West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#168-Interview with Nate Cain-Republican Candidate for the US House of Representatives-WV 2nd Congressional District

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Call from God to Run for Office
Nate discussed his background, including serving in the military for approximately 20 years and then working in cyber security. He became an FBI whistle blower regarding Hillary Clinton’s pay to play schemes. His home was raided by the FBI after he came out as a whistle blower. He felt through several experiences, that God has called him to serve through running for the House of Representatives.

Nate’s Journey to Running for Office
Nate discussed his initial hesitation to run for office. However, after seeking guidance from God and experiencing a series of confirmations from God, he felt a strong calling to pursue it. He shared his decision with his stepmother and was encouraged by her support. A particularly impactful encounter with a couple who had been praying for righteous leaders further strengthened his belief that this was his true calling, and that his candidacy was a response to their prayers. This experience deepened his sense of purpose and motivation.

Societal Issues and Single-Parent Households
Richard asked Nate about the decline of society due to children growing up without the benefit of a married father and mother. He asked for opinions on this perspective. Nate agreed that the government should be in the business of promoting stable two-parent families when creating laws or looking at tax policies, for example. Nate also recognizes that a lot of our social ills are really spiritually based problems. He pointed out that private charity historically took care of people through charities, and that their motivation is more altruistic than that of government programs.

Cybersecurity and Onboard Technology in Shipping Industry
Nate discussed the vulnerabilities of the shipping industry’s cybersecurity and onboard technology. Nate shared his experience with cybersecurity, having started a company focused on this area before the Covid-19 pandemic. Nate, a former US Army soldier and cybersecurity expert, highlighted the increasing digitalization of ship controls and the potential for cyber-attacks.

Faith-Driven Campaign Strategy in WV House of Representatives Race
Nate shared his campaign strategy for West Virginia’s House of Representatives race, which has focused on serving people in their communities rather than relying on big donor money. Despite being an underdog against a well-funded opponent, Nate has raised over $100,000 from individual donors in 40 states, and his grassroots campaign has earned him favor. In the conversation, Nate also emphasized his commitment to representing the people and their needs if elected, rather than just voting conservative. Richard inquired about the biggest issue facing the country, to which Nate responded.

Abuse of Power and Cyber Threats
Nate addressed the main issue as being the abuse of power by the government, specifically the Justice Department’s focus on spying on American citizens. Nate also expressed concern over the extension of FISA and the huge amount of money being allocated to the FBI’s new building, suggesting that many members of Congress and the intelligence community are compromised. Nate claimed that this abuse of power poses a greater threat to the nation’s constitution and survival than foreign aggressors. Nate also highlighted the expansion of executive orders and judges legislating from the bench as contributing to the Republic’s peril. Secondly, Nate cited the cyber threat from China as a significant concern.

Nate’s Policies, Spirituality, and Election Fraud
Nate believes children benefit most from a traditional two-parent household and suggests the government should enact policies to promote this family structure. He argues social issues stem from a spiritual disconnect, proposing community organizations like churches take over responsibilities from the government. Nate believes that there was election fraud in 2020. He witnessed criticized the rushed certification process and pointed out that, for example, in Pennsylvania, there were ballots counted when a judge had stated that government officals had no right to change existing law. He expresses concerns over the treatment of January 6th protesters, arguing their rights were violated and calling for their pardons, as he does not believe any received a fair trial.

Reducing Government Spending
Richard and Nate discussed the sustainability of government spending. Nate argued that the current policies were unsustainable and compared it to stealing from future generations due to borrowing to give foreign aid, for example. Nate also cited corruption and lack of accountability as concerns and suggested limiting aid to selling arms instead. Furthermore, Nate proposed a strategy to reduce federal spending by shrinking the government through attrition, which would not disrupt the political culture and gradually downsize agencies.

Medical Freedom and Vaccination Choice Discussion
Richard and Nate discussed the issue of medical freedom and vaccination choice, focusing on the federal and state government’s role in vaccine mandates. Nate expressed his strong support for medical freedom and his belief that the government has no right to dictate what individuals can put into their bodies. Nate also believes the government’s vaccine mandate violates the Fourth and First Amendments. Nate shared his experience of being forced to leave his job because he refused to get vaccinated. He clarified that while they believe the government should not interfere with adults’ vaccine choices, the government should not not allow for the medical mutilation of children. He also pointed out that every vaccine has risks and that the decision to vaccinate should be left to the parents.

