Jenkins asks Rahall to work with him & other senators from both parties
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – January 24, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Registered Democrats in Cabell County received an automated push poll last night paid for by the West Virginia Democratic Party. The robocall features state Democrat chairman Larry Puccio saying that WVDP has called on Evan Jenkins to resign from the state Senate (they have not) because he left the party, followed by a request to “press 1” if the voter agrees. No “press 2” option was given allowing the voter to show support for Evan’s decision.
Give Nick Rahall points for audacity. At a time when voters are fed up with partisanship, Rahall openly delights in it.
He told Politico last year – yes, he actually said this – that his loyalty lies first and foremost with his political party. Rahall also laid bare his contempt for those who prioritize West Virginia over party affiliation (i.e., the ~70,000 registered Democrats in his district who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012), calling them “traitors.” Again, he actually said this.
“I’m not going to run away from those that brought me to the dance and renounce my party because I disagree with our president,” Rahall said. “But I’ve dealt with traitors before, and I’ll deal with traitors again.” ( Politico, 7/29/13)
It’s not surprising, then, that Rahall has drawn a strong primary challenge this year from Senator Manchin’s 2013 State of the Union guest, Retired Major Richard Ojeda, who has said, “I will not be the Democrat that goes to Washington and falls in line with the others. I will go there to bring positive opportunities back to my district.”
Jenkins responded to Rahall’s attacks Friday:
“The political party led by Obama and loyally followed by Nick Rahall has not been serving West Virginia well in recent years, so I made the decision to put our families, seniors, veterans, coal miners and other hard-working West Virginians above partisanship.
“It’s disappointing that Nick Rahall refuses to do the same, and authorizes his partisan lieutenant to attack West Virginia-First Democrats like Major Ojeda for declining to fall in line with the president’s agenda.
“I’m asking Nick Rahall and Larry Puccio to put aside the dirty partisan tricks – at least during the legislative session – and work with me and other state legislators to pass legislation I’m sponsoring or co-sponsoring this year that helps West Virginians.
“I’d appreciate their help in passing my Jobs Impact Statement bill (SB228), a concept Governor Tomblin made part of his own legislative agenda last year that would improve our business climate; I could also use their assistance building support for my bill to exempt military retirement income from state income taxes – especially after Rahall voted to cut military pensions last year.
“Surely I’m not alone in welcoming Rahall’s support on important issues facing our state. Senator John Unger (D) has taken the lead on legislation (SB303) I’m co-sponsoring to give teachers an overdue 5% raise. A bipartisan group of 15 senators including myself are co-sponsoring Senator Ron Stollings’ (D) Overdose Prevention Act (SB419) to tackle yet another facet of the drug crisis facing our families. In response to the tragic recent string of teenagers using social media to destroy other teens’ reputations, Senator Corey Palumbo (D) has introduced SB258 to provide real criminal consequences for such behavior. I’m proud to be co-sponsoring this bill and would hope Nick Rahall and Larry Puccio support it, as well.
“Additionally, I’m the lead sponsor of three important bills that would specifically assist the local officials in Senate District 5 in improving quality of life for our mutual constituents: one requested by the Huntington Police Chief to help reduce crime and enhance public safety; another to clean up our towns and cities from the blight of graffiti; and a third that helps weed out meritless lawsuits against the Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District. My fellow Senate District 5 senator, a Democrat, signed on as a co-sponsor of all three bills, showing we are still working together to respond to the needs of our district.
“Rather than demanding I leave the state Senate based on the letter next to my name, Nick Rahall should focus on helping me and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle accomplish positive things for the people of our state.”
CONTACT: Andy Seré
(713) 806-7720; asere (at) dmm-media (dot) com