Thursday, July 22, 2010

Press Release From Mac Warner: Warner Will Run For U. S. Senate

Mac Warner announces candidacy for U.S. Senate

Mac Warner announced he will file today to run in the Republican primary for the special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the passing of Robert C. Byrd. Warner, of Morgantown, said there is a void among candidates who can bring to the race his experience in military and foreign affairs and his dedication to Constitutional principles of government.

Despite being vastly outspent by two opponents, Warner finished second in a field of six in the First District GOP primary election for the United States Congress in May. He said today, “We need more voices in Washington who have a firsthand knowledge of military issues, a real dedication to getting spending under control, and a devotion to making sure the Constitution guides us in every decision.”

Warner said he is motivated also by the national, grassroots movement among everyday citizens, whether via the Tea Party or other organizations, to reclaim their voice in government and make sure elected officials are held accountable. With a son serving in Afghanistan, Warner said he is keenly aware of how decisions made in Washington affect troops on the ground across the globe.

Warner said he is not intimidated by the candidacy of Gov. Joe Manchin, despite current polling data. “Joe Manchin has perfected the skills of the professional politician – telling people what they want to hear while straddling the fence on virtually every issue. He actually endorsed Barack Obama for president, at the same time Obama was taking aim at the coal industry. Joe may claim to be pro-coal, but his actions -- that is, his support of this President and the Administration’s assault on WV industries -- belie Joe’s claim. As Senator, don’t expect Manchin to move to repeal or replace the government takeover of health care, not after every Democrat vote was needed to jam that one on the people of West Virginia and the rest of the US. Now, look at his eagerness to step away from his elected obligations as Governor,” said Warner. “He’s a career politician, always looking for that next political step for his own benefit. Manchin will go to Washington and fall in line behind Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. That will spell disaster for the people of West Virginia.”

Warner said Manchin has, in essence, already cast his first vote in the Senate through his handpicked appointee, Carte Goodwin. “Together, they conspired to put our country much further into debt by extending unemployment benefits to almost 2 years. Think of the irony: the big debate in America this week was about extending unemployment benefits. That alone is proof that the Obama administration has failed miserably to meet our number one challenge – creating good jobs for families,” said Warner.

Warner said he would oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because of her shameful treatment of military recruiters at Harvard, her politically-motivated revision of a medical statement on partial birth abortion, and her previous writings extolling the virtues of socialism. Her evasive and even purposely misleading answers during her confirmation hearings should have been enough to keep her from being confirmed. Warner said he will be a staunch opponent of cap and trade, government takeovers of private industry, and would work to roll back the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care takeover.

Warner was born and raised in Charleston. In high school he was an Eagle Scout, a U.S. House of Representatives Page, played football, and ran track. He was elected Student Body President at George Washington High School in 1972. Upon graduation from high school, Senator Robert C. Byrd nominated Mac for admission to the United States Air Force Academy, while Congressman John Slack nominated Mac for admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. After visits to both Academies, Mac accepted the nomination and subsequent appointment to West Point.

At West Point, Mac served on the Honor Committee, ran track, and was on the Triathlon Team. He graduated in 1977, and was commissioned as an artillery officer in the US Army. In 1979, Mac was one of 25 officers selected to attend law school for the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He returned to West Virginia's College of Law to obtain his JD degree. Upon graduation in 1982, he was assigned overseas to Germany where he became a defense trial attorney. He counseled incarcerated soldiers at the military's confinement facility at Coleman Barracks before becoming a Senior Defense Counsel for the Army's 1st Infantry Division at Goeppingen Barracks. The Army recognized Mac for his knowledge and reporting on confinement facilities at Fort Leavenworth, KS, Fort Knox, KY, and in Germany – unique experience that would be helpful in discerning proper procedures at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) and elsewhere. Later, Mac personally escorted war criminals from Bosnia to the International Court at the Hague.In 1985, Mac returned to the United States to receive the first of two Masters Degrees he eventually earned in law. He attended the Army's Judge Advocate General's School in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he earned an LL.M in Military Law. In 1986, he joined the newly formed Light Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California where he became the Chief Prosecutor for the Division. When the Division was called to action for the 1989 invasion of Panama, Mac traveled extensively throughout the country, and became interested in international legal issues. In 1990, Mac was accepted into the University of Virginia's prestigious Graduate Law Program (one of seven Americans in the twenty-seven person class). He was elected president of this international group of lawyers and distinguished scholars. The year was marked with several significant events, to include the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War. Mac wrote his thesis on trying Saddam Hussein for war crimes. He received a Masters Degree in International Law from UVA in 1991, and soon traveled to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel in preparation for teaching comparative law at the Army's Judge Advocate General's School. For the next four years, Mac taught International, Military and Comparative Law to the Army's Basic and Advanced Legal Courses. He was then assigned to Forces Command in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as Chief of International Law during the 1996 Summer Olympics and the Haiti Peacekeeping Operation. In 1997, Mac was again assigned to Europe, this time at the US Army Headquarters in Heidelberg. There, he served as the Chief of International Law for US Army Europe where he supervised the work of both American and German lawyers and staff. He also deployed to Bosnia, and led a team of military and State Department lawyers on a Rule of Law action plan. He also did leading-edge work with non-lethal weapons for our troops in Bosnia. His final assignment was to the Army's War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where he served as the legal advisor to the Army's Peacekeeping Institute. When his mother was diagnosed with cancer, Mac retired from military service in 2000 to return to West Virginia to be close to family. Mac's international work has taken him to 50-some countries on six continents. During his 23 years on active duty, Mac and his family lived in seven states, and in Germany for six years. He worked specific projects for the Army in Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Bosnia, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Brazil. He has been to Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East on several occasions.