Nate’s Candidacy and Faith-Based Approach
Richard and Nate discussed the latter’s candidacy in the upcoming election. Nate emphasized his unique qualifications, which include being a former FBI whistleblower and a strong faith. He expressed his belief in the importance of honesty, integrity, and sacrifice in public service, and he urged people to pray for God’s help for our nation.

West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#167-Interview with Mike Allers Jr.-Candidate for the House of Delegates-WV 99th Delegate District

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Improving West Virginia’s Education System
Richard and Michael discussed the key issues facing West Virginia, with Michael highlighting the importance of education in addressing these problems. Michael, an educator and conservative commentator, expressed his commitment to overhauling the state’s education system, particularly in Jefferson County. He criticized the current curriculum, which he said was often based on far-left agendas, and called for an end to the use of the Common Core curriculum. Michael also emphasized the need to attract and retain talented teachers by paying them fairly.
Improving Society Through Family Culture in West Virginia
Michael discussed the potential of West Virginia leading the way in improving society by establishing a culture of family and life. He highlighted the importance of incentivizing marriage, including investing in childcare and providing support to young mothers if they do become pregnant.  Michael discussed the need to teach youth about what is involved in actually being a parent.
Solar Farms and Alternative Energy Sources
Richard and Michael discussed the issue of solar farms in their county. Michael expressed his concerns about the environmental impact of solar farms, stating that they not only ruin the landscape but also cease to function effectively after a few years. He suggested investing in other forms of energy, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. He also pointed out that the incumbent had been promoting policies that are friendly to solar farms for a long time.
Discussing Vaccine Exemptions and Monitoring
Richard and Michael discussed the recent veto of a bill by Governor Jim Justice that would have granted partial vaccination exemptions for private schools and some virtual schools. Michael expressed his support for a nuanced approach to vaccination, emphasizing the importance of respecting medical freedom while also acknowledging the risks posed by unvaccinated individuals, particularly in the context of COVID-19. He also endorsed the need for religious exemptions but argued that proven vaccines like polio, mumps, and measles should not be removed. He further suggested that students claiming religious exemptions should be closely monitored, especially if they are coming from areas with high disease prevalence. Michael stated that Governor Justice made the right decision by vetoing the religious exemption bill for private schools.
Endless Mandates and Constitutional Amendments
Richard and Michael discussed the issue of endless mandates, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Richard explained that Governor Justice had put in place numerous mandates during the pandemic, which were not limited in time by the West Virginia Constitution. Michael agreed that this situation should be revised, stating that no mandate should be endless and that emergency mandates should have a clear end.
Hope Scholarship Program and Amendments
Richard and Michael discussed the Hope Scholarship program in West Virginia. Michael expressed his opinion that Hope Scholarship money should not be spent out of state. Mike feels that the Hope Scholarship is setting up a second Department of Education.  He proposed the idea of electing school superintendents publicly to provide a check on the Board of Education. Michael teaches in Maryland due to the higher salary, but would actually prefer to stay local if he could.
Improving Election Integrity and Voter Registration
Richard and Michael discussed election integrity and potential improvements to the voting system. Michael proposed that voters should be able to seal their vote with a thumbprint to prevent voter fraud, a measure he believed would be particularly effective when combined with voter ID checks. They also discussed the issue of automatic voter registration at the DMV, with Michael suggesting that non-citizens should not be registered to vote. However, Richard pointed out that many jurisdictions do not verify citizenship, only having a check box on the registration form, and that the Biden Administration has been enticing non-citizens to vote.
Discussing Tax Reform in West Virginia
Michael and Richard discussed the issue of high property and personal property taxes in West Virginia, particularly in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties. Michael suggested that alleviating the tax burden could have a significant positive impact on the state’s economy, and proposed the complete repeal of the income tax, following the example of New Hampshire.
Michael’s Legislative Platform and Strategy
Michael mentioned that he would be the only one in his race that would be an effective legislator.  He mentioned that he will prioritize education and think outside the box.  He mentioned that West Virginia is last in health care and education.   He criticized the incumbent’s strategy of co-signing bills as a mere endorsement of other’s ideas, and instead advocated for a more active and independent legislator.
West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#166-Interview with James Southern-Candidate for Board of Education-Jefferson County-West Virginia

