State of West Virginia Archives: on Government Reform


Natalie Tennant: Supports electronic voter registration and vote-by-mail

Senate Bill 477, a bill that modernizes the voter registration system, passed the state legislature today. "Citizens will be able to fill out their voter registration application electronically at the DMV, at their local library, or at their house-- anywhere they have access to a computer," Secretary Tennant said. "This legislation makes it easier for people to apply to become a registered voter, but still keeps in place all the safeguards to make sure these people live where they say they live. This legislation will cut down on the number of paper applications county clerks will have to process, saving some valuable time and reducing costs."

SB477 is the most recent of Secretary Tennant's bold initiatives to modernize the elections process. Other successful efforts were a pilot project that allowed deployed military and their families vote over a secure internet connection, a Vote By Mail pilot project, and a process that allowed counties to utilize community voting locations.

Source: W.V. Secretary of State website Apr 12, 2013

Natalie Tennant: Voter photo ID laws place unrealistic barriers

At the Pew Center on the States' Voting in America 2012 conference, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said [of a recent W.V. investigation], "photo ID laws would not have prevented elected officials from manipulating the election process. I am not against voter ID laws if it means every single person who wants to vote has a valid ID to present at the polls. Even if we have 99% of people with ID, that's still not enough. We cannot place unrealistic barriers or arbitrary rules that will impact a certain group of people or keep a single person from being able to cast a ballot when they are legally registered to vote. I am dedicated to providing open, fair, and honest elections to the people of West Virginia--and making sure everyone follows the rules."

Tennant also pointed out webcasting of voter information press conferences, the revision and improvement of poll worker training materials, and being present in all 55 counties on election day to work closely with election officials

Source: W.V. Secretary of State website Dec 10, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Not more government, but easier government

When it came to jobs and economy, Raese was all about free enterprise and less government, which he said was unlike his opponent Senator Manchin. "Most of his answers are about government and what government can do," said Raese. "Mine are not about government and what government can do, I think we need less government."

Manchin said he isn't about more government but rather making government easier to work with. "Government should be your partner. It shouldn't be your adversary, it should be your ally," said Manchin. "That's what we don't have in Washington and that's what I've been working for."

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: I think we need less government

When it came to jobs and economy, Raese was all about free enterprise and less government, which he said was unlike his opponent Senator Manchin. "Most of his answers are about government and what government can do," said Raese. "Mine are not about government and what government can do, I think we need less government."

Manchin said he isn't about more government but rather making government easier to work with. "Government should be your partner. It shouldn't be your adversary, it should be your ally," said Manchin. "That's what we don't have in Washington and that's what I've been working for."

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: End the coalition of taking & government control

On health care, Manchin and Raese clashed over the Affordable Health Care Act. Manchin says a complete upheaval of the law would be the wrong idea. "I have been for reforming, repairing, and not repealing. Pre-existing conditions is wrong," Manchin said. "You don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, sometimes you just have to change the water every now and then."

Raese disagrees with that. In 2010, Raese fully supported a full repeal of the bill. And he still does. "This country, right now, I call it a coalition of taking. They are taking our money, they are taking our power, and they are taking our freedom, and they are giving it government to control. That's unacceptable," Raese said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: Federal earmarks create career politicians

Millionaire Republican industrialist John Raese complained that federal earmarks create career politicians in a bloated government and indicated he'd be reluctant to pursue public dollars for projects best left to the private sector. "I don't think it's the best answer for the problems of West Virginia," he said. "I want to bring back the spirit of capitalism--to create the freedom of an individual." Raese argues state economies would be better served by cutting taxes and easing regulations on business.

But Manchin said states depend on the federal government for key infrastructure like roads, water and sewage lines, and broadband Internet access. Without government, he said, poor, rural states would suffer. "The free enterprise system is not going to go there. They're only going to go where the market is," Manchin said. "And for all of us to have an opportunity there has to be a partnership. The federal government and state government should be your partner, not your provider."

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2010 W.V. Senate debate Oct 18, 2010

Joe Manchin III: Suspended state earmarking as governor; do same federally

Manchin and Raese are seeking a seat that has for more than 50 years by a politician famous--critics would say infamous--for directing billions of dollars to West Virginia in budget earmarks, also known as "pork-barrel spending."

Asked whether they would continue Byrd's tradition, Raese indicated he would not, calling earmarks taxation without representation. "That is something that career politicians are very effective at," he said. "It services them, but it doesn't service Americans."

Manchin said he suspended earmarking at a state legislative level when he first took office as governor. He said earmarking was one reason why there needed to be a balanced budget amendment.

Source: State Journal coverage of 2010 W.V. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

John Raese: Supports line-item veto & balanced budget amendment

As for stimulating the economy and getting back to work, both candidates favored a free-market approached as opposed to government taking a leading role in job creation. Raese was critical of the economic stimulus package passed by Congress, comparing it to the New Deal of the Great Depression.

Both men called for a balanced budget amendment that would require Congress to balance the nation's books every year and not run up debt.

Neither candidate provided details about how they propose balancing a multi-trillion-dollar budget, but Raese said he favors giving presidents line-item veto power--something that Byrd staunchly opposed. Manchin said the only time the amendment should be suspended was during war or a national emergency.

Source: State Journal coverage of 2010 W.V. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

John Raese: Earmarks are taxation without representation

Manchin and Raese are seeking a seat that has for more than 50 years by a politician famous--critics would say infamous--for directing billions of dollars to West Virginia in budget earmarks, also known as "pork-barrel spending."

Asked whether they would continue Byrd's tradition, Raese indicated he would not, calling earmarks taxation without representation. "That is something that career politicians are very effective at," he said. "It services them, but it doesn't service Americans."

Manchin said he suspended earmarking at a state legislative level when he first took office as governor. He said earmarking was one reason why there needed to be a balanced budget amendment.

Source: State Journal coverage of 2010 W.V. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

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