Friday, May 14, 2010

When Losing Reveals Class and Character

The First District race for Republican nomination was tough on all of us that care about the GOP. Friends ended up backing different candidates in many cases. The ugliness of the campaign produced a lot of hurt feelings. An e mail from Mac Warner to his supporters today puts a lot in perspective. It showed Warner to be a true class act. He asked Republicans here and elsewhere to unite behind David McKinley and included a set of e mails from his son in Afghanistan about a woman who sacrificed a great deal for her country.
FROM: Mac Warner
TO: All my Supporters, Campaign Staff, Contributors, Classmates, Volunteers, Friends and Family
From the notes below, you can see there were a lot of things going on this week far more important than an election in WV's 1st Congressional District. Please keep the young MP, her unit, and all our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and other dedicated public servants who risk their lives daily for us in your prayers. (Note Steven's observation, "The Good Lord definitely had a hand in keeping everything under control.")
Each of you has been an inspiration to me, and I'm so glad my children, Steven, Krista, Lisa, and Scott - along with my wife, Debbie -- prompted me to make this run. I have met so many wonderful people, many of whom will be friends for life. I'd like to thank each of you for your contribution, whether it was a financial donation, volunteer time, phone calls, introductions, door to door, advice, or stuffing envelopes. Everyone added value to the campaign, and I'm grateful.
As for this election, it's too important to not be involved. The health and vitality of our Republic depend on the quality of our elected leaders. Whether it is local, state, or national, they need our help. Please, stay engaged, get behind fellow Republicans -- and all candidates -- who will restore conservative, family values and common sense to government.
God bless you, your family, and may God bless America!

Mac Warner

From: Steven WarnerSent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010To: Dad
Yo Dad,
Heard about the results today. Pretty bummed about it, but I'm really proud of you, the team you established, and the campaign you all put together. I can't thank you enough for running on my - and my soldiers' - behalf. The state, the country, and our military are definitely missing out on the best possible man for any public office. I'm still praying that the people of West Virginia see that someday.
Yesterday was pretty awful. I was on a patrol with one of the Troops responding to a suspected IED. Before we got there we were hit by another one. We were in the heart of the bazaar, nobody around. It was straight out of a movie - the whole thing was eerie as all hell. The IED hit the second soldier in the formation, a female E4 MP from my battalion in Bamberg (I was back around a corner, probably 60 m away). The shrapnel tore through her left leg, above, below, and at her knee, ripping meat and bone with it; she'll be lucky if she keeps the leg. From there, it only gets worse. We're in a completely urban environment where there had been small arms and RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade) fire all day long, and the only HLZ (Helicopter Landing Zone) we can find is a small graveyard next to a mosque. It has power lines running over top of it, so we have to go rig up our own demo to take down the poles. Clouds start moving in, it starts raining, the sun's long gone behind the mountain, and we are literally smack-dab in the middle of the most dangerous place in our AO (Area of Operations) - one of those absolute, worst case scenarios that you do everything in your planning process to avoid.
We get the MEDEVAC birds on the way, set up security, pop smoke, they confirm the LZ, come in for an approach - and they hesitate. They go to make another pass. Pop another smoke. The second smoke catches the small field on fire, and as the bird comes back the prop wash just spreads the fire like crazy. So now our HLZ, the only one in the area, is completely consumed by flames, we're getting pelted with dust and embers as the flames lap at our backs, trying to get this girl with half her leg missing into cover. Absolutely terrifying.
The brush fire keeps pushing out - and, thankfully, dying b/c everything's getting burned - as the birds move out for another look. At that point, they refuse to land and say they're going to drop a hoist. Which takes another eternity to rig up. I go making rounds to check security and watch for any incoming fire at the aircraft. Mentally I start preparing for movement to and securing of a downed Blackhawk. This thing will be coming back close enough for me to take it down with a slingshot.
The bird comes back in and hovers to hook up the hoist right above us. The thing's spewing rocks and embers and dust and water from the small stream - an absolute mess. I must have had my back turned for about 3-4 minutes, though it felt like 30, before I turned to look and see what was taking so long. I glance up at the Blackhawk hovering only 50 feet above us, and see her on the litter spinning out of control on her ascent up. I thought to myself that a perfectly healthy me would probably pass out from the violence of that spin, much less a girl who had, in our minds, just lost her leg and waited nearly an hour to get EVACed. How that helicopter did not get shot down, though, is a miracle in my mind. How she survived that spin was a miracle. That all of that happened and the doctors think they might be able to save her leg is a miracle. Despite the IED, we definitely had Someone divine pulling over watch for us.
After the MEDEVAC, we still have to get to the suspected IED. It's pitch dark at this point, 8% illum (with these conditions our night vision is practically useless), and all air support has been called off because of the weather. We're able to find it, blow it in place (turns out to be nothing), then start our egress back to the COP. That's a nightmare in itself. We have about 25 guys in all, trying to climb over walls and cross creeks to stay off the main roads, all while getting reports that ambushes were getting established all over the place. I must have busted my ass at least 8 times, fell off a couple 7-10' drops, and even thought I sprained my knee at one point (I hit the ground HARD... I was down for a couple minutes before I was able to recover).
We were only about 1800 m from the COP (Combat Out Post). Given the conditions, it took us about 3 hours. Another miracle that we made it back in one piece, no one else seriously injured (save a couple bum knees and ankles).
It was a helluva night, one that I hope I never have to experience again. As bad as it was, it could have been - and should have been - a lot worse. I honestly thought we were going to have our own real-life "Blackhawk Down" scenario. The Good Lord definitely had a hand in keeping everything under control.
So that was my last 24 hours. Paired with the last three weeks and the results of the election, I'm pretty worn out. Again, I'm sorry to hear about the election - I think I wanted it just as much, if not more, than you did. But, like you said, there's a reason behind it. I love you and can't wait to see you.
- Steven

