Richard: Good morning, and welcome to this edition of the Richard Urban Show, where we present news and views from God’s point of view. Today we are happy to have Mike Folk on. He’s a Republican candidate for governor of West Virginia. So please introduce yourself.
“Hello, I’m Mike Folk. I grew up in Berkeley, County on a farm in Swan Pond. I went to local schools, local college actually too Shepherd University. Studied education and economics; ended up finishing my degree in economics. Worked for a year in the financial industry. Had all my series 763, all your different financial licenses. And then I went to graduate school at WVU. Went into teaching, a little bit, both at the high school and college level, while also flying and working for my dad’s, aviation business. My dad had a heart attack between my junior and senior year, so I was the guy involved in hiring a pilot to take his place for the seasonal business. But then I Left shepherd University, Shepherd College at the time, and went to work in Mac trucks in Hagerstown for a year, their engine plant. I really just didn’t really like being inside all day and had fell in love with flying. So I went in the pursuit of an airline career, became an airline pilot. And I got married just a little bit before my 30th birthday to my wife, Stella and we now have five children. My wife was a school teacher for about 12 to 14 years. And, so you haven’t heard any politics in there yet.”
“I finally, in the 08-012 time frame, I started getting a little frustrated with some things, that were going on at the national level. We know who was the head of it all at that time. Some guy named Obama and so in 2012 I ran for office for the House of Delegates, and served six years in the House of Delegates. Two years in the minority, four years in the majority.”
“We got some good things done but I think there’s a lot left to be done, particularly when we have a governor who… It doesn’t matter what you do, you run against the incumbent, you gotta tell the differences. And so, he was elected as a Democrat, switched to Republican. But really, in my opinion hasn’t really changed his principles much. So that’s why I decided to run, to try to give West Virginians what I believe is; Phyllis Schlafly, if you ever heard of her, wrote a book, she was a Goldwater girl she wrote a book, to give the people a choice, not an echo which I believe that the other major opponents are really just an echo of the past, and even though they’ve changed their stripes for the lack of a better way of putting it, there’s still the same failed policies that have led West Virginia to some pretty bad places.”
Richard: Okay, thank you. So what would you say the three main things you would emphasize in helping West Virginia as you’re running for Governor?
“Well, obviously, the paradigm has shifted a little bit, even in the last three months with budget issues. In 2017 when we had the last major budget problem when Justice first took office, under his budget proposal we were looking at a $450 million deficit. In reality that was only about a $100 million deficit. The reason it was $450 million in his budget is because he raised government spending by $350 million and a lot of chroniistic type plans that were gonna benefit him and his cronies. And so in that case, I’m well suited to balance the budget without raising taxes. Because I at the time when the government was claiming that West Virginia, he was using the analogy that West Virginia was kind of like a patient on life support, and the only way to save the patient was to raise taxes. And he kept saying, that over and over. So a group of us got together and I was the lead sponsor. My wife actually made up a nice spreadsheet for the budget, to prove that we could balance the budget without raising taxes. And at that time still give the teachers a 2% pay raise.”
“So one thing is, that’s going to be critical is the budget, the next thing is going to be education. There’s a lot of serious issues in education, a lot of them have resulted from Common Core and getting away from, and some people say this is cliché, but getting away from the basics. We’ve done too much social engineering, let’s put it that way, in education and gotten away from learning the basics and leaving the social stuff to the home, the family and the church.”
“Education I think is an important part. In West Virginia the biggest part about education is it’s very top-heavy, very Charleston-centric. We call it building six down there. And then, the third thing is, and this really has come to the forefront during this whole pandemic, is constitution. We shouldn’t be suspending the Constitution, and this is important in West Virginia, or anywhere in the country, but we’ve basically thrown the constitution [under the bus], and particularly the state constitution under Article 3 Section 10, which the title of is safeguards for life, liberty and property. And then, the exact wording in that article says, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, in the judgment of their peers.””
“We’ve had thousands of small businesses that have been shut down around the state in a very illogical and unconstitutional way. The person that has the small shop, it sells clothing, clothing store and shoe store, for instance, was shut down. But the huge Walmarts where you can still buy clothing and shoes, was allowed to stay open. And so, you had these mass amount of people going to the Walmarts to the Lowes to the other stores.”
“So if the intent was to prevent people from congregating, shutting down small businesses was the exact opposite of what should have been done and in reality, it was literally a power grab by the Governor and this whole thing, especially after the first couple of weeks of realizing that this wasn’t as bad as they thought it was gonna be.”
