Thursday, April 4, 2013: Citizens United; Morrisey; kids' sports
Citizens United must be overturned
Freedom of speech, the ability to peaceably assemble and speak one's mind without fear of persecution, is the foundation on which this country is built. In a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case, Citizens United, corporations and unions were officially recognized as having the First Amendment right to free speech. Since money is considered speech, this allowed them to make unlimited political expenditures, reversing 70 years of judicial precedent.
This results in a loss for the American public, who are finding that their votes don't count as much as the will of our powerful corporations. This is a problem because, even though corporations are made up of people, they don't care about the same things as people. They don't have families or friends, and they don't care who or what they hurt as long as it doesn't get in the way of profit.
That's why West Virginia Citizen Action Group, Public Citizen and the Sierra Club got together in Charleston to lobby against Citizens United. The House of Delegates passed H.R. 9, calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn this decision. If you believe corporations are not people, then please ask your senators to support this resolution.
Morrisey's employees not acting responsibly
It was disheartening that Attorney General Patrick Morrissey's communications director took to social media to publish an unsubstantiated and false attack regarding the salary of former Deputy Attorney General Fran Hughes.
Beyond Ms. Ryan's comments being untrue, it is sad that she felt her conduct was appropriate at all. She is now a state official. She speaks on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General and, by extension, citizens of West Virginia.
She embarrassed more than herself and even her boss by taking to social media to mock a defeated political rival.
Morrissey ran on a platform of taking partisanship out of the Attorney General's Office, yet his most significant action to date has been to hire a litigator who will use West Virginia taxpayer money to launch unnecessary lawsuits against federal legislation that Morrissey unilaterally deems not in West Virginia's best interests.
It is still early in Morrissey's tenure, and I hope he soon takes his office out of campaign mode to act as the responsible steward that West Virginians need him to be.
Stop sports politics; your kids are watching
If you are a father, like me, and your kids played sports, then no doubt you encountered the politics. Every Pee Wee league all the way up to high school sports, it is always there.
That coach who seems to ensure his kids get the primo starting positions. Ability and fairness do not exist in these people's minds. Their goal is all about their kid and kids of parents who align with him. I would expect there is not an amateur sport in the country where this does not happen.
So you find yourself having to play the politics of the game. Since this guy controls whether your son sits or plays, you must make a moral decision to sell your soul. Do you kiss up to ensure your kid gets on the field, or do you decide to take a stand and speak out?
It has been my experience that the majority of fathers hope they pleased the coach enough to get their kids playing time. Meanwhile, behind their back, they talk about how unfair it is -- but only in a whisper.
Kids are very smart today and can see this happening. They can't understand why their dad, who they look up to and respect, would stand by and allow this political game to exist.