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Central Office Staff Salaries and Education Issues
Richard and James discussed the issue of Central Office staff and their salaries. James, a candidate for the Jefferson County Board of Education, expressed concerns about the high cost of salaries at the Central Office, which he believes is a common issue in school systems. He mentioned that many of these positions are making more money than the average teacher, with some getting a yearly bonus of up to $20,000.  James gave his background, including his 13 years as a teacher and his current job as a cyber security contractor for the Department of the Interior.
Budget Allocation for Public Schools
Richard and James discussed the budget, specifically the allocation for public schools. They highlighted that a significant portion of property tax goes to schools, with 40% of that being the ‘excess levy’. They also addressed the increasing threat of ransomware attacks on school systems and identified teacher recruitment and retention as the most critical challenge facing their county. The conversation revolved around the need for more transparency in the distribution of the excess levy, with James explaining that the levy funds not only teacher salaries but also local libraries and other non-core classroom positions.  Richard replied that classroom teachers get no more than a 2 percent bonus from the $17 million dollar annual levy funds. James pointed out that WV Legislature bills to institute locality pay are blocked due to concerns over inequality between counties. Richard and James both agreed on the need to educate taxpayers on what the levy funds to help them make informed decisions.
Educational Bonuses and Levy Funds
Richard and James discussed the recent voting of bonuses, referred to as stipends, for educational employees. They clarified that these bonuses could reach up to $20,000, and they were paid from the excess levy funds.  James added that the levy covers many athletic coaching positions. James committed to researching the specific allocation of levy funds, and Richard repeated that the use of these levy funds is not transparent. They also touched on the topic of the increased pay for two athletic directors that came up at a recent Board of Education meeting where the budget was discussed and the absence of schools from the state checkbook system of expense tracking.
Addressing School Discipline and Classroom Management
Richard and James discussed the issue of school discipline and classroom management. Richard expressed concerns about schools’ reluctance to take disciplinary action due to fear of negative repercussions from administrative reporting to the state education department. James highlighted that support from administration is crucial for teachers to enforce discipline policies effectively. He further pointed out that most discipline issues arise from classroom management problems and suggested providing training and mentorship for teachers, especially younger ones, to improve their classroom management skills.
Family Breakdown, Education, and Abstinence Programs
Richard and James discussed the impact of family breakdown on society and its implications for education. James expressed concern about the breakdown of the family and that when parents read to them, that is helpful.  He also mentioned that parents can use tips about issues like parents monitoring screen time.  Richard mentioned that federal standards and grants for abstinence education have shown benefits for youth. James stated he could not say if the standard of abstinence from sex before marriage should be emphasized, as parents would have rights in that area, first and foremost.  He mentioned that curricula are approved at the state level, although the standards set at the state level for sexual health education for West Virginia are very vague.
Transparency and Community Involvement in Schools
The importance of community involvement in schools, with James suggesting that schools should advertise their activities more to engage with the community.
School Board Election and Reforms
James emphasized his unique experience in teaching, parenting, and cybersecurity, and his commitment to enhancing the school system’s cybersecurity.  James has a child in the school system. The two compared their school district with Kanawha County,  which has twice as many students by only a few more central office staff.   James said central office staffing needs to be looked at.  James indicated that he has mixed feelings about the Hope Scholarship program.
Election Integrity West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#165-Interview with Doug Skaff-Republican Candidate for Secretary of State-West Virginia

