Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Now that Tom has finally gotten his....we now have to deal with Roy

Roy Blunt's Rap Sheet
by DavidNYC
Thu Sep 29th, 2005 at 12:21:53 PDT
Armando (and Matt Yglesias) are both right: This is just "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Well, we won't get fooled again. Here are the goods on Roy Blunt, courtesy of CREW:

Tried to slip pro-Big Tobacco provision into a Homeland Security bill (!) - while he was sleeping with a Philip Morris (aka Altria) lobbyist.

Hurt the war effort by passing legislation that reduced competition by limiting military cargo shipments to certain companies such as UPS and FedEx - while his son Andrew was (you guessed it) a lobbyist for UPS.

Funnelled $76,000 to his son Matt's gubernatorial campaign in Missouri by laundering it through a bunch of various campaign committees - while Altria also tossed $24,000 to Matt's campaign, and $100,000 to one of those middle-man committees.

PAC took money from top GOP arrested scum-bag-man Jack Abramoff, to the tune of $8,500. It's all about the company you keep, ay?

Took a trip to Korea in 2002 paid for by a registered foreign agent - which is against House rules.

Yesterday, I thought that perhaps David Dreier might suffer a fate like Bob Livingston - a very short time at the helm before resigning in disgrace. Roy Blunt may have more institutional support than Dreier, but now that CREW has apprised us of Blunt's sparkling record, I could see that fate befalling him, too.

This is just the beginning, there's much more to be learned, I found this on the Daily Kos

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Capito stands with Bush not the Truth

Corporate Capito has shown that she is not for really finding out who was to blame for the debacle that was the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. She voted against an independent investigator. Even though I believe that the aftermath was botched at all levels state, local, and federal. She seemed inclined to vote to make sure that her boss*, President Bush, does not take his portion of the blame. Yes, Mr. Bush did say that he would take responsibility but that is not the same as saying I am to blame for the failures of FEMA and Homeland Security. He could have stated that he failed the American people when he appointed Michael Brown, a long time friend, as the head of FEMA. Instead of a qualified individual, he appointed a crony with no experience at all with disaster relief. He could have stated that the Department of Homeland Security, his baby, has failed the American people since cities do not have proper evacuation plans in place incase of disasters. Instead he is calling for these now, 4 years after 9/11, and after numerous threats from terrorist. Apparently the threat level going up and down does not mean anything to Homeland Security since they are not ready to respond to a mass evacuation situation anyway.
It is time to get rid of anyone who votes to protect their party over West Virginians and Americans. Corporate Capito has yet to go out on a limb and state her beliefs on any issue that might cost her votes. She routinely states I am looking into the issue and listening to my constituents when really she is looking into which corporations will be affected most and who donated to her campaign. We are in need of real leadership in West Virginia not someone watching the polls and watching where the money is.

*I really thought we (the people of the 2nd Congressional District of WV) were her boss but you would never know it by her voting record.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Senator Byrd at Shepherd

Senator Byrd to present address on the Constitution
Friday Sept. 16 4:00 PM ( Please arrive by 3:45*)Storer Ballroom, Student Center
N. King St. Shepherd University, Shepherdstown

(* C-SPAN will cover the event live beginning at exactly 4 PM, so it is important to arrive early.)

Senator Byrd's presentation will be the first in an annual lecture series, the Tom E.
Moses Memorial Lecture on the U. S. Constitution, which is named in honor of
the late Tom Moses Tom was a tireless advocate of civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. He was involved in many community projects during the 27 years he lived in Jefferson County, including the founding of the Eastern Panhandle chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The lecture is part of the Constitution Day program at Shepherd University. There is no charge.

Following Senator Byrd's address there will be a reception across the
street in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.

The Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies and the Shepherd
University Foundation will co-sponsor the annual lecture on the
Constitution in September each year. A fund for this lecture was
established by Mr. Moses' daughters and is administered by the
Shepherd University Foundation.

