CHAPMANVILLE — Ousting President Barack Obama, W.Va. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lisa Jackson was the main theme during the Republican Party’s Lincoln Day held Friday evening at the Logan Country Club. Lincoln Day is a primary annual celebration and fundraising event of many state and county organizations of the Republican Party.
Among those attending the event were GOP Primary Election candidates John R. Raese, Bill Maloney, Kent Leonhardt, Brian Savilla and Patrick Morrisey.
Following a buffet style dinner, Chad Holland, Executive Director for the state Republican Party, introduced the candidates. Each candidate was given several minutes to address the room.
First to speak was Raese, a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
“Is anyone here driving a Chevrolet Volt?” Raese said. “I think that is what President Obama is going to buy when he is out of office. Can we make that by November?
“My family has been in the state of West Virginia now almost 100 years. What are we? We are capitalist … we are free enterprisers, and we are the people who believe in the system that made this country the very, very best. We talked about the electric car a little earlier. This is not the first electric car in the United States. It has been a failure all the way through, because marketing something that somebody doesn’t want does not work. It is not part of the capitalistic system. You market something somebody wants, right? My grandfather drove around during the Second World War in what was called a Baker’s Electric. Baker Electric was around 1909. They was also came out with another one called the Detroit Electric. Neither of them were bought or purchased because they didn’t work very well. Something very similar today, isn’t it? But the government, who owns a lot of General Motors, is trying to give us something that we don’t want. …
“The cornerstone of capitalism is energy and private property. What is under attack in our country today? Both of them, aren’t they? Right in Logan County … you have the worst possible scenario with the EPA with more regulations in any scenario we have seen in the lifetime I have been in West Virginia. My family came here because of coal.”
Raese detailed his grandfather’s business enterprises in West Virginia, businesses that are still in existence today.
“That is what my family lives on today. He was very successful in creating jobs that have lasted for almost 100 years,” Raese said. “That was all generated from the private sector. That is the answer. That is the only thing that is going to save this country … that is capitalism and free enterprise. There is nothing else that is going to do it. Government is not the solution — government is the problem.”
Raese concluded his talk, saying “We have to defeat Barack Hussein Obama. We have to defeat Joe Manchin and we have to defeat Earl Ray Tomblin … and most lastly, Lisa Jackson, she’s gone too.”
Bill Maloney, candidate for W.Va. governor, spoke next.
“Last year in the Special Election we came so close,” Maloney said. “It was really tough to decide whether to do this again but Sharon and I were energized by so many folks who reached out to us and wrote us nice notes and, really, a lot of $20.12 checks saying run again in 2012… We decided we had to do it again.”
Maloney explained about his business background and about how his former business, North American Drillers, had drilled many of the mine shafts in and around Logan County.
“I’ve been up and down a lot of these hollows,” Maloney said. “But last year we didn’t spend enough time down here. This year you are going to be seeing us a lot. We have already been to Mingo, Boone, Logan and tomorrow, breakfast at Tudor’s in Lincoln.
“I started my company from the ground up, with a dirt floor in the shop, built the drilling rig out from the scrap yard, and built it up into something really special and ultimately successful. If there is something wrong with working hard to get ahead, then there is something wrong with America. We need to make those opportunities available to our kids and our grandchildren. It’s too tough to do today what I did, especially in West Virginia. I know I fought it all my life. I didn’t realize how bad it was but it seems like it has gotten tougher.
“We have to fix our courts in West Virginia; we have to fix how we tax people, make it fairer; we’ve got to get rid of bureaucracy, get government out of the way. Government is in everything. I learn more and more as I’m on the campaign trail.
“Who owns the equipment in the new stamping plant? I just read today, $150 million of equipment is owned by the state. Why do we do this? Is that the only thing we can do to get jobs? We need to level the playing field to make it easier for everybody to get in business. Let the private sector own the equipment. Let the private sector create growth and you will have jobs and opportunities for our kids. We need to take government out of the way.
“The ultimate in the past couple weeks is the EPA. President Obama snuck in a thing he called new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. … Earl Ray started a letter campaign, “Dear Washington Bureaucrats.” Did you see that? Well, we said ‘Let’s sue. Let’s join the other 15 other states that are doing it. Let’s sue the EPA.’ Well, a week later he sued the EPA and he found the tamest rule he could find … I think he talked to his buddy Obama and said ‘Let’s go after this MACT thing ‘cause it looks like we’re doing something.’ The next day, we said ‘Well, if we can push your buttons like that, let’s fire Lisa Jackson, let’s get rid of her.’ Well, the clock is ticking, we still see Lisa Jackson up there. We need to get rid of her… The EPA is way out of control…
“Our state can lead the nation out of its energy dependence if we do the right thing, right now. We’ve got all the natural resources right under us; we’ve got great location and great people to work… We’ve got to take back America and West Virginia can do it,” Maloney said.
Maloney also spoke about his narrow loss to Tomblin during the Special Election for Governor in October 2011.
“Right here in Logan County we lost by 6,000 votes. I lost the whole election by 7,500 votes. We need a little thing called Voter ID,” Maloney said. “This last session we saw some brave souls — Democrats — introduce a bill to ban felons from running for office. I don’t know what happened to that bill. We’ve got to look at some serious ethics and election reforms and turn our state around cause no one wants to mess with a state where you aren’t getting a fair shake.”
“We need to raise the bar for our expectations and we can do it,” Maloney said. “It can be done. I spent a little time in a Chilean desert two years ago using my God given talents to help rescue miners. They told me those ideas that we had would not work. Well, they did and we rescued some miners. We can do the same thing right here in West Virginia. But it takes a lot of hard work. It takes a team, and we’ve got a great team of candidates. Keep up the good fight, we will win.”
Speakers following Maloney included Brian Savilla, candidate for W.Va. Secretary of State, Steven Connolly, a former Logan County resident and candidate for W.Va. Treasurer, Kent Leonhardt, Republican appointee for W.Va. Commissioner of Agriculture, Patrick Morrisey, candidate for W.Va. Attorney General, several candidates for House of Delegates and local government candidates from Boone, Mingo, Wayne and Lincoln Counties.
Lincoln Day participants included candidates from Boone, Logan, Mingo, Wayne and McDowell Counties.
Martha Sparks may be reached at 304-752-6950, ext. 308 or by email at email@example.com