From: Steven Warner Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010To: Dad
We just found out that they had to amputate the girl's leg, just about a hand's length down from the hip. Definitely a blow to us all. It'll be a tough road for her - she was one of the more active Soldiers in the battalion, always in the gym, always working out. She's a tough kid though. If she can keep her head straight in the next couple weeks, I think she'll be an inspiration for a lot of people.
- Steven

From: Steven WarnerDate: Thu, 13 May 2010 To: Dad
I talked to her company commander today and he said she's taking it pretty hard. No surprise there. I'm going get to Walter Reed when I get home to check on her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings Has Ties to Group That Advocates Legal Child Molestation

The above is a clip from the Hannity Show about (Un) Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings and his connections to NAMBLA, a group that promotes homosexual child molestation.

The same question comes up over and over again in the conservative and libertarian community. Does Obama have ANY normal friends and associates, meaning does he know anyone who just goes to a normal job, has a family, has traditional values? If he does, he has not appointed any of them.

We need to question a president who thinks that it is a good idea to appoint a guy into an influential education position who believes that child molestation is okay.

We need to get rid of Obama and all of his creepos.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Results Are In!

It has been an exciting night in West Virginia politics as twenty-eight year veteran congressman Alan Mollohan condeded before 10:00 tonight to State Senator Mike Oliverio. Oliverio ran on a conservative slate of issues that blasted Mollohan for his support of Obama/Pelosicare. Locally, Mollohan won Mineral County. If he pledges and continues to pledge that he will not support Nancy Pelosi to retain her speakership, Oliverio will be a tough candidate despite the Republican trend this year.

David McKinley bested former Senator Sarah Minear and Mac Warner who charged in hard in the last few weeks. He must quickly put to rest the acrimonious primary to build Republican and independent support for his candidacy.

House of Delegates races also provided excitement. Charles Messick handily won the Democratic nomination in the 49th, defeating Jim Maybury. His victory earns him the right to battle former Mineral County Planning Commissioner Gary Howell, the unopposed Republican nominee. In the 48th Delegate district, incumbent Republican Allen Evans outlasted a challenge from Phyllis Cole. He has no general election opponent. In the 50th, Ruth Rowan had no primary opposition, but will run in November against Alan Davis.

Incumbent Republican Dave Sypolt will face Steven Shaeffer in the State Senate race for the 14th District. Shaeffer won handily over two opponents.

In Mineral County, Krista Johnson Dixon defeated Robert Schadler for Circuit Clerk. She has no general election opponent. Neither does County Clerk Lauren Ellifritz who won an unopposed primary race.

One of the closest races of the night locally featured Ridgeley mayor Doctor Richard Lechliter narrowly defeating former county commissioner Jack Bowers. Lechliter is the Republican nominee to run against incumbent Commissioner Wayne Spiggle who defeated William Nichols in a somewhat closer than expected race.

I apologize for not having more detailed results from local races in other counties, but I only have the Mineral County results right in front of me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today, Decision. Tomorrow, Unity

Today is a day of decision all over West Virginia. Hundreds of offices are up for election this year. They range from local positions to offices of national significance.

Although participation is expected to drop from last year's presidential election, this year could see a lot more voters than a normal off year primary election.

Most years see the primary as a pretty unexciting affair. Usually only one Republican steps up to run in most legislative and congressional elections. Democratic incumbents face few strong challengers from within their own party. The entrenched nature of the Democratic machine in West Virginia has produced a one party state for many years. Primary 2010 may be a sign of things to come.

West Virginia has always been a one party state. Democrats or Republicans usually control state politics for decades at a time. We have seen very few years in which a viable opposition party has existed. The switches from the dominance of one party to the other usually come quickly as a response to national party shifts. West Virginians generally agree on issues and will vote with a party and for individuals that represent them best, as far as they are concerned, anyway. Republicans are definitely pushing into position to challenge Democrats at least as a viable opposition, if not political supremacy a few years from now. Vigorous primaries on the Republican side, the retirement of the state GOP's debt and emergence of a new vision, and the weakening hold of the state Democratic Party thanks to Obama and Pelosi have all contributed to these developments.

