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Manchin Runs From Obama, Raese Calls Global Warming a Myth in W.Va. Debate

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It has been 25 years since West Virginia had an open Senate seat, so Monday night's debate was a bit of a novelty for Mountain State voters. But the four Senate hopefuls wasted little time in the hourlong debate to make the case that they should win the special election to fill remaining two years of the the late Sen. Robert Byrd's unexpired term in the Senate.

The match-up pitted West Virginia's two-term governor, Joe Manchin, against businessman John Raese, a former head of the state Republican party making his fourth attempt at statewide office in West Virginia. The two heavy-hitters were also joined by Jesse Johnson, the candidate from the Mountain Party who brought an intellectual flair to the meet, and Jeff Beck, the Constitution Party candidate who called several times for the repeal of the 17th amendment, the amendment that allows the general public to elect senators.

In the state that John McCain won by 13 points in 2008, Raese called repeatedly for a small federal government with few federal solutions. "What I want to do in the United States Senate is to bring back the spirit of America, it's called capitalism and free enterprise," Raese said.

Manchin, on the other hand, spent much of the debate as he has spent much of the election so far -- distancing himself from President Barack Obama and Democrats in Washington.

"I will be independent, I have always been independent," Manchin said. "When you see what's happening in this country, I'm as mad as you are. When [elected officials] put their parties first and they put their own ambitions before they put this country, that's got to change."

Manchin repeatedly rapped the president for his energy reform legislation, known as cap and trade, that would charge carbon emmitors, especially coal-fired power plants, for the carbon they release into the atmosphere. "It would be the ruin not only of this state but of the entire economy," Manchin said. "We need to mine every lump of coal we can. ... That's how we're going to have a secure and a free nation."

Raese agreed with Manchin on the potential dangers of the legislation for the state, but took his argument one step further by calling global warming "a myth," and adding that the idea that man causes global warming is also a myth. "I don't believe in that myth," Raese said.

Strikingly, on the question of earmarks, neither Manchin nor Raese embraced the practice that Byrd used to build roads, bridges, schools and federal offices in the state.

"I don't think it's the best answer for the state of West Virginia," Raese said. "If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime, if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day."

Manchin defended the role of the federal government in spending for some infrastructure, like roads, sewer systems and universal broadband access. "Those are things where the free enterprise system is not going to go -- they're only going to go where the market is," Manchin said. "The federal government should be your partner, not your provider."

The Mountain Party's Johnson added: "We have firemen, if we have police officers, we have a military, a tremendous infrastructure. If we're purely based on capitalism, we would not have that."

Manchin and Raese agreed on other issues, to an extent. Both endorsed a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget. "It seems like there's no way [people in Washington] can discipline themselves," Manchin said, calling the federal deficit "unconscionable."

Raese also called for a balanced budget amendment, but pointed to Manchin's support for the $800 billion stimulus bill as an inconsistency for the governor. "If this is his way to save and to cut spending, then it's a bit odd to me," he said.

Both men also said they would extend the Bush tax cuts, although Raese called for the cuts to become permanent, while Manchin would commit to only a temporary extension. "I don't think during a time of recession you mess with any of the taxes or increase any taxes," he said.

But the two also disagreed, sometimes forcefully. In the wake of two major coal mine collapses in West Virginia, Raese said that coal companies, not federal workers, should take the lead in updating safety in the mines. "I'd like to see more of the private sector involved, miners involved, instead of the federal government like we're seeing today," he said.

But Manchin said he will introduce legislation in West Virginia to make the mines more safe after a government investigation of the recent collapses is complete. "I have sat through too many tragedies and I never want to do that again," he said.

The strongest disagreements came when the men debated the federal minimum wage and health care reform, when Manchin, who favors the minimum wage and some parts of the health bill, said he would not let the whims of capitalism be the last resort for West Virginians who need help. "Every time we hit bottom in this country, it's the Democratic Party that stood up and helped people -- the average person struggling, trying to take care of their families."

Manchin said he would try to repeal some pieces of the health care bill, but not all.

Raese said his greatest objection to the health reform law is philosophical. "I don't like socialism, to tell you the truth,".Raese said. "I'd like to repeal every part of it because it's unadulterated socialism. It is the worst bill that has ever come out of the United States Senate and House."

In opposing the federal minimum wage, Raese said: "I don't like the government setting price controls, I don't like the government setting wage controls. ... Manchin and Obama enjoy people working for $7.25 an hour. Quite frankly I don't."

Throughout the evening, the debaters and their questioners stayed away from some of the personal attacks that have permeated the campaign in recent weeks, especially for Raese.

Raese was never asked about an ad that Republicans ran against Manchin that included actors brought in through a casting call that called for a "hickey" look to mimic real West Virginians.

He also did not mention, nor was he asked about his current West Virginia residency. Raese owns several homes and his children attend school in Florida. His wife was recently purged from the West Virginia voter roles because she is registered to vote in Florida.

