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Keep Ferns in Senate

Editor, News-Register:

Let me make this clear from the start! I am not a Republican nor am I a Democrat. I have been a registered no-party Independent since 1972, when I first registered to vote. I did not vote for Nixon and I did vote for Bill Clinton the first time. But, perhaps a bit of wisdom does come with age.

My concern is with the state of West Virginia and specifically the First District and Northern Panhandle. If you are the kind of voter who votes for the particular letter behind a candidate’s name, just because, then your mind is already made up. No need to read any further. But, if you vote on sound issues, please read on.

There is a candidate running as the Democrat candidate for the state Senate that concerns me. This candidate did not care enough to hold the office in the first place and didn’t run, let alone get any votes, during the primary held earlier this year. I’m sure the committee that talked him into it thinks they have a “ringer” in this candidate.

Wonder if the judgeship vacated by Judge Mazzone would be better fit or more to his liking? Perhaps the judgeship Judge Mazzone was elevated to was what he was hoping for when he resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s position? One can only speculate.

This brings me to a couple of important questions:

First: Why would we want to start the backward slide of our state and government by electing someone from the party that all but bankrupted our state for over eight decades? Up until the last couple of terms, with the conservatives in control we have started to get the state of West Virginia back into a reliable shape, both economically as well as aesthetically.

Second: What do we expect to gain by voting to change candidates? If we change directions now, how long will it take to see decline? Or, improvement, if any?

At present we have the majority leader of the Senate in Ryan Ferns. He sits high on more than one of and is also chairperson of two major committees in the senate. With Ryan Ferns as our state senator, the Northern Panhandle can remain relevant in Charleston where the upper panhandle has, in the past, been all but passed over and/or forgotten in most cases of state government. This alone is a strong consideration when choosing your vote.

Why would we want to elect a new Senate representative who would then sit on, not only the lowest committees but also in perhaps the lowest seat of said committees? This, together with the party who had all but ruined the state for decades and turn us completely around, as well as take away our best power in the state Senate, should we take that course of action?

No one can be all things to all people and sometimes decisions in the legislature are made for legal reasons as well as what certain groups want. Legislators do not just do things haphazardly or otherwise, as is supposed by some constituents. For example: If the money isn’t there it isn’t possible because the number one duty of a West Virginia legislator is to balance the budget.

On the door hanger campaign information I received at my home, the first item the Democrat candidate lists as an election aim is, “Cleaning Up Corruption In Charleston.” I suggest that corruption in Charleston is already being addressed very strongly as there are impeachment trials against state Supreme Court Judges, as well as two others who have resigned, one having plead guilty of charges and the other to save face. Now, one has been exonerated of all charges and again will sit on our high court as may be fairly deemed by the Senate soon.

He then lists, “Proposing to Repeal the tax on Social Security.” Repealing and eliminating the tax on Social Security is something Ryan Ferns has worked on and supported for several Senate sessions and for several years. It has passed the Senate several times, but unfortunately did not pass the house.

Ryan Ferns has also been recognized by AARP as their “Capitol Caregiver’ for his work passing several pieces of legislation that benefit seniors. The rest of the election aims are only generic promises given in most campaigns.

These are trying times, I will admit and agree, but we must think outside the box when choosing this Senate representative.

There are many issues that have been distorted and/or given a false narrative about our current state Senator Ryan Ferns. One being PEIA and the other teacher raises. Now, $100 million has been allocated to fix PEIA and another 5 percent raise will be put in place during the coming 2019 session of the W.Va. state Legislature.

Will those who threaten to “vote you out” follow up after their demands were met and vote to re-elect? I suggest they did not vote for these candidates in the first place and, even if they were given the moon, would not vote for them this time.

I suggest it would be better if not best for us to approach and work with our current state Senator Ryan Ferns than to try to fix something that does not need fixing.

I know they say they tried to sit down and talk with Senator Ferns and got nowhere. Of course, not getting our way is always a good enough excuse when the money, at the time, just wasn’t there. Not until the governor took money from tourism, et al.

Our state is on the upswing economically, jobs are coming back and many other positive things are happening. We should give time its due and allow Ryan Ferns to represent our panhandle for another term as Majority Leader of the West Virginia State Senate.

There will always be problems in government and at critical times, such as this. Changing directions will be very detrimental to this process. Starting over is not and cannot be an option.

D David Stiles has been a resident of the northern panhandle all his live and Ohio County for over 35 years. He lives in the Warwood section of Wheeling with his wife of 39 years. He is a founding member of ‘We The People” Tea Party Group and present member of ‘We The People Ohio Valley’ as well as a founding member of the former “Mountaineer’s For Responsible Government,” a concerned citizen PAC group in the upper Ohio Valley West Virginia.

D. David Stiles



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