Republican Governor’s Candidate Clark Barnes says West Virginia Can Live Without Stimulus Money and New Taxes

HNN Staff

Speaking at Republican Lincoln Day dinner in Lewis County earlier this year, State Senator Clark Barnes told the crowd gathered that “we don’t need stimulus money, and we don’t need new taxes.”

Barnes—a two term senator from a traditionally Democratic 14th Senatorial District in Northeastern West Virginia is considered one of the leading contenders for his party’s nomination.

This has become a common theme in Barnes speeches across the state and seems to be based on a growing sentiment on behalf of many conservatives in both major parties that the strings attached to government handouts from D.C. are getting too great to accept comfortably.

“We may look back on Obamacare as the issue that defined a whole generation of new leaders in the U.S., particularly in the South,” said Jack Ellis, Senior Political Correspondent for HNN. “It was such an overwhelming powergrab by the federal government, affecting one out of every seven jobs nationally, that it really shook people awake. Now that Obamacare is being challenged by several states in the courts, I think more states are going to be pushing back when these “unfunded mandates” from D.C. come rolling down from on high.”

“The Democrats have a real problem with this going into 2012,” said Ellis. They’ve earned a reputation for liking big government programs when that kind of big spending has really gone out of fashion in many states like West Virginia, at least in terms of non-essentials like Social Security and the like.”

“I think our Governor’s race this year in West Virginia will be a really interesting predictor at just how anti-big government people are getting, even in traditionally Democratic states like ours.”

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