A few weeks ago West Virginia Watchdog sent each candidate running in the Aug. 28 primary for U.S. Senate a questionnaire by email. The questionnaire focused on four key policy areas: health care reform, Afghanistan, the economy, and environment/coal.
Nine out of 14 candidates responded, including Mountain Party Candidate Jesse Johnson, Democrat Sheirl Fletcher and Republicans Mac Warner, Harry C. Bruner, Jr., Frank Kubic, Daniel Rebich, Albert Howard, Lynette McQuain, and Scott Williams. Those that did not respond: Gov Joe Manchin and Ken Hechler, both Democrats. Republicans John Raese, Lynette McQuain, and Thomas Ressler also did not respond.
Health Care Reform:
Jesse Johnson: This "deal," like Vice President Cheney's energy deal, was cut behind closed doors. This provides undo influence by the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. This as we all know, has created an unparalleled mandate for all citizens to purchase a product from private industry. We can and will provide a form of single payer that covers all and pay for it. I will show the public how. This requires no new taxes.
Johnson: Yes, both parties have made many mistakes with regards to foreign policy decisions for nearly 100 years. Our missteps that begat this crisis in Afghanistan began no later than July 3, 1979, When President Jimmy Carter signed the first directive to provide secret aid to the Mujahideen. This was in fact the birth of what has come to be known as Al Qaeda in Kabul in Operation
Johnson: This would require a recovery with jobs. One where large businesses invest in their national best interest (long term) rather than their own (short term.) As I have proffered for a decade. The answer to what ails America lays in what has long ailed WV. Our nation, like our state, is now owned by absentee landlords. This in the form of debt. Due to the prevailing effect of Gresham's Dynamic in our markets and industries, they are now off the reservation as they say. Our economy is in freefall. Our recovery is fanciful at best. And we find ourselves giving bonuses to the robber-barons and banksters that got us in this mess to begin with. We all must invest in our recovery to actually have one. We must return to our roots and replant them. We can and must innovate and diversify or collapse. Here in WV we have great opportunity but no political will or strength. We can invigorate industry, create jobs, live in pristine environments and communities that are the envy of the world, as soon as we stop burning our coal and Start the manufacturing business based on carbon from coal as I have described for years.
The Environment and Coal Mining:
Johnson: We balance our need of coal with our responsibilities to the environment] by enforcing the regulations that have been in place for decades yet ignored by the energy sector and big industry. The EPA has not done its job anymore than the WV DEP. There would be no EPA question if the state followed federal law as well as its own. This is like the cap and trade question.. The answer is not enough cap. Yes, there are much better ways than MTR, almost every way imaginable would be better. The vast majority of exaggerations in this debate are proffered by the Coal Associations and the Mine Owners and their related industries. Not so called, environmentalists.