The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Virtual Debate ’08 – Day 4

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Governor of the State of West Virginia

Welcome to the 4th day of Virtual Debate ’08!  Our effort to give the candidates for public service the opportunity to speak directly to you continues with the office of Governor for the State of West Virginia.  This race features Governor Joe Manchin running against The Hon. Russ Weeks.

Below are the answers to the nine questions asked by the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, supporters of the Family Policy Council, allied ministries, and the media.  In addition, as with every candidate, these candidates were given the option of crafting their own question to be answered.

We do not endorse or oppose any candidate, but have made our blog available to keep the citizens of West Virginia informed and involved with the selection of their leaders.  Candidates from both parties were invited to participate, given the questions ahead of time, and instructed that if they chose not to participate, the words, “This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08” would be inserted by their area for response.  

Without further ado, Day 4….

Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq. of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia asks, “How do you believe that you as Governor can promote and encourage strong families?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

By setting a personal example in my own life, and giving voice to family issues in a way that simply is not happening today. As a husband, father and grandfather, my family is never far from my thoughts, and a Weeks administration will be focused on family. I will talk loud and often about protecting the unborn, strengthening families, and protecting traditional marriage. Those issues will not just come up at election time if I am governor.

 

 

Stephen and Marcia Westover of Jefferson County, West Virginia ask, “What plans do you have to reduce tax burdens on working families?

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

Unlike my opponent, I believe in an immediate end to a number of taxes, including the food tax and the business franchise tax. My opponent has chipped away at these things in a way that has helped no one. Eliminating the food tax immediately will help every working family put food on the table, as well as help grocers by increasing their business instead of seeing customers cross borders into other states to shop. 

 

 

 

Gary Bauer, President of ministry friend American Values asks, “Would you support and, if passed by the West Virginia Legislature, would you sign the West Virginia Born Alive Infant Protection Act, requiring physicians or hospitals to provide appropriate, potentially life-saving care to infants who survive attempted abortions?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

Absolutely. It is barbaric to deny life-saving care to a child, whether that child is several years old or barely out of the womb. But under my administration, we hopefully will not face such a possibility for long because we will effectively end abortion in West Virginia.

 

 

Chris Dickerson of the West Virginia Record asks, “What needs to be done to correct the notion – real or perceived – that West Virginia (and it’s legal system in particular) is not friendly to business?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

We need a comprehensive “open for business” plan that is consistent so everyone can play by the same rules. Right now, the governor seems to be playing every situation by ear, coming up with one-time tax breaks or other gimmicks to lure businesses. Businesses will only locate in West Virginia in large numbers when they can know that the playing field is level and will be consistently so for years to come. Our legal system is simply a reflection of poor legislative actions that leave too many questions unanswered. Finally, we need to recruit conservative candidates for our courts who understand it is their job to interpret the law, not make the law.  

 

 

Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq. of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia asks, “Do you support choice in education, such as charter schools, home schooling, and/or educational tax credits?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

I support each of those initiatives. Just like in the free market, competition makes everyone better. Why should only the wealthy have the option of sending their children to schools other than public schools? I am a supporter of public schools. But I want them to be better, just as all teachers want them to be better. Competition leads to a better product, and supporting choice in education will lead to a better education for everyone.

 

 

Barry Holstein of Kanawha County, West Virginia asks, “When should the protection of life be afforded to a child?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

From the moment of conception. A common question is, when does life begin? My question is, how can you know if a life has not begun? Since we cannot answer any of those questions with scientific certainty, shouldn’t we always err on the side of life? We must encourage a culture of life that will not only apply to the unborn, but will help create a greater respect for life in general, from conception to the grave.

 

 

Brian Plants of Kanawha County, West Virginia asks, “Would you support ‘academic freedom’ legislation which would ensure students are taught to critically analyze all existing scientific theories?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

Absolutely. Why are some people afraid of the marketplace of ideas? Why should our students be held hostage to only one set of theories? Challenging commonly held notions is a cornerstone of America, and we should not stifle that precept, even when it comes to scientific theories.

 

 

Tom Minnery, Senior Vice-President for Government and Public Policy with Focus on the Family Action asks, “Would you prohibit the creation of human embryos other than by the joining of a natural human egg with a natural human sperm?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

 

 

Tony Perkins, President of allied ministry Family Research Council asks, “A recent economic study suggests that West Virginia is losing an estimated $231 million annually due to the break down of the family.  That same study suggests that if the divorce rate is curbed by simply 1%, American taxpayers could save more than $1 billion dollars annually.  Would you set aside State funding to fund marriage strengthening programs in West Virginia?”

 

Gov. Joe Manchin

The Hon. Russ Weeks

This candidate has declined participation in Virtual Debate ’08.

I would. And I agree completely with the notion that the breakup of families is one of the main contributors to financially overburdening society as a whole. Investing in strengthening marriages would be one of the wisest fiscal decisions our governments could make.

 

 

 

The Hon. Russ Weeks Question:

 

Governor Manchin claims to be pro-life. How are you different from the current governor?

 

The Hon. Russ Weeks Answer:

Unlike my opponent, I would practice what I preach by making pro-life legislation a priority. My opponent has rarely, as governor, championed pro-life legislation. My pledge to the people of West Virginia is to include at least one piece of pro-life legislation with every legislative agenda during my term as governor.

 

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Written by Jeremy Dys

September 18, 2008 at 10:34 am

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