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Secretary of State Candidate Doug Skaff Addresses Voting Issues and Solutions
Doug, a lifelong West Virginian and candidate for Secretary of State, discussed the recent issues with mail-in voting in some states and the potential for fraud. He shared his experience as a legislator and small business owner, and his enthusiasm for the role of Secretary of State. Richard raised concerns about the use of electronic voting machines and tabulators, including a question about whether ballots in West Virginia are ever adjudicated. Doug confirmed that he is running for the position to strengthen the office’s role as the chief elections officer and to prevent any potential issues.
Improving Election Security and Transparency
Doug and Richard discussed the challenges and potential improvements for election security, with Doug emphasizing the importance of partnership and surrounding oneself with experts in cyber security. They discussed issues with the current electronic voting system in West Virginia, including concerns about the security of the machines and the need for transparency in their operation. Doug proposed partnering with Marshall University’s Cyber Security School to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and best practices. Richard agreed on the need for more education about the voting process and how it’s tabulated.
Improving Business Verification and Voter Registration
Doug voiced his concerns about the need for a more up to date and fast business verification system as well as a similar system for voters to use to check their registration.  The proposed system would ensure the legitimacy of registered businesses, as well as provide confidence in up to date voter registration information. He advocated for a more user-friendly system, including apps for mobile devices. Richard and Doug also discussed the need to improve West Virginia’s voter registration process, with Doug emphasizing the importance of making it more user-friendly and accessible, and Richard highlighting the need for cross-referencing with property records to ensure the integrity of the voter database. Doug indicated that voter rolls should be cleaned up every two years.
Voter Database Management and Integrity
Richard and Doug discussed the shortcomings of the current voter database management system, with Doug emphasizing the need for regular review and cleanup to ensure accuracy and prevent manipulation. They also expressed concerns about the increasing demand for absentee ballots during the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of verifying their use to maintain the integrity of the election process. Lastly, they discussed the need for greater transparency and simplicity in business registration and the potential use of measures such as signature tracking and photo ID match to prevent fraudulent voting. Richard mentioned that some jurisdictions use thumbprints to verify voter identity and prevent fraud.
Improving West Virginia’s Economy and Workforce
Doug and Richard discussed ways to improve West Virginia’s economy and workforce. Doug proposed creating a fund for people who lose their jobs or get displaced, to help them acquire the tools and training they need to stay employed in the state. He suggested that the state’s surplus money, not previously given back to taxpayers, should instead be used to help small businesses, which are seen as the backbone of the state. Doug’s emphasized the need to focus on West Virginia’s citizens, particularly its small business owners. They agreed on the importance of being proactive in securing the state’s voting process and preventing fraud.
Environment West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#164-Interview with Daniel Lutz-Candidate for Supervisor-Eastern Panhandle Conservation District

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Discussing Danny’s Candidacy and Background
Richard and Danny had an introductory discussion about Danny’s candidacy for a third term as a nonpartisan Conservation District Supervisor in Jefferson County and for the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District. They discussed the importance of informing the public about Danny’s background and values, despite his unopposed status in the race. Danny was set to answer questions regarding his stance and purposes.

West Virginia Conservation Agency’s Role in Preserving Resources
Danny stressed the importance of the West Virginia Conservation Agency in preserving the state’s natural resources, particularly its water and soil. He discussed the agency’s role in mitigating soil erosion. Unfortunately, the agencies offer to help in the evaluation and review of the impact of solar compounds on farmland has not been heeded by Jefferson County officials. He also highlighted the issue of sediment pollution in the Shenandoah River, caused especially by Virginia and affecting the Chesapeake Bay due to high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Danny noted that only West Virginia and the District of Columbia have met the 2025 macro contaminant reduction guidelines, while Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania have not. He suggested that solar farm installations, which are obligated to prevent soil runoff, are a significant contributor to this issue and that it would be the responsibility of county agencies and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to address any erosion.

Environmental Issues and Local Delegates
Danny and Richard discussed environmental issues concerning the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection. Two complaints filed last year regarding soil conservation issues had not been mitigated, and there seemed to be no action against the perpetrators. They also discussed the Blake Solar Farm’s exemption from the local storm water ordinance, which should not be the case, as Danny pointed out. The situation is complicated by a proposal in the House of Delegates to allow the state to override all local zoning ordinances, which Richard and Danny both criticized. They identified two local delegates, Wayne Clark and Paul Espino, as the sponsors of this problematic bill.

Farmland Conservation Challenges in Jefferson County
Richard and Danny discussed the challenges of conserving farmland in Jefferson County. Danny explained that farming is almost extinct in the region, with the number of operating dairies dropping from 212 in 1978 to just one currently. The primary reason for this is the high value of land for commercial and residential development, which is often more profitable than agriculture. Danny further highlighted the high cost of equipment and the low margin involved in farming, making it difficult for young people to enter the industry.

Modern Farming Challenges and Opportunities
Richard and Danny discussed the challenges and opportunities in modern farming. Danny shared his experience of passing his farmland to a younger relative, highlighting the importance of mentorship and cooperation. They also discussed the struggles of new farmers entering the field due to high costs and a lack of support. Richard raised questions about the role of the Conservation District supervisor in county planning processes, especially regarding issues like runoff.

Solar Farm Proposal and Site Suitability
Richard and Danny discussed the suitability of the Blake Solar Farm site, given its hilly terrain and potential need for extensive grading, which has lead to erosion and has contributed to making the land unsuitable for farming in the future. Danny explained that the solar farm would likely only be useful for about 20 years before needing to be replaced or abandoned, and the land would not be suitable for farming afterwards due to the depletion of nutrients and the need for significant reconstruction.