Richard: something that’s dear to my heart is the issue of our policy on forced vaccination, or you might say, if you don’t get every vaccine that’s mandated in West Virginia, you can’t send your child to public school. How do you feel about that? Is that a good policy, is that a bad policy?
“Well, I think you know my history on that. I was a lead sponsor, to get rid of mandatory vaccinations. Look, if vaccinations are done properly, and when I say done properly, I’m talking about developed, brought to market, but we know since the 1986 federal law that exempted all vaccine manufacturers from any liability there have been a multitude. I mean, I could tell you and I are a little older. So when we were growing up? There might have been a handful of vaccinations that you would get maybe three or four. Small pox, polio. I think that’s probably all I ever got that I can recall right off top of my head, I might have missed one, but we didn’t get a chicken pox vaccination and if we got a measles vaccination, it wasn’t a combination of three vaccines. It wasn’t the MMR. I believe in an informed consent and let people make their decisions. The reality is that, especially it’s an interesting conversation right now, because they’re talking about having the governors mandate this potential vaccine that’s coming out for this COVID-19, which is actually SARS COV-2. It’s the second SARS virus. The first one was the 2003 SARS virus…But yeah, I don’t wear a mask in public. It’s crazy. The craziest thing I’ve seen is when people are driving down the road and they have a mask on or they’re out in the sun, sun shine, out by themselves, and they have a mask on. That makes no sense.”
Richard: Okay, thanks for sharing. so one thing I’ve been also interviewed some of the candidates for the Commission of Agriculture. And they’re telling me about some of the very cumbersome regulations. I know you’re a farmer. Do you have any comment about that, or maybe what could be done to improve the situation for smaller farmers?
“Well, when I was growing up in Berkeley County, Jefferson County as an example, literally had six or seven butcher shops. Were you could market your cattle, your hogs. And now we’ve consolidated industry so much and it’s usually because of the burdensome regulation because a small Mom-and-Pop that might employ two or three people can’t keep up with those regulations, that these massive processing facilities can. And I think having a diverse food supply, at the local level, and less nationally, would benefit all of society greatly.”
Richard: when we’re looking at the long term of idea of helping society, helping with the whole family breakdown or opioid situation, and this is not maybe so much a political but more a philosophical question. Our organization deals with emphasizing that youth should stay absent before marriage. That that’s the best standard for school-age children. Would you agree with that kind of approach? And that will help stabilize families and make them more successful.
“Anything we can do to help the nuclear family stay together will take care of a lot of these ancillary issues. The black community, as an example, Candace Owens, in front of the Congress testified. That’s the number one issue in that community that destroys families, is the number of single parent households. So I think all of those things together will produce the outcomes that we had a generation ago, or two generations ago.”
Richard: comparing yourself to your opponents, why should the voters choose you? What’s most outstanding in comparison?
“I’m definitely more like the average voter than these two guys are. Both these guys are pretty wealthy guys compared to me. Justice inherited hundreds of millions of dollars and in fact, even Woody, 20 years ago or so inherited about a million dollars. So I’m more like the average everyday citizen with a family trying to raise a family, trying to make ends meet. But at the same time I have experience in the legislature, particularly from the budget perspective and the constitutional perspective. Whether it’s defending your second amendment, your First Amendment, the pro-life issues. I’ve got 100% pro-life, 100% pro-second amendment voting record. I’ve actually developed my own state budget. I don’t think either one of those guys has.”
“Justice has signed a few. Of course the first one that I proposed, which became a blueprint for what ultimately became law, that was, if you recall, that’s when Justice vetoed the budget on the silver platter with the cow pie. That year Justice, never signed a budget. It became law without his signature. A lot of you probably weren’t even aware of that yourself. He vetoed the one on the silver platter with the cow pie, then we went back in special session. In June of 2017, we gave him a budget but he wouldn’t sign it. He let it become law. Because after a certain period of time, it becomes law, automatically. That’s how that budget became law. So I think I have a better ear to the ground of the everyday citizen in West Virginia. And I’ll take that to the office if elected.”
Richard: Okay, well thank you very much. Any other closing thoughts?
“Just get on my Facebook. If you’re on social media. ‘Michael folk for West Virginia governor’ and my website is fokk4wv.com, and check me out if you haven’t.”