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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 16, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 16, 2018
 

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tv ! ] ADVOCATE SHERIFF pETE DOUGHERTY It's National Police a trib- ute to law enforcement ervice and sacrifice that dates to 1962 and a perfect time to extend appreciation to law enforcement. Police work is complicated and dangerous. More than 1,500 have died in the past decade. Since Jan. 1, more than 53 law enforcement of- ricers have died in the line of duty. The leading causes of death of law enforcement officers include gun- shots (28) and automobile crashes/ being struck or vehicular assaults (17). Fifty-two of the officers who died were male and one female; the average age was 39 with approxi- mately 11 years of service. In ad- dition, six police service dogs died in the line of duty. The Jefferson County Sheriff's i;? A7 Wednesdas; May !6, 2018 i Office initiated or responded to~ idly as the sheriff has focused at- to be recognized. The state recog- 19,853 calls for service last year. tention and resdhrces to keeping the nizes the top 52 officers in the state. The pace continues to accelerate, public safe from those who are im- Jefferson County Sheriff's Office responding to nearly 9,000 calls by paired. This has resulted in the vasthas five - the most in West Virgin- early May. If present levels contin- majority of arrests before the im- ia. ue, the Sheriff's Office will have paired driver causes an automobile The profession is demanding, re- more than 26,000 this year. This crash that injures or kills an inno- quiring long hours that includes represents an increase of 27 percent cent victim, working nights, holidays and week- in one year and a doubling of calls The Jefferson County Sheriff's ends.The Jefferson County Sheriff's in four years. Office led all sheriff's departments Office joins with other law enforce- Last year, county deputies made in the state last year with 298 arrests ment agencies to thank those who 887 felony and misdemeanor ar- of impaired drivers. In the first four work nights, holidays and week- rests. As of early May, deputies had months of 2018, Jefferson County ends, doing their best to protect and made 449 arrests. During the last deputies arrested 148 individuals serve our communities. four weeks alone deputies respond- for driving while impaired. Nearly Please join us in thanking them. ed to 58 calls for domestic violence half of all impaired drivers are im- and 39 for driving while impaired paired by drugs or a combination of - Sheriff Pete Dougherty has calls, drugs and alcohol, served in the office for more than Driving while under the influence I, along with six deputies will be four years. He was re-elected to a is a serious problem. The number of attending the Governor's Highway four-year term in 2016. persons arrested has increased rap- Safety Conference later this month MARY ANN CLAYTOR s an adult, I have always thought that speaking out and speaking up is of the ut- importance. As a child, I was molested by an adult neighbor; one of my biggest regrets from that ex- perience is that I never spoke up. I have carded an enormous amount of guilt for years because I felt my silence may have caused someone else to live through this horrible experience as well. Could my speaking out have saved them? I will never know. That experience is what has caused me to speak out about the hypocrisy that exists at the helm of the West Virginia Democratic party. When I ran for State Auditor in 2016 after the incumbent had decided not to run for office again, it was quite the eye- opening experience. It was through that experience that I realized that we were calling out the speck in the GOP's eye while we allowed the plank to remain in the eye of the West Virginia Demo- cratic Party. That experience reminded me of the years of abuse that I kept hidden and of- ten tried tO ignore because I felt I had an obligation to protect my parents from sharing my feelings of pain. It is very disappointing when someone you respect uses their position of power to fulfill their own selfish needs. As a lifelong West Virginia Demo- crat, I truly believed we were the party of the working class. You can imagine my surprise when I was warned by peo- ple who had previous political experi- ence thatmy 22 years of experience as a real auditor wouldn't matter -- that the only thing that matters is the amount of money that you can raise. It was dur- ing this time that I also learned that Joe Manchin ran the West Virginia Demo- cratic Party and if Joe wasn't for you, you would be placed in the "block par- ty." i I shocked our state by securing the Democratic nomination instead of the political establishment's hand-picked candidate. After securing the nomina- tion, I reached out to the party to dis- cover what type of assistance the par- ty offered to their nominees. I was truly surprised by the outcome of this meet- ing. During that meeting, all I discovered were excuses as to why I shouldn't have won. Other inner-circle establishment Democrats told me it was because of my race and class. They just didn't think a black, working-class woman could win a g nerai election in West Virginia. I, on the other hand, believed that if the peo- ple of West Virginia could meet me, I could earn their votes. Although those derogatory comments stayed in the back of my head, I tried to ignore the nay- sayers and unify the Democrats. Many still remember my moving speech at the West Virginia Democratic Party Con- veution in 2016. Instead of helping me and many other Democratic nominees during the gener- al election, the party chose to focus on helping Jim Justice, although at every cl ance he let them know who he was. The Democratic elitists stood for what j we supposedly fought against. We have N~ays said we represent the 99 percent S but when it comes to action, the oppo- site is true. We would rather sacrifice the 99 percent in order to protect the 1 percent. We know trickle-down eco- nomics doesn't work and neither does trickle-down politics. In 2018, I decided to run for State Senate in District 17. Although the chair of the state Democratic party and the di- rector of the state Democratic Legisla- tive Council told me that nobody else was running for that position, I ended up facing an unexpected primary chal- lenge. Unfortunately, I didn't secure that nomination. During this second run for office, I was reminded once again that there was no way Joe Manchin and the party elites would allow me to se- cure that nomination. Now I understand why people choose to stay out of poli- tics. But at some point, we must wake up and address the elephant in the room and reveal what's going on in our par- ty. The West Virginia Democratic Party must represent the working class in our state. Not only that, but they must work to repair the damage to the party and to the state of West Virginia that party elites have caused by shouldering out working-class candidates