Hope you will be able to attend!

West Virginians love Senator Byrd

New Poll Shows Byrd in Strong Re-Election Position
Public poll numbers released in Charleston today show Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., with a 75 percent job approval rating and a 16 point lead over a potential match-up versus Representative Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (She's a Tom Delay Republican.)

According to the poll, about 55 percent of registered voters in West Virginia said they would support Byrd in the election. Only 39 percent said they would support Capito. Poll respondents also had a higher opinion of Byrd than Capito and gave the senior senator higher job approval ratings than the congresswoman. According to the poll, 72 percent of residents have a favorable opinion of Byrd.

Ned Rose, chairman of the Friends of Robert C. Byrd Committee, said about the new poll numbers, "This poll reflects what West Virginians already know -- that our state has no better champion than Robert C. Byrd. Senator Byrd stands up for West Virginia. He puts the people first. Senator Byrd does right by West Virginia.

"There is a long way to go before the election, and poll numbers change. But this is certainly good news. And I expect that the poll would have been even stronger if it were taken after Senator Byrd came through to save the West Virginia National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston. Senator Byrd always uses his power, clout, and experience to fight for West Virginia."

The poll, commissioned by The State Journal, was conducted by RMS Strategies during the week of Aug. 8. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Pastors for Peace collecting for Katrina survivors

Pastors for Peace are working with local groups to collect specific items needed for Mississippi survivors of Katrina. They will be in our area next weekend, to load a bus with things we collect locally. Pastors for Peace are working with Congressman Thompson and an established relief distribution center in Mississippi.

Two drop off locations are available

Trinity United Methodist Church
220 W. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV (downtown)
(304) 263-9215
Drop off hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Debora Harding
197 S. King Street (old Fire Hall)
Shepherdstown, WV
(304) 671-9002
Drop off hours: 8:00AM – 7:00PM (ring bell or leave on porch)

We also need volunteers on Saturday, September 10, 2005 to assist with sorting and packing everything. Call Martha Murray to sign up as a volunteer – 260-0485 or .

The following items (ONLY) are being collected:




Toiletries, including women’s sanitary supplies


Non-perishable foods (in bulk quantities only)


Household supplies


Cleaning supplies


Bedding and towels


NO furniture – space is limited

Maggie Bryant-Gainer will be traveling to Mississippi with Pastors for Peace to offer relief. Contact her directly to support this effort – (304) 876-1176

Please try to supply boxes with your donations. For more information, contact Martha Murray (304) 260-0485 (evenings) or Maggie Bryant-Gainer (304) 876-1176.

For more details about Pastors for Peace, see their website


Update and additional information.
On Sep 6, 2005, at 6:01 PM, Margaret Bryant-Gainer wrote:

We have about 4 days to “fill the bus” heading down south to deliver relief to Katrina Survivors. The need is imminent please pass this on to whatever lists you have.

Congressman Thompson is a member of the black caucus you may of watched recently deliver on television a compelling statement concerning the need for help and lack of response. Pastors for Peace is working with Congressman Thompson w/ a distribution center.

FYI Please note that IFCO/Pastors for Peace was founded by people of color and closely connected with folks down south asking us for this help… so it is a wonderful connection for all of us who may want to be involved in any way.

“The first national foundation controlled by people of color, IFCO has acted as a bridge between predominantly mainline churches and community groups conceived of and run by people of color; as a broker for the channeling of interdenominational support; and as a resource bank supporting the work of congregations and organizations engaged in the work of community-building. IFCO has acted as a monitor, supporting self-determination by the poor, the hungry, and the exploited and insuring that their needs are not sacrificed for the priorities of the privileged in American society. IFCO has acted as a catalyst and a conscience in the movement for social justice.” To find out more
Peace, maggie

Letter writing

Amnesty International Upper Potomac Chapter
Letter writing meeting Sunday Sept. 11 7PM
Room 109 White Hall (corner of High and Princess)
Shepherd U. Shepherdstown, WV
More info: Robert Scharmer

As we observe the anniversary of 9/11 and remember the victims and their loved ones, our letters will focus on an additional casualty of the tragedy: our system of judicial process and protection against torture and other inhumane treatment.

