionaires have done all they can to keep their power. More people need to run for office and we as voters need to hold our representatives accountable.
Source: The Herald-Dispatch on 2020 West Virginia Senate race Apr 4, 2020

Michael Folk: Cut red tape on state purchasing

Folk described the state's roads as horrendous. He added that from talking to those with the road department, the biggest issued are waste and prioritizing what needs fixed. "The biggest thing I have seen with waste is that purchasing is messed up," Folk said. "I had a story told to me that a truck was down for a week and a half to two weeks because they had to go through a specific bid for getting the part that they could have got from their local auto parts store for a fraction of the money."
Source: Martinsburg Journal-News on 2020 West Virginia Governor race Jan 13, 2020

Richard Ojeda: Federal employees/appointees should donate excess assets

Ojeda has proposed having anyone elected to federal office or appointed to the Cabinet give up any assets over $1 million in net worth to a charity of their choice. "A real charity," he wrote, "not some family foundation run by their kids."
Source: PublicIntegrity.org on 2020 West Virginia Senate race Oct 17, 2019

Richard Ojeda: Introduced bill: lobbyists should wear body cameras

As a state senator, Ojeda introduced a bill that would require lobbyists to buy and wear body cameras while at the state Capitol, along with other restrictions.
Source: PublicIntegrity.org on 2020 West Virginia Senate race Oct 17, 2019

Michael Folk: Government is not the answer

Folk said he is an airline pilot by trade and is running for office because in 2008, he was laid off by the airlines. "The more I researched things, the more I realized it comes back to government," Folk said. "Government is not the answer."

"West Virginia is a state that thinks government can solve its problems," Folk said. "It's not the government that is going to solve its problems. The only thing it can do is remove the inventory and equipment tax."

Source: MyBuckhannon.com on 2020 West Virginia Governor debate Aug 27, 2019

Joe Manchin III: Citizens United decision has destroyed this country

Q: Require political ads to disclose largest funders? Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Joe Manchin (D): Yes, disclose funders. No, on Citizen's United. Says the decision has "destroyed

Source: 2018 CampusElect Issue Guide on West Virginia Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Paula Jean Swearengin: Voter turnout depressed due to money influencing elections

Q: What would be your top priorities, if elected?

A: Ending Corruption in Washington. Voter turnout continues to be depressed because people feel defeated by the massive sums of money spent influencing politicians and elections. Our current campaign financing system is largely legal bribery. Representatives who gladly take huge checks from industry and special interests are not representing the will of their constituents. This has to stop! We have already seen the mess caused by dark money and unchecked corporate donations. Our goal to create free and fair elections should be a clean public financing system. A Constitutional amendment to overturn the corrupt Citizens United ruling will help stem the tide. Americans deserve free, fair, accountable, secure elections so we can trust that Washington is on the side of the people.

Source: Ballotpedia statement for 2020 West Virginia Senate race Apr 10, 2018

Paula Jean Swearengin: Upgrade equipment to safeguard elections

Q: Do you favor more federal aid to upgrade equipment to protect election procedures?

A: A growing number of states are upgrading their election systems to safeguard against security threats and to replace outdated equipment. These costs are necessary and should be divided between the states and the federal government. States require ongoing assistance to counter any compromises that may occur. Of course, elections held with all paper ballots are far more secure and cost-effective.

Source: The Herald-Dispatch on 2018 West Virginia Senatorial race Mar 27, 2018

Don Blankenship: Media & Republicans conspired to defame me

My attorneys filed a lawsuit against Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and others. The lawsuit is a defamation claim. The suit makes clear that the purpose of Fox and other major media outlets defaming me was to impact the outcome of the May 2018 Republican Primary Election in West Virginia. The purposeful and illegal defamation was carried out as a result of collusion with and encouragement from Republican government officials.
Source: Constitution Party on 2018 West Virginia Senate race Jan 1, 2018

Paula Jean Swearengin: Cut regulations favoring big businesses

We will establish a department in the small business administration that identifies burdensome regulations that are strangling the potential of America's small businesses. This department will make recommendations to Congress for which regulations to repeal.
Source: 2018 West Virginia Senate campaign website PaulaJean2018.com Jul 17, 2017

Jim Justice: Appoint a Waste Czar to root out agency excess

Now, and I believe--and I will do this immediately, I will employ some person--gosh, I can't imagine being called this, a Waste Czar. But I'll have him absolutely dig into every agency known to man and try to find any excess monies that have been shoved away and hidden. And I'll have him look. And I'll have him try to find.

Now, let me just give you my philosophy of our regulatory agencies. My philosophy is just this: The right person for the right job and they're motivated.

Source: 2017 West Virginia State of the State address Feb 8, 2017

Evan Jenkins: Important to keep information secure

Jenkins' office said people need to trust the election system. "Trust in our electoral system is a critical part of our democracy, and oversight should always play a role in our elections," Jenkins said. "We must ensure our polling places, clerks and election systems are protected from cyber threats, as the FBI recently uncovered hacking attempts. As we near Election Day, all Americans should be able feel that their votes count."
Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail on 2018 West Virginia Senate race Oct 17, 2016

Natalie Tennant: I learned "make-do" attitude via my upbringing on a farm

Coming from an upbringing shared with six siblings on a farm in Marion County, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said she knows how to be resourceful. Her father sold cows to fund her college tuition, and Tennant said that she has employed a similar "make-do" attitude while serving as West Virginia's secretary of state.