To continue moving forward, we must win elections. The First Congressional District is a key example. We are not used to acrimonious primaries for this position because few people in the past have desired to challenge Alan Mollohan. He is not a dead incumbent walking, but he is also not indestructable. To beat Mollohan we need all Republicans behind whichever candidate wins nomination Tuesday. With the large field, it is wide open. However since all the candidates basically agree on the same issues, the attacks focused not on ideology, but personality. In short, it got ugly and fast.

On Wednesday the candidates need to have a conference call and pledge support for the Republican nominee. They need to appear together, shake hands before the cameras, smile, and congratulate the winner. Sure there will be hurt feelings and resentment for how these campaigns operated. You can't just shake off the accusations and anger privately, but all must unite behind the cause. We need a Republican to represent the First Congressional District. We can only win if everyone enthusiastically gets behind the nominee, whomever that may be.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shelley Moore Capito's Plan For Financial Reform

May 10 2010
Capito Op-Ed in Roll Call: Plan Would Restore Accountability to Markets
May 10, 2010 By Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Special to Roll Call
For the past few years, the American taxpayer has been forced to rescue Wall Street institutions from self-inflicted financial ruin. While Main Street continues to bear the pain associated with poor financial choices, the bailout precedent provides little incentive for financial institutions to change their ways and avoid making irresponsible decisions.
Many Democrats have accused Republicans of acting as a roadblock to financial regulatory reform. This could not be further from the truth.
We have a plan for reform that better addresses the root causes of the financial collapse and protects Americans from paying for Wall Street’s mistakes.
This plan, introduced last year by the House Financial Services Committee Republicans, provides for enhanced bankruptcy — an approach that would set up a new chapter to handle the failure of highly complex entities. This type of bankruptcy will ensure the orderly unwinding of firms in a downward spiral without shifting the burden to hardworking Americans.
Under this new chapter of bankruptcy, regulators will coordinate with and assist the courts to ensure that the plan approved by the judge is sufficient for the complexity of the institution. The judges will also be able to prevent panic and instability in the case of a faltering large firm by staying the claims of creditors, which would prevent runs on the troubled institutions.
In a strong free-market system, all participants should know the rules of the game. When the government provides bailouts for some institutions and not others, market instability ensues. Our new chapter of bankruptcy would be consistent for all large and complex actors within the financial system and will strip the unsavory power of picking winners and losers from the federal government.
Recognizing that there are bad actors in any market system, true financial regulatory reform should include protections for consumers. The House Republican plan would increase investment fraud enforcement and monitoring of systemic market risk through increased coordination between regulators. Rather than creating new bureaucracy, we should maximize the effectiveness and coordination of our existing regulators.
In an effort to deter fraud, we are seeking to increase monetary penalties for those who deceive investors. The increased fines collected from civil and criminal actions against those who would defraud the market would help offset the damage to the system and would prevent future acts by handing out more than a slap on the wrist. Innocent victims of this type of fraud need every remedy available to them to recover their money, which is why our proposal includes provisions that would increase restitution remedies for these victims.
Enough is enough.
Will Congressional leadership have the courage to stand up for Main Street and enact financial regulatory reform that truly restores accountability to our markets and protects the American taxpayer from future bailouts?
As debate continues in the Senate, it is my hope that Republican ideas on financial reform will be included and the final product will be truly bipartisan. Financial reform is too important to be subjected to the partisan ideas of only one party. The integrity of our financial system is crucial to the success and safety of our country. For better or worse, what happens on Wall Street has far-reaching implications for the hardworking folks across our nation. We must take a bipartisan approach to this problem.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity.

Shelley Moore Capito Obtains Funds For Mathias-Baker Volunteer Fire Department

Apr 28 2010
Capito Announces $138,130 Grant for Mathias-Baker Volunteer Fire Company
Department of Homeland Security Funding Awarded Through Assistance to Firefighters Program
WASHINGTON—Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., today announced that the Mathias-Baker Volunteer Fire Company has been awarded $138,130 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Operations and Safety Grant will be funded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
“Our volunteer firefighters selflessly commit to protecting their neighbors on a daily basis, and we have a duty to provide the support and resources they need to do their jobs safely,” said Capito. "Grants like this one are critical to our first responders’ ability to better serve their community—I am confident the dollars will be put to good use."
Grants awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program seek to help enhance the preparedness capabilities of local fire departments and emergency medical service (EMS) organizations. Funding often supports equipment upgrades and training for first responders.
Operations and Safety Grants, like the one awarded to the Mathias-Baker Volunteer Fire Company, specifically support training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and health and safety modifications to stations and facilities.
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