Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 19, 2012

Mercer voters should be applauded

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— As a former resident of Mercer County, I read (the previous letter writer’s) recent letter to the editor criticizing voters in Mercer County and felt compelled to respond.

I would strongly disagree with the assertion that Mercer County voters had voted against their own interests by supporting many Republican candidates on Election Day. It is sad that Democrats are repeating the falsehood that Republicans want to take away Social Security and Medicare.

National Democratic leaders have abandoned the average West Virginia Democrat. Look no further than U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who distances himself from national Democrats as much as possible.

President Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid support liberal policies like cap and trade, government-run universal health care, partial birth abortion, and gay marriage. Surveys have shown that a majority of West Virginians, including those in Mercer County, strongly oppose those liberal issues.

On a state level, it is comical to make the argument that sending Republicans to Charleston to represent Mercer County is bad because the “Legislature…is controlled by members of the Democratic Party.” We need, now more than ever, a two-party balanced system in West Virginia.

We need a debate about major changes in our tax structure, our regulatory environment, our legal system, and our education system. West Virginia is not competitive and will not be until we address these structural issues.

 It is tough for Mercer County businesses to compete with businesses just a short drive across the Virginia border.

These issues will not change if voters stick with the status quo and keep sending Democrats to Charleston because, well, they are already in control.

In conclusion, if those “token” Democrats that are so highly critical of feeling the need to change parties, the West Virginia Republican party is a big tent and we would welcome you with arms wide open.

Roman D. Stauffer