W.Va. Voters Affect the Senate: ; Will They Decide to Support Obama or to Stop Him?

By Maurice, Johanna | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), April 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

W.Va. Voters Affect the Senate: ; Will They Decide to Support Obama or to Stop Him?


Maurice, Johanna, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


DEMOCRAT Joe Manchin, one of the states most effective governors ever, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 after the death of Robert C. Byrd. Manchin beat Republican challenger John Raese by about a 10 percentage-point margin 53,300 votes. This fall, Manchin faces Raese again. This time, Manchin is dragging around a different record President Barack Obamas. This time the question facing West Virginia voters is whether the U.S. Senate, which has aided and abetted the presidents radical agenda on energy and health care, should remain in the hands of the Democratic Party. Or whether Mountain State residents should turn the Senate over to Republicans, who would stop Obama. West Virginians get a vote on that question in the Senate seat. The president has advanced his war on coal through EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and the heads of other regulatory agencies. That campaign is doing far-reaching economic damage to West Virginia. Manchins effectiveness at checking the administration on such matters is at issue, and should be. The junior senator is touring the state on what he calls a Fighting for Every Job tour. As the Daily Mails Jared Hunt reported this week, Manchin highlighted not any influence on the president, but his distance from Obama. In so doing, he also drew attention to his powerlessness. I talked to the president before I was a senator, he told a group of workers at Appalachian Power Co.s John Amos Power Plant in Winfield on Tuesday. Ive not spoken to him since Ive been a U.S. senator at all. Ive tried. Im still trying. But we just have a difference, I guess, of opinion on some things. So do other West Virginians. Debbie Sharrow of Fraziers Bottom asked Manchin: Our basic elementary school government education talks about checks and balances with our government. When is someone going to put a choke collar on the EPA? …

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