EDITORIAL: Change AND Experience: Barnes Offers Both as Governor This Year

HNN Staff
Senator Clark Barnes
Senator Clark Barnes

For years, two main themes have been used in American politics.  For the newcomer, trying to shake things up, there is the theme, "Time for a Change."  For the incumbent, the slogan is, "No Substitute for Experience."  Only one candidate in the GOP race for Governor can offer both to the Republican rank and file this year:  State Senator Clark Barnes of Elkins.


On one hand, Senator Barnes offers a world of change for those who want to see a state government that no longer relies on the good old boy network estabished by Earl Ray Tomblin and Company.   Those are the legislators and lobbyists who care far more for their own personal, financial agendas than anything to do with the people.

The sad truth is that many state leaders, especially in the Democratic Party, have seen the state government as a way of life, a giant budget filled with opportunities for contracts, jobs for relatives and friends, and perks galore.  They go after the state budget like bees to honey, never stopping to think that the "honey" in the hive belongs to state's taxpayers.  They just go about their business, namely, the business of ripping the rest of us off.

Senator Clark Barnes has seen this process up front and has voted against excessive and abusive spending of taxpayers' dollars.  In fact, he is the only candidate in this race who voted against the two most recent state budgets because they were "backfilled" with federal stimulus money from the Obama Administration.  Barnes knew then that this money would dry up in a year or two, and besides, the projects the federal stimulus money were mostly just promotions for the Obama re-election campaign.

So would Clark Barnes bring us the most sensible, streamlined state budget we've had in years?  That's his intention, and he is convinced that he knows where to trim the fat, having observed and challenged the process for the past term and a half in the State Senate.


But if you want someone who won't be hamstrung by the legislative leadership, who, after all, know the statehouse pretty darn well, you need a new Governor who knows how the process works.  Otherwise, a newbie Governor will bumfuzzled the first time he or she draws up a new budget, being outfoxed by the legislative leadership.

Worse, a Governor who is unsure of himself in Charleston will surround himself with low characters who convince him that they know how to help him get out of a bad situation.  We've seen Governors like that before in Charleston.  They're subordinates get them into all manner of problems--all because the Governor had no sure judgment and experience in matters of state.

Senator Clark Barnes has the right mix of both desiring change and proper experience for the job of Governor.  He's got the private sector background from building up two great small businesses--even in state that is not friendly to business.  He will bring that sense of efficiency and competency to the Governor's office, and that business experience will help him attract new private sector companies to create jobs in West Virginia as well as to stimulate our existing small businesses.

But as a a part-time legislator for the past six years, Seantor Barnes knows how the legislative process works and won't be taken off guard by any of the tricks played on new Governors by the legislative leadership.  He knows how to draft a state budget we can all be proud of, stressing priorities like lower taxes, road repair, and education.

And he's not likely to sign up for any unfunded mandates from the federal government, either.  He can't stand those, as the matching state grants they require take away state taxpayer dollars that we could use to build better roads and schools.

Only Clark Barnes has the combination of change and experience the state needs right now for Governor. For more information about the Clark Barnes campaign, go to: www.clarkbarnesforgovernor.com or look up "Clark Barnes" on Facebook.

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