County Supervisor Roles and Farm Bill
Richard and Danny discussed the roles of the County Conservation District Supervisor in the planning process, with Danny expressing frustration about being ignored by the Board of Planning. They also talked about the work of youth groups like FFA and 4H, which Danny confirmed are still active and relevant despite some outdated links on their website. Lastly, they discussed the pending farm bill and its potential impact on funding and policies, with Danny emphasizing the importance of clean water and reducing pollution.

Carbon Credit Program Proposal in WV
Danny proposed a carbon credit program in West Virginia where each resident would receive a certain number of credits each year which they could buy from others to discharge anything into the soil, air, or water. The program would fund an exchange and conservation, with the remaining income going to the sellers. Richard acknowledged the need to care for the soil and water, suggesting a potential revision of Jefferson County’s zoning plan.

Danny’s Personal Experience and Conservation Discussion
Danny shared his personal experience of living through the “silent spring” described by Rachel Carson, highlighting the eventual return of birds to the area after a period of extinction. He also mentioned his recent re-reading of “Night Comes to the Cumberlands,” a book he was required to read in high school.

WV Elections 2024

#163-Interview with Michael Mood-Republican Candidate for County Commissioner-Middleway District

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Mike’s Candidacy for Middleway Commission Seat
Richard and Mike discussed Mike’s candidacy for the Middleway District County Commission seat in Jefferson County. Mike shared his background, including his 28-year residency in the county, his family life, and his experience in running a business. He expressed his desire to promote business growth in the county, aiming to provide local employment opportunities and increase the tax base.
Promoting Local Businesses and Agriculture
Richard and Mike discussed the promotion of local businesses, with a focus on farming and tourism. Mike shared his conversations with vineyard owners in Loudoun County who expressed interest in expanding to Jefferson County but were deterred by high bids on land from solar companies and housing developments. Mike indicated that this is an opportunity the county should pursue, as it could attract younger generations and offer alternative income sources for aging farmers. He suggested the development of vineyards, equestrian centers, and wedding venues on farmland as a way to support local farmers and promote tourism.
Discussing Prosecutor Matt Harvey’s Efforts
Richard and Mike discussed the recent efforts by prosecutor Matt Harvey to remove commissioners Krouse and Jackson. Mike expressed his opinion that this was an overreach, stating that the problems stemmed from the lack of collaboration between the commissioners. He also criticized the decision to impose a large bond on the sitting commissioners, which he believed was excessive.
Improving Jefferson County’s Election System
Richard and Mike discussed potential improvements to the election system in Jefferson County. Mike supported the current system, which requires voters to show identification and suggested periodic renewal of voter registration to ensure residents are still living in the county. Richard mentioned his concerns about the registration process, particularly the practice of registering people at the DMV without verifying their citizenship or residency. Richard also raised concerns about the Biden Administration’s efforts to register ineligible voters.
Concerns Over Heavy Tax Burden and Transparency
Richard expressed concerns about the heavy tax burden on county residents, particularly the 77% of taxes that go towards public schools with little transparency. He also voiced issues about property taxation, especially for seniors. Mike responded by highlighting that the increasing construction of houses is a significant strain on the tax base, with about 77% of tax revenue going towards education and the remaining towards county operations. Mike suggested focusing on business growth to attract more tax-paying entities and reduce the load on residential taxpayers.
Business Growth and Solar Project Concerns
Mike emphasized the need for business growth and believes that any tax incentive to attract local small businesses should be short-term incentive. He opposed the current rollout of large solar projects, citing the need for better regulation, increased setbacks, and more involvement from the community. Mike also expressed concern about the impact of these projects on property values and the environment. Richard and Mike agreed on the need to find an alternative solution that would benefit the farmers and the community.
EMS Resource Allocation and Risk Concerns
Richard and Mike discussed the allocation of EMS resources in their county, particularly in relation to the Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Department. Mike shared his concern about the current situation, stating that the lack of ambulance service in certain areas, like the mountain and Middleway, has put residents at greater risk. He suggested that they should have staffing at Middleway and on the mountain. Mike also mentioned that the county’s decision to own the ambulances had negatively impacted the situation, and he pointed out that their rapid response unit, staffed by volunteers, had saved two lives in the past three months in the Middleway district
Improving Emergency Services and Business Growth
Mike discussed the need for better staffing and response times for emergency services in the mountain region, stating that the ideal location for an ambulance to the Mission Road substation, although that station lacks facilities for 24 hour staffing. He highlighted the importance of proximity and quick access for effective emergency response. Mike also differentiated himself from his opponent by emphasizing his focus on finding solutions to community problems through listening to all perspectives and prioritizing business growth to strengthen the county’s tax base.
West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#162-Interview with Barbara Fuller-Republican Candidate for the House Of Delegates-WV 98th Delegate District

