I believe West Virginia’s government is too big and unaccountable to the people. Too many aspects of our daily lives are being dictated by politicians in Charleston. I want to shrink the size of government, returning more control to counties and local communities. As West Virginia struggles and loses population, the government continues to grow. I’ve proposed that the size of state government should be linked to population growth. As a state senator, I won’t forget that all “state money” comes from the pockets of hard-working West Virginia families. I feel strongly that a small, limited, accountable government will bring economic prosperity and individual freedom back to West Virginia.
I love living in Jefferson County and West Virginia, but am concerned about the direction of our state. Despite the wonderful resources we have been blessed with, we lag behind in economic opportunity. It almost seems as if our leaders in Charleston have insisted in holding us back. The new Republican controlled legislature has made initial progress in reforming our legal system – something I consider absolutely essential if we want to allow our economy to thrive. I am encouraged by the reforms that have been realized regarding joint and several liability and the non-partisan election of judges. These are important, however, we need to take the next step and create an intermediate court of appeals. This will help our legal system work more efficiently by making justice more accessible and timely. Additionally, we still have a long way to go in reducing excessive regulations that have strangled economic growth and constrained our ability to compete with neighboring states.
I am for tax relief for citizens and business alike. We need a lower, fairer tax structure. We need to reduce waste in government spending. The burden of state government must be reduced so that there is greater freedom and liberty for all.
You deserve representation in Charleston that is responsible and responsive. I would be grateful for your support so that we can work together to get West Virginia on the right track. Together we can get our economy growing, creating jobs and prosperity for all West Virginians.
I strongly support the Second Amendment right of individuals to defend themselves. As a woman and a mother, I believe that the responsible use of firearms can be a valuable equalizer in physical confrontations and a protection against violent crime. I am committed to protecting West Virginia’s castle doctrine, as well as the “constitutional carry” law recently passed by the Republican legislature. I am proud to have received the endorsement of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, a stalwart voice for Second Amendment rights in our state. I also support the long-standing heritage of firearm use by West Virginia’s hunters and sportsmen.
Education is a core concern for me. In West Virginia our public school system produces a huge disparity of outcomes. This is not necessarily the fault of teachers. It is a systemic problem.
According to Kids Count DataBook, WV is third to last when it comes to education, despite the fact that West Virginia spends more on education on a per capita basis than nearly every other state. Two years ago there was an educational audit in WV and over 20 reforms were suggested by the audit. None of the suggestions were enacted by our legislators, wasting our tax dollars on the audit and once again failing our children.
What the audit suggests is that our state is not lacking in resources, they aren’t being allocated properly. The fault lies not with our teachers, but with the system. As your state senator I will work to change that – to give our teachers a fighting chance to succeed.
I am against Common Core – it was approved in our state by an unelected body and without parental involvement or input. Contrary to the hype, Common Core is not so much a set of standards as it is a curriculum. Further, it violates the privacy of families for the sake of corporations. Common core amounts to a federal takeover of our children’s education and actually takes decision making authority away from parents, the primary educators of children. It is a one size fits all approach that has been proven over and over again to not work! In contrast, more parental involvement and individualized attention ALWAYS works.
Across the nation, there are more than 20 states that have either repealed Common Core or have introduced legislation to do so. In the just concluded legislative session here in West Virginia, the House of Delegates voted to repeal Common Core – the bill stalled in the Senate. As your State Senator, I will make it a priority to work to repeal Common Core and work with educators here in West Virginia and in other states to find solutions to problems we face. It is also crucial that we protect the privacy of our children and families.
We can no longer afford to maintain the status quo. It’s been four years since the audit. Many candidates say they support education reform, but they don’t follow through with action. We need to act on and address the issues raised by the audit.
Education is a top priority for me, and I am running to fight the status quo and push for changes that we need to make. A vote for me is a vote against Common Core, for parental rights, more local control of education and much needed reform.
West Virginia’s environment is of a great concern to all of us. I am always looking for ways we can work together to improve our environment, however, we are not making use of what we already have in place. I believe that 83 years of one party rule has contributed to this. A perfect example of this was the Elk River toxic chemical leak this past year in Kanawha. According to stories in the media, those tanks had been leaking for a very long time. Existing rules and regulations required that those tanks be inspected on a regular basis and that clearly did not happen. I attribute this to the fact that over time, with one party in power, the relationship between elected officials and appointed officials gets too cozy.
I applaud efforts like SB 373 which reinforces the existing rules which require oversight of dangerous chemical storage tanks but this important bill went from being a positive to a negative by the judicial committee, of which my opponent is a member, when they decided to remove the exceptions to regulating water and non-dangerous liquid storage. Including water, milk, and harmless liquids in the bill, this bill has caused hardship for our farmers here in Jefferson County. Everyone wants clean and safe water, but how does it benefit us to regulate water troughs for farm use?
In my opinion, one party rule for such a long period of time has contributed to lax oversight in West Virginia. Over time, those in power have become complacent. Cronyism ensues and the relationship starts functioning like a good old boy network. This can lead to a cycle of corruption.
Holding government agencies and the private sector accountable is necessary to improve West Virgina’s environmental record. The only way to hold government accountable to itself is to elect those who will hold them accountable.
I would like to see West Virginia be open to all forms of energy, alternative and traditional. By open I mean we create an economic climate that allows companies to compete with each other to provide for us what is best. Currently in our one party system, WV is not open to anything. It is a closed system. We need to encourage cleaner ways to power our business and homes. We also need to enforce the laws that are in the books.
I believe in leadership through example. My own family attempts to be as self-sustaining as we can with our small organic garden, beekeeping, raising poultry for eggs, and composting. I have actively participated in efforts to clean up streambeds and pick up litter. I have gotten involved in encouraging and bringing folks into Solar Power projects locally. I believe that making responsible decisions is a personal responsibility that everyone must have and teach to others. I do not wish to wait for government mandates but rather want to see folks wanting and pursuing options that benefit the environment. We need someone who will hold government and businesses accountable, who does not have loyalties to any group but the law and the taxpayers.