and constitu- ents while touting the accomplishments of the working people of our state as their own. We often hear them tout coal and how they stand up for coal miners. I grew up in a coal community and even when coal was booming, you couldn't see the effects of that wealth. The wealth was stolen right out from under the feet of our people. A friend of mine says each coal train had a hidden gold car on it that represented the wealth being tak- en elsewhere. It is our communities that have carded the burden of keeping the lights on in West Virginia and paying the bills in Charleston, but what do we have to show for it? It is now that I believe I must speak up and speak out. We must all speak up and speak out. We have been taken advantage of by politicians for too long and it's time we take a stand and say enough is enough. We want representation. This may be the year that West Vir- ginians show the world what 55 strong looks like. Vote incumbents out of of- fice if they haven't properly represent- ed your area. Look at your communi- ties and ask: What has my representa- tive done for me? After the 2016 election, several Dem- ocrats, along with county executive committees, called for the resignation of the chair of the West Virginia Demo- cratic Party but it fell on deaf ears. We must look at our party leadership and ask: How can my party move forward and attract better candidates if we allow the devil to be at the head of the table? Do we think those in charge will be satisfied after they accumulate enough power and wealth? That they will then represent the working class and allow us to rebuild the party? We must make a demand of the West Virginia Democratic party -- they must help all our nominees equally. And they must begin now. I ROBERT MILLER Save SNAP- for kids, hard-working West Virginians and so many others The Farm Bill expires this Septei~ber, and Con- jobs in what remains of the local economy - real gress knows that it must be renewed. House Re- estate, teachers, emergency medical technicians. publicans have put together a plan that seems to But many more are struggling to survive as day la- be based on Ronald Reagan's 1980s-era racialized borers, janitors, store clerks and fast food workers. urban stereotypes of inner city "'welfare queens"Some of them simply cannot afford to move. They that deserve to be punished. T he House version is don't want dependency, they want steady jobs that out of committee now and is expected to reach thepay a living wage. When Trump promised them House floor late this week. If the House bill passes, that he would bring coal jobs back, they wanted to the fight moves on to the Senate version, believe. I have some thoughts for those serving in Con- Congressman, you say that you want to get peo- gress these days - elected officials who seem to pie to take responsibility, topull themselves up and talk only to other wealthy people, out of their problems. I'd like to take you at your Back in Reagan's 1980s, the loss of industries word on that, but there's a right way and a wrong in big cities caused a lot of job losses, particular- way to go about it. And the plan that your caucus ly among the less well off. When those paychecks has put together is going to hurt a lot of people. It went away, a lot of social problems arose, and gro- is all "stick" and no "carrot." In trying to "incen- cery stores and other businesses that depended ontivize" people that you deem irresponsible - to get those people with paychecks went away as well. them to avoid the stick - you wind up sabotaging Back then, the suburbs and rural communities werethe majority of people who are trying to be respon- still doing OK. sible, but who face obstacles that a wealthy Con- But that was nearly 40 years ago, Congressman, gressman cannot even imagine. and now the situation is completely reversed. It is The House plan's "one strike and you're off the cities, with their concentrations of people, skills, SNAP" work rules are a big problem for low wage resources, communication and good transportation rural workers in unstable jobs that have unpredict- that have revived and are doing well. There are lots able schedules. Those proposed rules require near- more jobs and opportunities in cities these days.ly everyone on SNAP to prove, every month, that It is now rural states and communities - devastat- they worked at least 20 hours each week of that ed by the 2008 recession - that have still have not month at either a paid job or a grossly underfunded recovered. Rural states like West Virginia, based on "jobs program." One week under 20 hours, maybe industries that extracted natural resources like coal due to a sick child, will cause a responsible worker and timber, saw the wealth from those industries to lose SNAP aid for 12 months. The loss of good leave. It isn't coming back. These rural states have nutrition to a growing child will harm decades of all sorts of inherent disadvantages: low population, development and disadvantage. few jobs, long distances to travel. And all of us are The plan predicts "savings" in SNAP benefit ex- getting squeezed by big corporations that find ways penses - due to people losing benefits because of to charge us more and more, but find ever more the traps that these rules have set for struggling ways to pay us less and give us less job security, workers. The very use of the word "savings" here If you look at per capita income, it is now the ru- is a clear example of the kind of green-eyeshade, ral states that are the poorest places in the country, spreadsheet thinking of the designers of this plan. And although you like to try to get your constitu- It de-humanizes responsible people who are strug- ents to blame their problems on immigrants, thesegling to hold a job and do the right thing. It reduces poor rural areas are overwhelmingly populated by real people to statistics - cells on a spreadsheet. natural-born U.S. citizens. After 30 years of wage These "savings" will not only hurt families and stagnation, these people are struggling harder than children, they will also hurt the local economies they ever imagined they'd have to. Most are frus-and communities they are part of. A family that los- trated and frightened that they are losing ground, es SNAP buys less at the local grocery store, which Most of those people work, but the jobs they can hurts the grocery store and also hurts local farmers. get in these rural areas are low-wage and unstable, It will hurt many different kinds of people: women, and often have unpredictable work schedules - andpeople with disabilities, children, older Americans, no benefits. They need SNAP to help them put foodveterans and workers of all kinds. on the table, especially between jobs. Please don't let this plan go into effect, Congress- People who live in rural areas want to be able man. We citizens, we mere cells on your spread- to live there. They have deep ties, and they likesheet, can still do one thing - we can vote you out where they live. The most successful ones have of office. lr