Stolen Elections & a Felon for
The major buzz this week was about the Lincoln Co. Sheriff and County Clerk (and an unnamed official) who confessed to rigging their last election by going into people's living rooms and getting them to fill out absentee ballots which, when counted after the election, overturned the results making them winners. In some cases the confessed parties actually filled out the ballots for the voters and, in the rest of them, “suggested” who the best candidates might be.
This revelation is in addition to the candidacy of
One thing I do know is the Daily Mail’s fix includes a call for requiring picture id’s of all citizens who show up to vote. This would not have prevented the vote-fixing in Lincoln County, but would provide a barrier to law-abiding voters exercising their right to vote. We already have a good system to prevent folks from voting if they’re not allowed. Let’s not go the way of other states that, in the name of election protection, enact voter suppression instead. Senate Judiciary Chair, Corey Palumbo, has introduced a bill to prevent felons from running office which at least addresses the real problem.
Right to Work (for Less)
Marcellus Musings II
Gov. Tomblin came back from his Texas Cracker expedition empty-handed saying that we might have to throw more money at, oops, I mean provide additional incentives, to woo a sought after “Cracker Plant” to our state to process our Marcellus-drilled natural gas.
Meanwhile, Delegate Mike Manypenny has been working overtime for the people introducing around 20 bills to reign in the drillers and make them behave. One is HB 4393 which seeks to help reunite the surface with the mineral estate. It would require surface owners to be notified when their minerals come up for tax sale gives them first refusal to purchase. Another HB4386 would require drillers to provide “emergency, temporary and permanent water supply when gas and oil operations have resulted in contamination, diminution or interruption” of a landowners' water. A study of unusual seismic activity near Fracking and Injection wells is in HB 4394. Del. Manypenny and the other sponsors of these pro-citizen bills should be thanked for standing with the 99%!
Grow Map is Warming
caught our attention this week on the updated US Dept. of Agriculture’s
growing zones map. It’s not your imagination, even the plants are
telling us it’s getting warmer as now we may grow our own tea in
southern WV just like they do in
Federal Transit Funding at Risk
The Tea Party Republicans in Congress are threatening to derail secure federal funding for transit in WV and the whole nation. At a time when more and more folks are using buses, trains and other public transit to get to work to escape ever-rising gas prices, the House has cut loose dedicated funding for transit (through the gas tax) throwing it to the mercy of the annual appropriations process.
The Republican majority on the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee has zeroed out all funding for pedestrians and safer streets for hikers and bikers cutting out money for sidewalks, crosswalks and such. Contact Reps Rahall and Capito (both members of T&I) to let them know that we need safer streets for walkers and bike riders and that public transit needs stable funding so our busses run when & where we need them.
Rep Rahall supported amendments to put pedestrian funding back in while Capito did not. Meanwhile, Sen. Rockefeller should be thanked for working out a funding deal in the Senate that keeps our small regional airports open here in WV.
Next Week – Progressives Occupy the Capitol!
Check out our article and calendar at the end of
this newsletter for all the activities going on for citizens to become
active on issues at the legislature and progressive public policy.
Inspired by the citizen movements here and abroad, state groups are all
pulling together for one big day (Wed. Feb 8th) at the
capitol to push for changes we believe in. If you can only come down to
Your Support is Appreciated
One of my tasks as Director is to sign all the thank you letters we send out to every one of our supporters. No matter if it’s a $10 senior/student WV-CAG membership or a $1,000 tax deductible gift to our education fund, every bit helps keep us fighting for you and the rest of the 99%. Most of our members can’t take off work to come down and make sure the lawmakers are paying attention to citizen issues, not just the bills pushed by the high-priced lobbyists. That is why we’re here for you. I am humbled by the retiree who regularly sends in a modest check with an apology about not sending in more to help. We are empowered by those who can afford to and do send in generously. Wherever you fall in the spectrum, please accept our sincere thanks.
We can’t do what we must do here without all your
support, large or small! If you haven’t yet, please take a minute to
renew your membership.
For those who don’t like on-line transactions, a good old check in the
mail sent to
Update on Least-Cost Planning
been exciting week for Senate Bill 162, which would establish a
least-cost planning process (also known as integrated resource planning)
The bill is currently in the Senate Judiciary committee, and most of the committee members are supportive of the bill as a means to hold down electric rates. We have thought, for the past week, that Sen. Corey Palumbo, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was ready to put SB162 on the committee agenda for passage. Power company lobbyists have swooped in and are trying to gut the bill. AEP subsidiary Appalachian Power CEO Charles Patton made a special trip to the Capitol on Wednesday to talk with Chairman Palumbo and sponsor Sen. Foster. That is how worried the power companies are about having their decisions reviewed openly in public.
half of the states in the
1. Give ratepayers an opportunity to comment on power company plans during the creation of the plan, instead of forcing them to challenge individual decisions in rate cases, after those decisions have already been made by power companies,
2. Give citizens, the Consumer Advocate and Public Service Commission staff a tool to push the power companies toward increasing efficiency programs and demand management, instead of simply building more plants and buying more electricity,
3. Open real discussion at the PSC about the real costs and benefits of existing generation technologies in comparison with home/business based renewable power generation.