Despite the fact that four men were on stage, Manchin and Raese dominated most of the debate. When the Mountain Party's Johnson was asked for his final response, he complained that he had not been able to answer several of the debate questions and said that it was part of the reason he asked voters at his campaign stops: "Are you sick enough yet? If not now, when? There is something wrong with the country and it's the two-party system.
Filed Under: The Capitolist

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They only want our money. They honestly care about the environment? If they did, then why offshore drilling with no regulations or safety. This is another excuse to take money. How can Americans create capitol when they pay for air? The only way to get the country above water, is to let the people make money and give subsidy. Carbon tax? Are we going to have a tax on air to breath with a recorder that we have to put money into? Global warming has been occurring for millions of years and the only way to stop it is by... TECHNOLOGY. Whatever. Thats all I thought to say.

October 19 2010 at 11:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Run as fast as you can...the ship is going down. He cannot even confront mainstream, runs to uninformed students and constituency...based on race rather than ideology. He is incompetent and it grows very day

October 19 2010 at 8:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Seams to me those who prefer to denigh global warming are willing to make one heck of a bet that their wright .I often wonder if they realize what being wrong means.Most all agree it will mean the evential end of mankind as the earth will not be able to sustain us at the temperatures reached due to traped co2. one would think the wise thing to do is to due our best in a logical way to eliminate as much as possable mans contribution to the polutant co2 in our only atmosphear. If those who say our poluting is the cause of global warming are correct great we will have stoped it.If those who say its not just man well at least we wont be contributing to the amount of co2 in our atmosphear giving us who knows how many hundreds of years more.I personaly wouldnt want futer generations to blame those on earth now for the destruction of mankinds existance on earth because we valued money more than the possability of saving mankind from extingtion

October 19 2010 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I dont care whether Global warming is a myth or not! If we are to accept the idea that humans are creating it, then the only solution is to lower or control the population of humans! Show me someone who is going to run on that ticket!!? So, unless you are willing to admit to and deal with the solution, STOP bringing up the problem! Nature will handle this in her own way and I guarantee that you won't like the results!!

October 19 2010 at 2:10 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

A global warming experiment. The fact is that C02 allows solar rays in, but heats up when hit by the infrared rays coming off the earth. How to prove this? 1. Get two empty plastic soda bottles. 2. Fill each half way with a carbonated drink. 3. Cap one so no air gets in or out, leave the other one uncapped. 4. Leave them over night. 5. Leave them in the sun for the morning. 6. Feel the bottles. The one with the cap will be noticeably warmer than the one without the cap. WHY? Because the capped bottle has a higher concentration of carbon dioxide which is warmed by the infrared rays. Think "Earth" as the capped bottle.

October 19 2010 at 1:18 PM Report abuse -12 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Cognitorsj's comment

Ah, but the Earth is NOT a capped bottle. It is more like a pressure cooker and hurricanes are the pressure release valve.

October 19 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Plants live off of carbon dioxide... Carbon Dioxide is essential to our future...

October 19 2010 at 5:23 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Joe Manchin, just as all WV democratic politicians, is in it for Life! They never hold a workingmans job. They suck up pay raises and millions over hardworking WV citizens. Oliverio is another one in WV. Started to be a career politician in college and hasnt had a working job since. The State will get what it deserves once again unless the old Dems wiseup and vote for Raese and a New beginning for this State and the entire Country. There is not one item that Obama has on his socialist agenda that Manchin & Oliverio, just like Reid & Pelosi, dont agree with. The State has been held back it's entire existence by class warfare created by democrats. Time to wakeup and face the future West Virginians. If you want to keep being ranked in the bottom 3 of every sorry category of poverty then just keep voting for the Dems. All of whom over the years has kept the State and it's people groveling to have decent life. "Anyone but a Democrat in 2010-2012!"

October 19 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

You have to admit Al Gore is pretty slick. 130 Countries including China are very concerned. Almost all of those countries have never heard of Al Gore.

October 19 2010 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Man Made global warming IS a MYTH. That's been proven over and over again. The last time being when false documents containing BOGUS signatures were uncovered to show once again that man made global warming is nothing but a scam orchestrated by Al Gore.

October 19 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

West Virginia's other Senator, Jay Rockefeller, owns homes in several states as well. And, I am pretty sure his children did not attend WV public schools. Has anyone asked Joe Manchin how many homes he owns, or where they are? And, do HIS children attend WV public schools? I do know he tried to use his influence as Governor to get his daughter a Master's Degree from WVU that she had not earned. As for global warming, a recent worldwide scandal proved that much of the global warming claim is a myth and a scam - and even if it is happening, it is not on a scale that justifies the billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars being spent to "prevent" it. I work for minimum wage, and the recent increase ordered by the Federal government caused my boss to cut everyone's hours. I actually brought home more BEFORE the wage was raised. Raese is right - we need government to provide the things the US Constitution says they should provide, and NOTHING else. Manchin wll HAVE to vote with the Democrats in Washington, or they will allow him no power there. He wants the WV voters to make sure he still has a job in November - I say it is time he found out how it feels to be unemployed. Go Raese!I will definitely be voting for him on Nov. 2.

October 19 2010 at 10:39 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Aslinn Dhan

I have come to a place where I am not happy with either party and very unhappy with the choices I have...I suppose I will vote for Joe Manchin, simply because he is the lesser of two evils, but really, I wish it were someone else...

October 19 2010 at 10:10 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply


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