We will write on behalf of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who came to the U.S. with his family on Sept. 10, 2001 to pursue post-graduate studies. He was arrested in December 2001and is being held as a material witness in the investigation into the September 11 attacks. Less than a month before he was due to stand trial, he was designated an "enemy combatant" and transferred to US military custody where he has been held on US soil for 3 years in solitary confinement as an "enemy combatant" with no charges filed and no date for a trial.

We will learn details of his detention, which appear to include torture. Please add your voice to the cause of restoring protections guaranteed by our Constitution, of providing Mr. al-Marri with a fair trial, of investigating the allegations of torture, and of bringing to justice anyone found responsible for these violations.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please consider sending a letter from home. Details and a model letter are available at .

The meeting will also include details about the upcoming local "denounce torture delegation" to Congress. After the letter writing session, those interested will be able to view the AI-produced video "Raise the Roof" which provides step-by-step information on how to effectively educate and influence our officials. For more information about the lobby delegation, contact Robert Scharmer .

Monday, September 05, 2005


As I think of the dereliction of duty from President Bush and his administration, when I think of the Corps of Engineers officials who quit in disgust over the Bush administration's gutting of the levee funding to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy, when I think of the president vacationing and strumming an air guitar as people died last Monday, when I think of the inaction by his administration when state and local officials ssked for federal help in preparation of the hurricane, when I think of the administration now blaming the state and local officials for not asking for help, bald-faced lies easily laid bare by the official record and FEMA's own statements, when I think of the lives lost because helicopters were grounded for Bush's photo ops, when I think of all of those things, my fingers cannot help but tremble with rage.

In 2004, three major hurricanes struck Florida. The federal government responded quickly. It was an election turning point for some people.

Now we see the results of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Now we see the results of the National Guard being deployed to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq, now we see what happens when Bush appoints political cronies to head important government agencies when they have zero experience at emergency management, now we see the results of four years of so-called preparations and billions of dollars spent preparing the nation for disasters after Sept. 11th: a total, inexcusable disaster.

Say what you will about Bill Clinton, the federal government responded quickly and efficiently to disasters, from the right wing terrorists striking Oklahoma City to hurricanes and earthquakes across the country. Help was on the way.

The Republicans have spent the past 25 years telling the American people the government is never a solution. That's a lie.

The government can save lives in emergencies. They can organize relief and construct projects to lessen the results of disastrous, from preserving wetlands that act as a natural buffer to natural disasters to building levees to channel flood waters away.

Bush said it is not a time for finger pointing - and then he immediately began to blame state and local officials for not doing more.

Yet it's in FEMA's own mission statement for the federal government to step in under those circumstances that would overwhelm local governments. If this had been a terrorist strike and the state and local leaders had been killed in the initial attack, who would Bush have blamed then? When Harry S Truman said "The buck stops here" he was stating the obvious. The president is supposed to be the leader of the nation.

President Bush has been called the personification of the ideal Republican leader. We see the results of their policies in New Orleans. He was warned on Aug. 6 before Sept. 11th attacks that bin Laden was determined to attack the United States but he stayed on vacation and did nothing. He was warned before Hurricane Katrina that a catagory 3 or higher hurricane would flood the city and he stated on vacation and did nothing.

The commander in chief of the United States could have ordered troops and equipment to be pre-positioned to respond swiftly to the scene. The commander in chief of the nation could have ordered airdrops of food and water just as done after the tsunami or in Afghanistan and other stricken places on Earth.

None of those things occurred. It is a dereliction of duty beyond comprehension.

The worst deaths on United States soil have occurred under this president. Many of the deaths could have been prevented with properly leadership. It is time for President Bush to step aside for the good of the nation.