We need your help to keep the power companies from diluting Senate Bill 162. Please call your senator(s) on the Judiciary Committee in support of a strong least-cost planning bill. See below for more information about Monday's energy efficiency call-in day.
What: Calling your
legislators to let them know
When: February 6, 2012
This Monday February 6, Energy Efficient West Virginia (EEWV) is holding a statewide call-in day. We're asking everyone to take a few minutes to let their legislators know they support an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (H.B. 4363) and Least Cost Planning (S.B. 162) legislation.
We recently found out that the utility companies oppose S.B. 162 and are working against it. There is also a rumor that the Association of Coal is against these bills as well. So now, more than ever, we need you to call your legislators! We're up against a lot of powerful people, but energy efficiency will create jobs and save citizens money and if you call, we can make sure these bills pass!
Here is more information about each bill and what to say to your legislators when you call.
· Sample of what to say when you call. If no one picks up, make sure to leave a message!
Least Cost Planning (S.B. 162)
· Sample of what to say when you call. If no one picks up, make sure to leave a message!
Our pockets feel it – electricity rates are rising. What’s really happening and what can we do about it?
Coal is becoming
Light refreshments will be provided.
When: February 23 @ 6:30PM
Doors open @ 5:30PM
When: March 22 @ 6:00PM
Doors open @ 5:00PM
Unite as ONE WV
Supporting Justice for ALL on February 8
WV Citizen Action Group is teaming up
with our progressive allies to display a united front against injustice. We
ask you to stand with us February 8th as ONE
Lend your voice to the fight at ONE WV Lobby Day!
We will begin the day with an advocacy
training and issue briefing; participate in a visibility event and
attend a floor session with LGBTQ, reproductive, environmental and civil
liberties advocates; visit with legislators and attend important
committee meetings (see details below).
AM - 10:00 AM ~
Advocacy Training at Asbury United
Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Body Politics, This Week's Victory
in the Fight for Women's Health
Advocates for women’s health celebrate today’s announcement from The Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure that it will reverse a decision made earlier this week to end its five year funding partnership with Planned Parenthood. The announcement came in the wake of a wave of public outrage.
On Tuesday, Komen said that it would rescind its breast cancer screening funds, citing a rule instituted in January that prevents the foundation from issuing grants to any organization under local, state or federal investigation. Of the more than two thousand organizations funded by Komen, the rule had only applied to Planned Parenthood, and it seemed designed for that purpose. The move comes in response Florida Republican Cliff Stearn’s allegation that Planned Parenthood spends public funds on abortions, a practice prohibited since the Hyde Amendment of 1976. Planned Parenthood is regularly audited to ensure compliance with the amendment, and has never been cited for any problems.
credit both this rule and Komen’s decision to recently appointed Senior
Vice President for Public Policy, Karen Handel.
Handel is the former
Women’s health advocates see this as a very troubling trend and have sent Komen and right wing policy makers a strong message – according to Planned Parenthood, donors contributed more than $3 million dollars for PP’s cancer screening services in the three days between Komen’s initial decision and today’s reversal. We are pleased that Komen responded to the public outcry and have pledged to continue a partnership that puts low income women’s lives before political posturing.
Josh Fox’s Arrest a
Sign of the Times
Reading the news that Gasland director Josh Fox had been arrested while filming a Congressional session was a shock. Learning that the session was an EPA study linking Fracking with ground water contamination was one another one. Learning that House Republicans were the ones who voted to eject him…well the Onion would have difficulty coming up with news this perfectly farcical. Truth be told this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Like so many issues in
What matters is looking beyond the hype and for
West Virginians a trip to
Legislation to Improve Long Term Care and Protect Home Health Care Workers by Maggie Fry, email@example.com
Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) asks you to send the US Department of Labor a message – let them know that you support labor rights for home healthcare workers.
Home healthcare workers provide a valuable service to many American seniors who prefer in-home to institutionalized elder care. Yet these workers are invisible in the American workforce and their important service has too long been done in silence, without any basic worker protections.
The Affordable Care Act (HR 3066) will end the 37 year trend of considering these workers “companions,” and will empower seniors with safer, more comprehensive long term care options. According the HCAN website, nearly one third of Medicaid spending is used for long term care. And the Affordable Care Act will help ensure that these funds aid those who need, but can’t afford in-home care, by providing families with access to safe, accountable options while also protecting the rights of workers who make these options possible.
Seinfeld mocked it. Letterman put it on one
of his Top Ten lists. More than 15 years after it happened, the
McDonald’s coffee case is cited as the primary example of how citizens
use “frivolous lawsuits” to take unfair advantage of
But what if everything you think you know about the McDonald’s coffee case is dead wrong?
Virginians United for Social and Economic Justice for a special
screening of the acclaimed documentary film, Hot Coffee, with its
producer and director, Susan Saladoff. The film will be shown
Monday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church,
Informative and entertaining, Hot Coffee challenges viewers to reexamine long-held beliefs about lawsuits and so-called “jackpot justice” by featuring the stories of four Americans whose lives were devastated by the attacks in the last decade on our civil justice system—including Stella Liebeck, the grandmother at the center of the McDonald’s case. It also examines how and why billion-dollar corporate special interests have attacked our nation’s civil justice system and are attempting to restrict our Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial.
View the film’s trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBKRjxeQnT4&feature=youtu.be
For more information, phone (304)344-0692.
A Good Week to Get