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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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My kind of candidate

The other day I received a message from Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito saying she should be re-elected since she's an "independent voice" in Congress.

The thing is, she can't run from her record of being a Rubber Stamp Republican. She's not just one of the largest recipients of the corrupt Tom Delay's campaign contributions, she was at the very top of the list. And now she has President Bush fundraising for her.


How independent from Bush's failures do you think she can be when he's campaigning for her?


She's been nothing but a Rubber Stamp Republican who has provided no oversight of the run-amuk corruption and incompetence of the Republican leadership and this administration. She's earned an F when it comes to protecting the middle class. Indeed, she's benefited by it, receiving campaign contribution after campaign contribution from Delay and from corporations eager to profit off the Iraq War at the expense of our soldiers and eager to see the elimination of worker safety regulations and inspections. From the invasion of Iraq to lack of oversight of federal mining inspections before the Sago Mine Disaster, she's been with the administration in lock-step all the way.


From the Charleston Gazette:


President George W. Bush spent a few hours in Charleston Wednesday afternoon, raising money for a political ally at a private fundraiser and getting jeered by opponents of the war in Iraq.


Air Force One touched down at Yeager Airport at 4 p.m. Bush and U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., got off the plane and were first greeted by Gen. Allen Tackett, head of the state's National Guard.


Republican officials said about 275 people attended the fundraiser, which raised an estimated $500,000 for Capito. Many paid the maximum of $2,100 per person. She is seeking a fourth two-year term in a race against Democrat Mike Callaghan.


snip


Callaghan, Capito's opponent, said Bush's visit shows Capito's vulnerability this November and her solidarity with the Bush administration's failed policies. He held his own fundraiser Wednesday evening, asking $21 per person for dinner, or 1 percent of the maximum allowable donation.


"The Callaghan campaign is about changing the direction of this country, which includes pushing the administration to find a way to end the war in Iraq, pushing the administration into providing health care for every man, woman and child, and pushing the administration into making prescription medication affordable to our seniors," he said.


If we really want an independent voice who'll fight for the working people of West Virginia and not just for the wealthy people outside of the state, we need Mike Callaghan in Congress.


I've met Mike Callaghan twice at local events. He's the real deal who'll be able to talk to regular West Virginians. He grew up fishing in the stream in his front yard and hunting for deer in the woods behind the back yard. Religion is important to the people of West Virginia. Callaghan is a long-time member of the same church as Capito and even was her son's mentor at the church.


He was chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party -- which still has Democratic control with the Governor, the majority in the Statehouse, and nearly every statewide office in the state.


So what are his positions?


Ethics


Mike Callaghan is tough on criminals and strong on ethics.  As a former federal prosecutor, Mike Callaghan will fight to end the culture of corruption in Washington, and he will put our hard-working families ahead of big money, big business and big influence. The days of Enron rip-offs, no-bid contracts and lobbying scandals will be over when Mike Callaghan is in Congress.  He will not hesitate to use his power as a Congressman to call for accountability from those who violate the law and trust of our country, especially those who are elected to serve the people.  He will not be led astray by lies from Republican leaders, and he will demand justice for the American people just as he did as a prosecutor.


Ethics. Now there's an idea. What won't Shelley Moore Capito (more Corrupto, I say) sell out when it comes to protecting our soldiers, our workers and our country? Look for yourself here.


War in Iraq


Mike Callaghan will defend our country in its fight against terrorism.  Mike will never take a back seat to the Republicans in defending this country.  He will demand swift action and hold our leaders accountable.


Mike believes we need to work towards a quick resolution in Iraq that includes a detailed withdrawl plan.  We pray for and honor our men and women who have admirably served our country.  Our top priority should be creating and executing a solid plan of action to bring families home.  The best way to ensure an end to this war is to elect Democrats to Congress.


The highlighted portion is key to me and has swung me from lukewarm to strong support.


When I met Mike Callaghan the first time early in his campaign, I asked straight out his position on Murtha's plan of pulling out of Iraq. He was not strong as a supporter of withdrawal as I was. If I recall, he was not ready to commit to the plan then. And that was what I wanted. But Callaghan reached out to those of us supporting his anti-war primary opponent here in the Eastern Panhandle immediately after he won the nomination. He listened to them (I was unable to attend that meeting, but I heard good feedback from those who had). Callaghan is not somebody who waited for the party leadership to tell him how to stand on an issue. He listened to the people. He learned and studied.


He's a judicious man and that came across in my meetings with him. And I confess, I personally wanted more of a firebrand. But I recognized that what I personally want and what is best for my Congressional District and for winning that seat in Congress and maybe even in healing the deeply partisan divisions in the country are not always the same thing. I want an attack dog, but deep inside I know a judicious man is needed more than that.


Don't get me wrong. I've got the sense he can be as dogged in his pursuit of what is right as much as an other federal prosecutor we admire. And if the Democrats win a majority and hold long overdue oversight hearing and investigations, a former federal prosecutor who went after coal mine owners with hearts of coal would be extremely useful as a representative.


National Security


Mike Callaghan is strong on national security and will never take a back seat to Republicans when it comes to defending this country.


Mike opposes the Bush/Capito unlimited spying and wiretapping program. Protecting our country and protecting the rights of our citizens are both cornerstones to our democracy. Mike believes that not even the President is above the law and he will hold everyone who violates our rule of law accountable.


Mike grew up in a small West Virginia town where it was safe at home, safe at work and safe in his community. He understands these are the values important to West Virginians. He will work tirelessly to make every American safe at home, work and in their community.


That's what I'm talking about. He knows the value of law and the important of protecting liberty and he knows people want to be safe. And he recognizes those things are not incompatible with each other.


You can read more about his positions here.


This seat is highly winnable. Capito is a candidate who should be ousted for her overly close ties to Delay and Bush.


Even if she wasn't one of the worst in the House of Representatives (and she is) at representing regular folk, Callaghan would still be deserving of our strong support because of his intelligence, background and positions. He's not just an anti-Capito choice.


His positions are good positions and just the type of person needed to make the United States government of the people, by the people and for the people.


If you think Mike Callaghan is worthy of support like I do, you can contribute to his campaign here.

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