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Introducing Barbara Buller, Pro-Life Delegate Candidate
Richard introduced Barbara Buller, a pro-life, constitutional conservative candidate running for delegate in District 98, following the vacancy left by Delegate Espinosa’s run for the West Virginia Senate. Barbara shared her personal journey from the Board of Education to the delegate race, highlighting her belief in individual liberty, smaller government, and the rule of law. Barbara is also pro-Second Amendment, pro-coal and pro-gas, pro small business and is for school choice.
Barbara’s Stances on Adoption, Nuclear Power, and Education
Barbara discussed her support for adoptee reform, specifically allowing adoptees to access their original birth certificates. She also expressed her enthusiasm for nuclear power as a clean energy source. Barbara additionally touched on her her belief in the importance of parents’ choice in their children’s education. She also brought up the issue of solar farms, highlighting that they could lead to environmental pollution and that that the right to have solar farms ends with the right of neighbors to not be encumbered with the problems associated with solar compounds.
Vaccination Concerns and Religious Exemptions
Barbara and Richard discussed the issue of vaccinations. Barbara expressed concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, questioning its safety as it was not thoroughly tested. She shared her support for religious exemptions from vaccinations. Richard pointed out that not all vaccines are mandated, like the COVID-19 vaccine, which was only required for health workers and the military. Barbara disclosed that while her children and she have been vaccinated, one member of her household has not due to these concerns.
Governor’s Power Concentration During Pandemic
Richard and Barbara discussed the issue of excessive power given to the governor during the Covid-19 pandemic. Richard pointed out that in 2021, a bill to review and limit the governor’s mandate powers was passed by the House of Delegates but was later gutted in the Senate. As a result, the mandates went on indefinitely without a review process. Barbara expressed her strong opposition to such a concentration of power, stating she would support legislation to limit the governor’s powers if she were elected as a delegate.
Abortion Prevention and Youth Abstinence Focus
Richard and Barbara discussed the topic of abortion and its potential prevention. Richard proposed a shift in focus towards encouraging youth abstinence before marriage, which he believed would reduce about 80% of abortions, and strengthening the family structure, particularly husband and wife relationships. Barbara agreed with Richard and shared her belief that unmarried individuals should abstain to simplify the challenges faced by youth. She also expressed a desire for more programs teaching abstinence to young people.
Amendment, Gender Therapy, and Bill Opposition
She argued that an amendment to West Virginia’s current abortion statute that gives an exception for rape and incest undermines the value of life, suggesting that the perpetrator of the crime should be punished instead to the child that is conceived by such a situation.  A very small number of these types of abortion occur in West Virginia, in any case.   Additionally, Barbara expressed her concerns about the use of hormone therapy to alter a child’s gender, referring to it as “chemical castration”. They also discussed that the bill banning hormone therapy for minors needs fixing, as there is an exception if a child says they have suicidal thoughts.  Richard stated that Senator Tom Takubo, possibly associated with pharmaceutical companies, might have influenced it negatively.  Barbara agreed that the bill needs fixing, and also questioned the logic of granting certain rights to one class of people while taking them away from another.
Election Integrity and New Technologies Concerns
Richard and Barbara had a comprehensive discussion about the issue of election integrity and the concerns surrounding the use of new technologies like black box machines in voting. Barbara voiced her distrust in artificial intelligence and the potential for unauthorized recording, while Richard expressed his concerns about hacking and the lack of transparency in the programming of these machines. They both agreed that the current system, despite its convenience, has come at a cost, and considered the possibility of returning to a system of paper ballots to ensure greater transparency and security. Barbara is concerned that the programming of the code for the machines is not open source, and that there is no way to verify its integrity.
WV Elections 2024

#161-Interview with Zachary Shrewsbury-Democratic Candidate for US Senator-West Virginia