During her tenure in that job, Tennant says she has worked to make the office more efficient and also improved services for voters and business owners. "I think that we have to use all the resources we have. I've streamlined & cut red tape. I've cut wasteful spending, and that translated into doing more with less. It's the same thing I learned on the farm, and I saved $3 million in the secretary of state's office and gave it back to the taxpayers."

Source: Beckley Register-Herald on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Mar 2, 2014

Natalie Tennant: 18-month investigation into stolen election: 3 convictions

Tennant said she played an instrumental role in ensuring justice was served when three elected Democratic officials tried to steal an election. As the chief election official, Tennant said her office conducted an 18-month-long investigation into the matter. "We worked with the attorney general's office, we gave them information, and those three Democrat elected officials served time in federal prison because I put West Virginia first."
Source: Beckley Register-Herald on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Mar 2, 2014

Earl Ray Tomblin: Dissolve state boards & councils that no longer operate

As we continue to plan we know it is more important than ever to eliminate government waste. That's why I will be proposing legislation reforming our purchasing laws to ensure that every dollar of state money is spent with the proper oversight to achieve the best value.

Because of this commitment to a good, responsive and efficient government, I have identified a number of boards, commissions, and councils that no longer operate, but linger on the books creating ambiguity and clutter. I plan to dissolve many of these groups by executive order, and I will submit legislation to eliminate the rest of these obsolete boards.

Source: 2014 West Virginia State of the State speech Jan 8, 2014

Natalie Tennant: OpEd: Suppress voting by requiring change-of-address cards

Thousands of voters in West Virginia will soon receive a postcard in the mail asking them if their address has changed and if they want to remain a registered voter. There are about 1.2 million registered voters in West Virginia, and county clerks will be mailing more than 335,000 notifications to voters who may have changed their address or who have been idle for two federal election cycles.

"The Secretary of State's Office is committed to protecting the integrity of those processes and keeping our voter rolls clean," Natalie Tennant said. "Most of the people receiving notifications will just have to fill out the notification and send it back."

If a voter receives a notification and does not fill it out and return it to their county clerk they will be placed on the list of "inactive" voters. These people are still registered to vote and may vote in 2014. Voters who remain inactive for two federal election cycles will have their voter registration.

Source: Logan Banner on 2014 West Virginia Senate race Jan 1, 2014

Michael Folk: Require voter ID, but for free

Q: Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates: Individual?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Action Committee?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Party?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the use of an independent AND/OR bipartisan commission for redistricting?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at the polls?

A: Yes.

Folk adds, "Voter ID should be at no cost to the voter: if an individual needs an ID- the costs must be covered by the state.

Source: West Virginia State 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Pat McGeehan: No limits on campaign contributions for PACs or parties

Do you support limits on the following types of contributions for state candidates: Individual?

A: No.

Q: Political Action Committee?

A: No.

Q: Corporate?

A: No.

Q: Political Party?

A: No.

Q: Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the use of an independent bipartisan commission for redistricting?

A: Yes.

Source: West Virginia Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Not more government, but easier government

When it came to jobs and economy, Raese was all about free enterprise and less government, which he said was unlike his opponent Senator Manchin. "Most of his answers are about government and what government can do," said Raese. "Mine are not about government and what government can do, I think we need less government."

Manchin said he isn't about more government but rather making government easier to work with. "Government should be your partner. It shouldn't be your adversary, it should be your ally," said Manchin. "That's what we don't have in Washington and that's what I've been working for."

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: I think we need less government

When it came to jobs and economy, Raese was all about free enterprise and less government, which he said was unlike his opponent Senator Manchin. "Most of his answers are about government and what government can do," said Raese. "Mine are not about government and what government can do, I think we need less government."

Manchin said he isn't about more government but rather making government easier to work with. "Government should be your partner. It shouldn't be your adversary, it should be your ally," said Manchin. "That's what we don't have in Washington and that's what I've been working for."

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: End the coalition of taking & government control

On health care, Manchin and Raese clashed over the Affordable Health Care Act. Manchin says a complete upheaval of the law would be the wrong idea. "I have been for reforming, repairing, and not repealing. Pre-existing conditions is wrong," Manchin said. "You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, sometimes you just have to change the water every now and then."

Raese disagrees with that. In 2010, Raese fully supported a full repeal of the bill. And he still does. "This country, right now, I call it a coalition of taking. They are taking our money, they are taking our power, and they are taking our freedom, and they are giving it government to control. That's unacceptable," Raese said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Public financing pilot for state Supreme Court races

I will introduce judicial reform legislation: a public financing pilot project for the two Supreme Court seats that will be open for election in 2012. The goal is to relieve judges from the burden of political fundraising and to reduce the potential for appearance of bias as a result of campaign donations. This money would be available for both the primary and general elections.
Source: West Virginia 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Jay Wolfe: Increase campaign donation limits

Source: West Virginia Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Aug 8, 2008

Doris Haddock: Vote against any candidate who supports soft money

I propose that Congressional incumbents and challengers say yes or no to a simple, 25-word pledge. It reads as follows:
I pledge my vote and full procedural support to ban soft money-the unlimited contributions to state and federal political races that undermine our democracy.
If your incumbents will not take this simple pledge, vote against them no matter how much you love them. Our way of life as a free and equal people is at stake, and we have no room in this battle for those who will not do the thing we all know is right.

I am suggesting this pledge here for the first time. I will go to Washington to see who will take the pledge and who will not. Then we will be ready for the coming elections, and I will ask my old bones and my many new friends to visit the states where we might do some good in these elections, and to raise a ruckus in those elections on behalf of our democracy and our grandchildren’s future as free men and women.

Source: Speech in Clarksburg, West Virginia Jan 1, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of West Virginia Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Government Reform.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 27, 2021