Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just wondering

This is a letter that Virginia Lynch Graf sent out after the election to her supporters. -MH

The voters of West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District decided to reward Representative Shelley Moore Capito with two more years in office. As her opponent, I wondered why. Was it her continual votes for war funding? It's now over 3 trillion dollars. Perhaps that makes West Virginians feel secure. Was it her ties to special interests to perpetuate her campaigns? I guess that takes the burden off of ordinary contributors to elect a Congresswoman. Could it be the fact that corporations get tax breaks, loopholes, and other financial incentives from her votes that enable them to trickle their wealth down to the rest of us? Maybe it's the fact that she opposes unions and stimulus money to keep Americans working. After all, if we got rid of unions we could return to unbridled labor laws, which would make all those lazy people work longer and harder for their salaries.

And we all know stimulus money was bad, so Ms. Capito opposed it. Clearly, she knew better than most economists who encouraged an even bigger stimulus to avoid another Great Depression. Ms. Capito knew wasteful spending when she saw it: a tax break for the middle class and small business owners and funding to keep policemen, firemen and teachers at their jobs were just too expensive. Nonetheless, she did get her picture taken each time stimulus money was awarded.

Did our citizens like the lack of oversight for banks or corporations; and did they agree that unemployed workers didn't deserve an extension of benefits in these hard times? Even though Capito said during the campaign that she would protect Social Security (she is on record for wanting to privatize it), I guess it was just a slip-up when she voted against equal pay for equal work for women. Lack of pay equity negatively impacts not only women's current earning power but their future Social Security checks too. We all know how disastrous for society it is if women are paid as much as men. Does it feel good to see Ms. Capito challenge the EPA and keep us fixed on the Fifties? If we deny climate change, then we have no carbon problem.

On the other hand, I wondered why I didn't get more support for my campaign. I didn't even win in my own county of Jefferson where I was sure phone calls would be made in my behalf. Was it the fact that I wasn't born here, but rather chose to make West Virginia my home? Was it that I took no special interest money in my campaign, and the sages knew I couldn't possibly win if I didn't seek mega bucks? Many prophets made sure their prophecy bore truth by not even contributing ten bucks to my campaign. I guess they couldn't believe in a publicly funded campaigner who knows the issues, cares about WV, has a plan to improve our economy, supports unions, and favors revamping our tax system! Why waste your time calling neighbors to support a retired educator who was determined to transform our educational system so that our children and grandchildren could find a career in West Virginia! Why support a candidate who wants our farms and food protected; believes that mountaintop removal is destroying our beautiful state and poisoning our water system; wants to continue working on health insurance reform so that four West Virginians don't unnecessarily die every week?

I’m perplexed. Perhaps I should have skipped sticking my neck out, and just colored my gray hair blond!

--Virginia Lynch Graf

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