CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Take off your partisan political hat for a moment, put on your independent citizen's hat, and ask yourself this question:
Why won't Rep. Shelley Moore Capito respond to a petition from 400 of her constituents asking her to meet during the August congressional recess to discuss raising the minimum wage?
Capito could say: Sure, let's meet. She could say: Sorry, I don't have time to meet with you. She could say: I don't want to raise the minimum wage. No reason to discuss it. Not going to meet.
But instead, Capito has refused to address the request for a meeting. Why?
Here are facts to date:
On June 26, I delivered to Capito's Martinsburg office a petition from 400 of Capito's constituents, calling on her to meet to discuss raising the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.50 an hour.
The petition pointed out that adjusted for inflation since 1968, the federal minimum wage, now stagnant at $7.25 per hour, would be $10.67 per hour.
"Neither President Obama's nor Congressman George Miller's nor Senator Harkin's minimum wage proposals come close to catching up with 1968 by 2016," the petitioners wrote. "Congressman Alan Grayson's bill H.R. 1346 requires $10.50 per hour, 60 days after passage."
The petition called on Rep. Capito "to meet with us at a town meeting, during the August recess, at a convenient public space to discuss the legislative necessity of a $10.50 federal minimum wage for the working poor of our country who produce, serve and care for us each day."
On July 9, Adam Tomlinson, Capito's legislative director, sent an email saying that "Mrs. Capito has received your petition and is reviewing it."