Agricultural candidates should hold debate
As a former paid staff member of the Democratic National Committee and former elected member of the West Virginia Democratic Executive Committee, I want to know why Sen. Walt Helmick is afraid to debate his Republican opponent for commissioner of agriculture. My family has farmed in what is now West Virginia since before the American Revolution and with the retirement of Commissioner Gus Douglass, farming in West Virginia is at a crucial watershed, especially in our era of obvious global warming and an EPA that is not sure what its mission is.
I am a staunch Obama backer and contributor with no reason to back any Republican after their obstreperous conduct in the House of Representatives. However, as a Democrat I was always taught that debate of the issues was crucial. Both Helmick and Leonhardt constitute a substantial departure from the status quo.
I also am a member of the state Forestry Association that has endorsed Helmick and of the state Farm Bureau that has endorsed Leonhardt.
I do want a debate. West Virginians have a right to hear these two able men discuss the issues that will set the course of agricultural economy for the next 100 years.
Patricia Andrea Bunner
Gazette's anti-GOP stanch is disgrace
U.S. history can make a point about the Gazette's editorial policy. James K. Polk wanted to win the war with Mexico. Gen. Winfield Scott did it for him. Polk saw all things in the light of his political prejudices (he was an über-Democrat) and felt that if he gave Scott any credit for winning the war, Scott might run as a Whig presidential candidate in the next election. So Polk undersupplied Scott with men, ammo and food as he fought. Scott won anyway, and his friend Nicholas P. Tryst negotiated the peace. Polk treated him similarly, raking him over the coals for his success.
The comparison can be made between President Polk and the Gazette's editorial board. They never saw a Republican they didn't like to hate, and no matter what kind of a job a GOP man might be doing, the board hoots for the other side. They find things to criticize that if their guy had done it, they would sweep under the rug or minimize it.
The Gazette criticized George W. Bush for being in Iraq and Afghanistan and published the numbers of war dead on the front page for years. The box eventually disappeared. People are still dying over there. Bush pushed up the deficit with the wars, and we haven't seen any successful major terrorism since on U.S. soil. The Gazette howled about that deficit, but Obama sent the deficit to Mars and they yawn and say it was necessary to save the economy.
Obama is friends with an unrepentant '60s radical bomber, and they slough it off. I guess to them the only good GOP member is one that is retired. By the way, I am an independent, not a Republican.