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Public Awareness, Reproductive Rights, and Vaccination
Zach stated his support for reproductive rights, with emphasis on individual decision-making and government non-interference. They also explored the implications of family breakdown on society, with Zachary not agreeing that the breakdown of two-parent husband and wife families is the core of all societal issues. Zachary expressed his belief that vaccines are important for public health. Zach affirmed his support for vaccines based on scientific evidence, and expressed his disapproval of a recently proposed 100 billion-dollar bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, arguing that each issue should be examined separately.
Warrantless Searches, Federal Spending, and Unions
Richard and Zach discussed two main issues: the extension of warrantless searches and the high level of federal spending. Zach admitted he needed to investigate the specifics of the warrantless searches issue, but expressed his general disapproval of such practices. Regarding federal spending, Zach proposed reallocating funds from certain areas, such as the Department of Defense, to other sectors like social programs. He emphasized the need for auditing government organizations to identify wasteful spending. Furthermore, Zach clarified his stance on the ‘right to work’ issue, explaining that he strongly supports unions as they provide workers with the ability to advocate for themselves and protect against unjust dismissals.
Discussing 2020 Election and Capitol Protest
Zach and Richard discussed the events surrounding the 2020 US presidential election and the subsequent protests. Zach clarified his stance on the election fraud allegations, stating he didn’t believe the election was stolen. The pair also discussed the events of January 6, 2021, where a group of supporters of former President Trump protested election fraud at the US Capitol. Zach believed the leaders of this incident should be punished, but due process should be granted to those arrested. Richard, however, expressed his belief that many of the arrests appeared to be politically motivated.
Discussing Government Spending Bill Transparency
Richard and Zach discussed the recent government spending bill of 1.2 trillion dollars. Richard questioned Zach about his stance on this bill, which was passed to continue government funding for the year. Zach admitted he would need to know the specifics of the bill to give a definitive answer. They both expressed concern about the lack of transparency and the fact that such massive bills are often passed without adequate time for review and knowledge of their contents.
Social Security Fund Depletion and Potential Solutions
Richard and Zach discussed the potential depletion of social security funds within the next decade and possible solutions to address this issue. Zach proposed lowering the retirement age to allow people to live better, increasing taxes for high-wage earners, and reallocating funds from other areas, such as the military, to social security. However, Richard voiced concerns about the funding of these proposed solutions, given that a reduced retirement age would increase the program’s cost.
Discussing Coal Production and Renewable Energy in West Virginia
Richard and Zach discussed the impact of new environmental regulations on coal production and the shift towards renewable energy in West Virginia. Zach emphasized the importance of a just transition towards renewable energy sources, such as solar power, while also addressing concerns about the impact on rural farmland and the environment.
Clarifying Zach’s Second Amendment Stance
Richard sought clarification from Zach on his stance regarding the right to bear arms. Zach affirmed his support for the Second Amendment, emphasizing the importance of mental competence and thorough background checks for gun ownership. He also expressed his belief in closing loopholes and improving mental health care nationwide..
Criminal Justice System and Family Support
Richard and Zach discussed various issues related to the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on trend for prosecutors in some areas to reduce penalties for certain misdemeanors. Zach expressed his concern about the mass incarceration problem in America and his opposition to for-profit prisons. Zach expressed that increasing the number of two parent families to help society could not be legislated.  Richard, on the other hand, argued that the statistics showed that children who grow up with a mother and a father are less likely to get into trouble.
West Virginia Politics WV Elections 2024

