Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jerry Mays

Last week I posted a quick review of a speech by Senator John Unger, Democrat 16th Senatorial District, WV.

Today, I bring you a quick review of a speech by Unger's competition, Mr. Jerry Mays, Republican Candidate:

On Tuesday, September 21, 2006, Republican candidate for WV’s 16th Senatorial District Jerry Mays addressed a small audience on campaign issues and the general state of West Virginia’s government. He discussed campaign contributions, committee chairmanships, taxes and what to look for in a political candidate. He also participated in a brief question/answer segment.

Mr. Mays began his presentation with a brief biography of himself. He began his career in politics in the military. After several years, he became employed by the NSA. He is also a self-proclaimed ‘import’ to West Virginia, leaving the DC area for the Panhandle.

Mays suggests that West Virginia’s politicians should first and foremost be concerned with improving the quality of life for all West Virginians, something he is not sure his competition, John Unger, is convinced of. “The voters in the 16th Senatorial District [aren’t] getting the services they need. John [Unger] seems to be more concerned with developing his own resume.”

I don't know that Unger is really not concerned about the people of the Panhandle. What I do believe, though, is that Unger has other things (like earning his law degree) on his mind which prevent him from doing his best.

Mays accurately pointed out that—for better or for worse—the state of West Virginia has basically been in a democratic stranglehold for the better part of 80 years. This, he said, attributed to the state missing its opportunity to join the modern world at the close of World War II.

“The southern end of the state is poverty stricken,” he stated. “This is because the [democratically controlled] legislature has prevented the creation of a business friendly environment.”

Mays echoed the sentiment of many West Virginians when he said that there is simply “no excuse” that West Virginia should, “be at the top of all the bad categories, and the bottom of all the good ones.” He theorized that the powers-that-be in Charleston want to keep power and control concentrated in their hands. To do this, Mays is seemingly convinced that they will stop at nothing—even if it means keeping parts of the state in poverty by essentially killing all business.

To change the climate, Mays suggests an update to the tax code (which dates back to the 1930’s when ‘coal was king’) is needed. “Coal is no longer our most valuable resource…our children are.”

Mays pointed to what he called a “democratic monologue” as being key in analyzing the difficulties that West Virginia is currently facing. “We don’t need a monologue,” he stated. “We need a dialogue that results in progress.”

For me, this was a very effective metaphor. We do need a dialogue, and it's something that we haven't had in my lifetime, nor the lifetime of most West Virginians alive today (except maybe Bob Byrd). Mays pointed out that the majority of the productive bills which have been passed have been driven by what he called a "spunky class of freshmen republicans," which just so happens to include my very own State Senator Clark Barnes.

Mays fielded a wide ranger of questions. He answered them thoroughly and gave his honest opinion. In regards to locality pay for teachers in the Panhandle area, Mays supports the idea, but says that with a majority of representatives coming from democratic areas were the school board is the chief employer, passing any sort of reform is going to be a difficult task.

Just as was the case with Senator Unger, Mr. Mays did not have to worry about impressing me—I don’t sit in the 16th Senatorial distract and cannot vote for or against him. What I can say, though, is that Mr. Mays seems to represent a sort of conservatism that is not common in the West Virginia legislature and that if he is sent to Charleston to represent Berkeley County, I can rest assured that he will work for all West Virginians to the best of his ability.
I don't get to vote for Jerry Mays, but if I could I would.



At 9:18 PM, Blogger Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Did you ever wonder why the most powerful politicians come from the poorest parts of the state?

Where's the help for their constituents?


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