Mac is married to the former Debbie Law of Charleston. Debbie is a Realtor with JS Walker Realtors in Morgantown. Mac and Debbie have four children: Steven Warner was nominated by Senator Jay Rockefeller for admission to the United States Military Academy in 2004, and he graduated from West Point in 2008. He was commissioned into the Army Corps of Engineers, and is currently a Lieutenant deployed to Afghanistan with the 173d STB (Sappers), a combat engineer unit doing route clearance. Steven was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained from an IED attack on April 22, 2010; Krista Warner graduated from the University of Virginia in 2009 with a bio-medical engineering degree, taught science last year at Trinity Collegiate School in Florence, SC, and is now enrolled at Wake Forest University in Physician Assistant School; Lisa Warner was nominated by Senator Jay Rockefeller for admission to the United States Military Academy in 2008, and is currently a Cadet at West Point, Class of 2012; and Scott Warner, an avid gymnast, just completed a year in Washington, DC, first as a US Congressional Page for Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, and then as a Senate Page for Senator Jay Rockefeller. Scott will attend University High School for his senior year beginning in August.

What A Difference A Day Makes

A couple of days ago, most folks were speculating on a good and solid race between Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and Governor Joe Manchin for the United States Senate. She, as far as I am concerned anyway, took the safe and smart decision and passed on this race, this year. Certainly she had a very strong chance of winning, but with the GOP possibly in position to take the House this year, she stands to emerge as one of the more powerful members. She publicly admits wanting the position, but is biding her time. That all being said if she lands a coveted committee position, that would be difficult to abandon with her relatively safe seat.
Yesterday we learned that former Secretary of State and congressman Ken Hechler jumped into the fray. He plans to make opposition to mountaintop removal the centerpiece of his campaign. He does not expect to win, but he is running to raise awareness of the issue.
This gives Republican contender John Raese a golden opportunity. Hechler could "steal" a large section of Manchin support. Raese was a Tea Partier before there was a Tea Party. He can also self fund to his heart's content. His staunch economic conservatism has always been seen as a liability in West Virginia, but this year the rules have changed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gary Howell Selected As Incoming Mineral County Republican Executive Committee Chair

At this evening's special meeting open to the public, Gary Howell won election as Mineral County Republican Executive Committee Chair. He thanked outgoing chair Bob Harman for forty six years of service and proceeded to conduct a regular meeting.

Time to Move On From Race

On one hand, it is not news that racial prejudice exists. It takes many forms. White on black, black on white, and everything in between. Race has flared up as an issue because the NAACP insists upon calling Tea Parties racist, despite the fact that they contain black members and support black candidates. Now a recently fired black USDA official admits that she did not do all she could for a white farmer asking for help.

Time to get over it. Everyone.

This is the 21st century. To youngsters, racial prejudice makes as little sense as a previous era's angst over Irishmen, Catholics, and Jewish people. They simply don't see race. I'm not saying that the young are always the sharpest tools in the shed, but here we can follow their example. Stop talking about race. Stop worrying about race. Be color blind like our children. That goes for everyone.

This means that we have to start thinking of individuals instead of categories. The NAACP has to stop seeing black Republicans as treasonous to some outmoded race concept and realize that people make political decisions based upon interest and opportunity. Republicans want to stay out of your life and take less of your money. That appeals to people across a broad spectrum of races, cultures, and backgrounds.

The big debates of our time do not center around what color you are, but how many of our natural rights will remain uninfringed upon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Analyzing the Goodwin Selection

Last week, confirming the weeks long speculation of some in the state Republican Party, Governor Joe Manchin selected Carte Goodwin to fill Senator Byrd's former seat.

To many this came as a shock, but it represented a fairly logical selection on the part of the Governor, despite some protests.

First of all, the situation is as such: the Governor wants to run for this Senate seat and has to appoint someone on an interim basis. Some suggestions for nomination included Gaston Caperton and Bob Wise because of their past political position. Others included Nick Casey, former Democratic Party chair. Why would Goodwin represent a more logical selection than the aforementioned?

Frankly the Governor needed someone who would not "welsh" on a promise to step back for the special election. Goodwin has worked closely with Manchin for years and has his political career for the most part in front of him rather than behind. He has decades of life to run for the Senate again if he so chooses. Also, Goodwin is an up and coming guy in the party. He has intelligence, experience crafting legislation, and charisma not unlike the Governor's. Much like a baseball team will bring up its prospects in September and October to get them major league experience before they emerge as stars, the Democratic Party benefits from getting one of its own future leaders in the limelight and the public eye.

Like I have said before, I am a Jackson County guy originally and know the Goodwin family pretty well. This was a good selection ideologically, from a conservative point of view, when you look at the alternatives and Goodwin himself. Some people will express outrage unless a person along the same ideological lines of John Raese was selected. We were not going to get a conservative or a libertarian. What you do get with Goodwin is the same sense of pragmatism that you often get with the Governor. You will get an outlook that will be more fair to business and more reflective of West Virginians than most other selection possibilities. Another benefit, compared to Wise or Caperton, is that Goodwin actually lives in the state.

The downside for Goodwin personally is that he has been sent to join one the of the least popular Congresses in recent years. If he can separate himself somewhat from the Democratic Party leadership, he may not end up friends with the (likely) outgoing Harry Reid, but he will score points with potential future voters. Goodwin has been placed into a very difficult position at a tough time in history for the Democrats. It will be interesting to see how he negotiates the storm that currently grips the nation's politics. Personally I think he will do a good job considering the circumstances.