#160-Interview with Mac Warner-Republican Candidate for Governor-West Virginia

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West Virginia Governor Candidate’s Education Focus
Mack Warner, the Secretary of State of West Virginia and a candidate for Governor, discussed his focus on education, the shortage of teachers in the state, and the importance of parental choice in immunization. The conversation also touched on the challenges of recruiting and retaining teachers and the implementation of electronic marking devices in voting.  Lastly, Warner expressed support for school choice and the two-parent family unit.
Legislative Proposals
Secretary Warner suggested that the legislature should be able to limit and review government mandates. He also emphasized the need for a governor who would not overextend their authority, especially in emergencies, and who would support individual and freedom-oriented policies. The candidate expressed support for vaccination choice and criticized the former Democrat chair’s involvement as a consultant for Moore Capito.
Coal Regulations and Tax Discussion
Richard and Mac Warner discussed the new, more strict regulations to limit coal production that the Biden administration has put forward. Mac Warner, as a proponent of all energy, argued that the market, not the government, should determine which energy sources are used. He asserted that his stance aligns with the Republican party platform and the Constitution. When Richard raised the issue of property tax increases, Mac Warner explained that some taxes are essential to perform duties enumerated in the Constitution. He proposed that the issue should be addressed at a local level to ensure proper representation. Mac also pledged to propose lower taxes whenever possible while fulfilling his duties as governor.
Society Issues and Upcoming Voting Process
Richard and a Secretary Warner discussed a range of issues related to society and voting. Secretary Warner also shared information about the upcoming voting process, which includes early voting from May 1st to May 11th and the actual election on May 14th. They also discussed the possibility of absentee voting and the need for valid reasons to request an absentee ballot.
Viewpoint as a Candidate for Governor

Secretary Warner stated that if you have a question about where Mac Warner stands, open the Bible to begin with, open the Constitution second, and third, open the Republican Party platform.

West Virginia Legislative Session WV Elections 2024

#159-Interview with Donna Joy-Candidate for Board of Education-Jefferson County WV

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Jefferson County Public Schools Levy Allocation Concerns
Richard and Donna discussed the excess levy in Jefferson County public schools, with concerns raised about the transparency of its allocation, specifically whether it was being used for teacher salaries as advertised. Donna confirmed that the levy did go towards teacher salaries but Richard interjected that only about two percent goes for teacher salaries.  Donna also highlighted critical challenges facing the school system, such as a shortage of teachers and service personnel, a lack of emphasis on student achievement and marketable skills, and issues with discipline policy.
State Education Policy and Concerns
Donna and Richard discussed a perceived shift in the county’s discipline policy, which they believed negatively impacted teachers and students. Donna mentioned that there may be a request for a new excess levy for schools before the voters this November, which she will verify.  Richard noted a disconnect between spending and performance, with schools spending more but not necessarily seeing improved results. They discussed the issue of students being disciplined and returned to class by administrators without consequences. Donna shared her personal experiences and concerns about the current education policies and practices.
Addressing Education System Issues and Solutions
Donna and Richard discussed the current educational system’s shortcomings, particularly concerning resource allocation and school performance. Donna mentioned that schools are evaluated on a point system, which could affect the reporting of discipline problems. She also advocated for increased accountability among students and a renewed focus on academics.
Addressing Jefferson County’s Educational Challenges
Donna and Richard discussed the educational challenges in Jefferson County, with Donna expressing concerns about inconsistent standards and the need for consistency across schools. Donna, as a board member, reiterated her commitment to accountability and transparency, and her belief in promoting high standards for all students. She also noted the classroom experience of the current superintendent. Richard appreciated
Poverty’s Impact on Virtual Education
Donna discussed online Jefferson Virtual Academy. They expressed concern about the high student-to-teacher ratio, with three teachers assigned to 26 kids, while in-person classes might have 30 students and one teacher. Donna advocated for higher standards and better measures of student achievement.
Election Anticipation and Budget Discussion
Donna indicated that the Superintendent prepares the budget, and it is approved by the Board of Education almost as a formality.
Declining Enrollment and School Choice Impact
Richard and Donna discussed the declining enrollment in local schools. Donna expressed that it is good for parents to have the choices in education, including public schools, the Hope Scholarship and the new charter school, especially since public schools have declined in performance in recent years.
Concerns Over Covid-19 Relief Funds
Donna expressed concerns about the use of funds, particularly regarding the creation of new positions and the payment of additional stipends in the School Board office, making it top-heavy. Richard agreed and noted that the Kanawha County school district has about twice as many students but a smaller amount of central office staff per student.  This prompted discussions on potential policy adjustments for the next year. Donna had contacted the superintendent to seek clarity on the intricacies of the stipend system, acknowledging that the lack of transparency could lead to confusion among the public.
School Choice and Improving Public Education
Donna expressed regret over the deterioration of the public school system, which has led to people seeking alternatives. She emphasized that options are necessary to create healthy competition and motivate improvements within the public school system.
Evaluating System Integrity and Culture
Richard asked about yet another teacher at Jefferson high school arrested for criminal sexual behavior.  Donna responded by stating that she had requested an independent evaluation of Jefferson High School from both the former and current Superintendent.  The purpose of the evaluation is to examine the culture that seemed to allow such incidents to occur annually since 2016.