Readers offer a variety of views
by Bill Ellis
Let’s take our county back
To the people of Logan County: It’s time for the people of Logan County to take a stand and take our county back. Drugs have taken over. Every family in Logan has someone hooked on drugs or knows someone that is.
I think it is a shame when our younger generation is able to work but most of them are on drugs and can’t or don’t want to work a 40 hour a week job. But they can go to the welfare office, get a free food card, go to the hospital for a free visit, get prescriptions and sell them and bring an income that is more than a 40 hour a week plus overtime job.
Not to mention, free housing, bills paid and even a cell phone. I have worked 26 years paying taxes. If I go to the hospital, I have to pay. If I need medicine, I have to pay. If a dope head steals what I have had to work to pay for, I still have to pay and they get nothing but a slap on the wrist. And their benefits are still there.
I don’t know why the younger generation that are on a check but who are able to work, does not have to do anything to get all their benefits that they receive. There is a lot of garbage they could pick up. There are a lot of weeds beside the road that need cut. A lot of work could be done for a better county.
If someone has worked 15 or 20 years loses their job, they can’t get any benefits unless they sell everything they have actually worked to pay for.
I think the people on welfare should have random drug testing. I have to have random drug testing to receive the benefits that I actually work for. Why are they any different?
I think the ones that are on taxpayer funding and are prescription drugs, should be drug tested. If they are over the limit, cut their check, cut their prescription and in the middle of the month, count their pills they have left. If the bottle is empty and should be half full, that tells me they have abused or sold.
I don’t really know the answer. But I do know that the working people have nothing to look forward to when they’re not able to work. But the taxpayer funding is still going to be there for the abusers with full benefits. They will continue to rob, steal and not work a full time job.
I think there should be a 1-800 number advertised on every billboard in our county to turn in abusers, sellers and thieves. You think if you just stay away from the family, neighbors or friends that are on drugs, the problem just goes away or doesn’t concern you. Well listen, before long, it will concern you. If they are stealing from everyone else, guess what, you’re next.
I think our politicians can get something started and the people of Logan County can work for a better tomorrow. Because if it’s bad now, what do you think it’s going to be like 10 or 15 years down the road.
Let’s show the abusers and thieves, the working people of Logan County are tired of it and aren’t going to put up with it any longer.
The West Virginia Creed
I am a citizen of West Virginia; therefore I am a citizen of the United States, and the World. I revere the names of men like: Boone, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Putnam, Randolph, Wayne, and Webster for whom many of the counties of my state have been named. Each day many of these men put God first. As a group they honored hard work, honesty, loyalty, liberty, frugality, integrity, and humility. Many of them fought for our freedom on the battlefield. Many faithfully governed our people in the early days of our new country. Most were frontiersmen who opened up new lands in the tidewater, and what was once the western area of the colony of Virginia.
I acknowledge the significance of the mining, agriculture, timber, glass making, tourism, shipping, and railroad industries that have so greatly influenced the economy of this state.
I enjoy the mountains, waterways, forests, and farmland that make up the Mountain State.
I am glad that as a Mountaineer I enjoy the freedoms bequeathed to me in the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States. I will respect the sacrifice of those frontiersmen and early residents who died and their families who lost loved ones in battles, skirmishes, mining accidents, and epidemics in my state. I will especially remember the sorrow of so many West Virginia families after the horrible Monongah and Farmington mine disasters. I will remember the names of West Virginians such as: Chuck Yeager, and Stonewall Jackson who have played a part in the history of our great nation.
I am thankful for the beauty of Seneca Rocks, Blackwater Falls, the New River Gorge, Dolly Sods, Spruce Knob, and the national forest lands that adorn my beloved state. I am glad that West Virginia is the home of the awe-inspiring New River Gorge Bridge and our beautiful capitol building with its huge gold dome. I am pleased to live in a state with such rich history as that which can be rediscovered at places like Harpers Ferry, Jackson’s Mill, Grafton, and Pricketts Fort.
I enjoy much of the heritage of old-time mountain tunes and gospel hymns that many traditional West Virginia musicians play on instruments like fiddles, dulcimers, banjos, and autoharps.
I will honor the West Virginia men and women who served, were wounded, or gave their lives in the United States military. I will have compassion for soldiers from West Virginia who have endured extreme hardness as prisoners of war in the hands of foreign powers.
I realize that God has been good to West Virginia and her citizens.
May Mountaineers always be free. May they always have respect for God, our founding fathers, our veterans and the laws of our land. I will be a God-fearing, law-abiding citizen of West Virginia. I will stand for the right and participate in my state’s government. I will vote with biblical principles in mind. I will pray for my leaders.
This pledge I give for the good of West Virginia.
Can anything really be done?
With the sentencing of three elected officials from Lincoln County for election law violations, there is a question of “can anything really be done?”
My answer is yes and something has been done. No other Secretary of State has the kind of record of cracking down on election fraud like my administration has. This office has more convictions in association with election law violations than previous secretaries combined.
But the work must go beyond the investigations, the charges, the sentences, and the jail time. Time and again it has been proven that just focusing on the criminal investigation and sentencing is not enough.
That is why this office has been in several counties working with election officials to institute a new way of thinking, to train workers, to teach the correct procedure, and to instill confidence in the election process.
It has come with an attitude and policy of “Not anymore.”
Not in Lincoln County, and not anywhere else in West Virginia. Not while I am your Secretary of State.
Violations of our election law will not be tolerated. Those are more than words – it’s been proved by the actions of my office while I have been the chief elections officer of West Virginia.
We’ve been in Lincoln County assisting election officials more times than I can count. One time, our elections specialist noticed a voter being accompanied to the election machine when she didn’t require assistance. The elections specialist asked why they were doing that when it wasn’t permitted. The reply was, “That’s the way we have always done it.”
“Not anymore,” our elections specialist said.
From helping to maintaining the list of registered voters to making sure the people assisting voters as they cast a ballot really are there to legitimately help, the Secretary of State’s Office has been there.
We didn’t turn our backs on Lincoln County when so many other people did. Even to this day, we are in constant contact with election officials in Lincoln County. They have been eager to make a difference and know that in the Secretary of State’s Office they have a partner on which they can rely. With our support, election officials in Lincoln County and other elections officials across the state have now been able to ask questions and get straight answers. Simple changes like smaller and more interactive training for poll workers and a detailed review for those trainees are going to make a difference on Election Day. We have helped arm poll workers with knowledge of the law and the courage to enforce it.
Some Lincoln County voters said they felt intimidated while voting, but now feel more secure in the process knowing that we have had elections specialists in the county court house and community voting locations. They know the time is now to forever take back control of their elections and their government.
Helping election officials clean up their voter rolls, providing better poll worker training, and being there as a source of knowledge is part of the solution; the elections specialists do more than that. We listen to what people have to say. We have built a relationship with election officials in Lincoln County that will benefit everyone involved for years.
It’s not just Lincoln County. We will work in any corner of West Virginia where election law violations are reported. It is up to the citizens, the eyes and ears of democracy, to report something if they think it is a violation of election law. It is obvious now that there is a Secretary of State in office that will not tolerate election law violations.
And if there are people reading this who think they can continue to manipulate our elections by doing things they’ve done for years, I have two words for you:
Natalie E. Tennant
WV Secretary of State
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