HNN Endorses Patrick Morrisey

Updated 1 week ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

West Virginia faces a stark choice in the Manchin-Morrisey race.  Joe Manchin is the last Democrat holding Federal office in our state; his defeat would leave John Perdue the de facto leader of the state’s Democrats, and end a 50 year political dynasty begun by his uncle.

Does Joe Manchin deserve the confidence of the voters?  Our answer can only be a sound NO.

A decade ago, West Virginia University awarded Manchin's daughter, Heather Bresch, an MBA; later, we discovered that university officials had given credit for courses she had never taken and and boosted the grades she had received.  She became COO at Mylan Inc., the third largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in the U.S. This publication, in a December 2011 editorial, noted that although the magazine Esquire had promoted Bresch as an "American hero" owing to her support for a pharma safety law, that law also protected U.S. pharma firms like Mylan and suggested that the article was a "public makeover" engineered by "the Manchin public relations machine." We stated then that Mylan "must have the only corporate Board of Directors in the country that doesn't care about one of their top execs being proven to have a phony MBA degree."  Despite Manchin's call for a war on drugs, particularly opioids, Mylan produces opioids.  Manchin has throughout this campaign hypocritically skewered Morrisey for family and financial ties to bug pharma while he himself accepted "nearly $180,000 in donations from pharmaceutical companies between 2011 and 2016."  In August 2016, Fortune Magazine and the Washington Post published a series of articles which noted that skyrocketing costs of Mylan’s EpiPen were "the next big flash point in the national debate over skyrocketing prescription drug prices," and that Bresch had transferred Mylan's official headquarters from West Virginia to the Netherlands. 

Moreover, Gayle Manchin, while in her capacity as state superintendent of schools led an effort to make EpiPen’s mandatory in WV schools.  Big pharma profits are apparently fun for the whole Manchin family.


Manchin has been equally hypocritical on the Second Amendment.  While continuing to insist he supports firearms rights, in 2012 he partnered with Pat Toomey to introduce a bill that would have increased background checks on gun sales.  Though this failed and brought him wide criticism in WV, this did not abate his zeal to propose even unconstitutional restrictions on gun ownership: in 2016, referring to the difficulty of keeping guns out of the hands of potential terrorists, Manchin said, "due process is what's killing us right now."  This comment led Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute to retort that, “With all respect, due process is the essential basis of America.”  

 

Manchin hypocritically attacked his former opponent Republican John Raese for his wealth, but is a proud yacht owner. While in Washington, Machin sold his first houseboat, “The Black Tie”, and bought a more ornate 65-foot houseboat, which he named “Almost Heaven,” in October 2013; and, which he resides in while in DC, and is insured for the tiny sum of $700,000—almost seven times the average home price in WV.  Manchin later transferred ownership of this new boat to a West Virginia-based entity known as Country Roads Marine LLC incorporated by himself and his wife Gayle, who are listed as members and officers, records show.  According to the Washington Free Beacon, "However, since 2013, Manchin has failed to report ownership of Country Roads Marine LLC, which..is a 'serious violation of Senate Ethics Rules,' given they require senators to list 'outside compensation, holdings, transactions, liabilities, positions held and gifts received' on their financial disclosure reports."

Manchin has shown a willingness in Washington to put himself on both sides of every issue, hoping to make himself palatable to both sides.  Most bizarrely, this culminated in a series of now-famous photos showing him with both pro-life students and young people supporting Planned Parenthood.   He has never seen a position he would not take both sides of: he has been both pro-Clinton and anti-Clinton, pro-Trump and anti-Trump.  Years ago, we dubbed him the Harry Houdini of West Virginia politics.  This was not enough; more than an escape artist, he is a master contortionist as well.

Patrick Morrisey is far from perfect.  As he will admit in an unguarded moment, he’s not a native of WV, he has ties to big pharma—just like Manchin, and he is a temperamental self-publicizer.  That having been said, he has done sterling work in the AG’s office, he has deserved the confidence of the voter.  He fought Barack Obama tooth and nail in the courts; stymieing that Administration’s War on Coal.  He is bright, capable, and a tireless worker who will give 110% effort in the US Senate.  Moreover, he is a consistent conservative.  No one will ever to ask him or ponder which side he is on.

For all the above reason, our choice is clear.  Morrisey for US Senate.

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