Written by Whitney Burdette, Charleston Daily Mail
If dollars translate to votes in the state’s first congressional district, incumbent Rep. David McKinley can expect to be re-elected in November.
McKinley, a one-term Republican, has nearly eight times as much cash on hand as Democratic opponent Glen Gainer. According to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission, McKinley has about $1.5 million readily available to Gainer’s $187,000. Since January, the McKinley campaign raised just over $224,000 in the second quarter. Gainer, the current state auditor, raised just over $100,000 in that same time period.
“We are honored by the strong showing of support from hundreds of donors,” said Thomas Midanek, McKinley’s campaign manager. “People understand the importance of re-electing Congressman McKinley so he can continue to stand up to Obama’s EPA, work to repeal and replace Obamacare and fight for more jobs so that West Virginians are not forced to leave the state to find work.”
Michael Edwards, Gainer’s campaign manager, pointed out although his candidate was outraised this quarter, most of his contributions came from West Virginia donors.
“Glen Gainer has a broad base of support from people throughout West Virginia,” Edwards said. “Seventy-two percent of his contributions are from individuals – of which 82 percent are from West Virginians. By way of contrast more than half of David McKinley’s campaign contributions — 51 percent — come from out-of-state. Many of those contributions were from big money special interests like the Koch Brothers and Eastman PAC. Eastman is the company that manufactures MCHM – the chemical that poisoned the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians early this year. The Koch Brothers have opened up an office in West Virginia and have already started spending money on TV in order to try and buy the election in West Virginia.”
Of all candidates in all House races, McKinley has the most money in his war chest. In the second district. Democrat Nick Casey has about $872,000 available while Republican challenger Alex Mooney has about $352,000. In the third district, incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall has $1.1 million available and Republican nominee Evan Jenkins has $688,000 cash on hand.
The House Transportation Committee on Wednesday advanced a series of bipartisan bills aimed at blocking Environmental Protection Agency overreach.
Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., a ranking member of the committee, said the legislation will, if passed, “stop EPA’s abusive misuse of power.”
“This EPA has thumbed its nose at the legal authorities of other federal agencies,” Rahall said. “It has run roughshod over state agencies charged with overseeing the permitting process. And it has shown a callous disregard for the livelihoods of our coal miners who simply want to go to work and earn an honest living to support their families. These bills my committee advanced today aim to stop EPA’s abusive misuse of power and its outlandish twisting of legal framework.”
The committee advanced three bills to the House floor:
House Resolution 4854, the Regulatory Certainty Act, was introduced by Rahall and Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio. The bill would prevent the EPA from retroactively vetoing Section 404 Clean Water Act permits, as it did in the case of the Spruce Fork mine in Logan County. The bill would rein in the expanding use of Clean Water Act authorities by the EPA.
House Resolution 5077, the Coal Jobs Protection Act of 2014, was introduced by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. This legislation would curb the EPA’s use of guidance to block permits for coal mines. During the committee process, Rahall amended the bill to address the EPA’s involvement in West Virginia’s federally approved Clean Water Act permitting program. The bill would further ensure a cooperative relationship among state and federal oversight agencies and prevent the EPA from unilaterally changing a state’s approved program without the state’s agreement.
House Resolution 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014, was cosponsored by Rahall. The bill addresses the EPA’s current efforts to change the legal definition of “waters of the United States” and expand the agency’s Clean Water Act permitting jurisdiction.
The Senate voted to block a bill that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, but West Virginia’s two senators spoke out in support of the legislation.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he supports religious freedoms, but for-profit corporations should not be extended the same legal privileges as nonprofits, as the Court ruled last month.
“As Governor and U.S. Senator, I have always fought to protect the sincerely-held religious views of non-profit organizations, like soup kitchens, colleges, hospitals and similar non-profit organizations,” Manchin said in a statement. “However, for-profit corporations do not have the same legal privileges as non-profits, and therefore they should not have the same protections as non-profits recognized by law as being a religious organization. This legislation strikes a balance between allowing non-profit organizations to hold onto their religious views while ensuring that Americans have access to safe, affordable and reliable preventative health benefits.”
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., also voted to move forward with the legislation.
The Supreme Court ruled closely held corporations do not have to include certain types of contraceptive devices in their health insurance plans if it interferes with their religious beliefs. The bill, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would have banned employers from refusing to offer FDA-approved contraception to employees as required under the Affordable Care Act. A procedural vote to begin debate on the legislation failed 56-43, short of the 60 votes needed to move forward.