To the Editor,
This is the first time I have written a letter to the editor regarding a political campaign. I'm doing so because of a Sept. 15, newspaper editorial titled "Learn About Your Candidates." I'm not writing as a Democrat or a Republican, although I am a registered Democrat. My record will speak for itself that I have publicly stated I have voted for some Republican candidates. It is also well-recognized that my former colleague, Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie (Republican) and I had one of the closest working relationships in the Senate. We maintain this close relationship to this day.
The candidates for the 1st Senatorial District, Sen. Jack Yost and Pat McGeehan, are asking for our vote so they may represent us in Charleston. If they are going to represent us they must first be present to vote.
Pat McGeehan served one two-year term in the House of Delegates from 2009 to 2010. During year 2009, there were 663 roll call votes. He was absent for 167 of these votes. Unless he had a serious health problem, which he did not, this is inexcusable. In 2010, of 530 roll call votes, he missed 22 votes. He had one of the worst voting records in the House of Delegates during his term.
A research of 73 random bills voted on during the 2010 session revealed Pat McGeehan voted 'no' on 71 of these bills. Twenty-two times he was the only 'no' vote. I am confident further research would reveal the same pattern of his votes.
Here are some of the bills he voted 'No:"
HB4039 Increasing the number of persons that may be appointed to the Marshall County Parks and Recreation Board. This bill does not have any effect on any other county in West Virginia and was sponsored by the Marshall County House of Delegates' representatives. McGeehan was the only 'no' vote.
HB4040 Requiring county boards of education to adopt contingency plans designed to guarantee 180 separate days of instruction for students. Pat McGeehan was the only 'no' vote.
HB4207 Making it unlawful to send obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other mobile devices. Pat McGeehan was one of three 'no' votes.
SB515 Relating to firearms purchases and licensing. This was an NRA endorsed bill. McGeehan was one of six 'no' votes. He was the only Republican who voted 'no.'
Finally HB103 Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act.
Pat McGeehan has made this legislation a major part of his campaign platform. He refers to this bill as a "cap and trade-like law." In his campaign brochure, he states he voted against this bill. This is absolutely untrue. The fact is that Pat McGeehan was absent when this bill was voted on.
Every statement I made in this letter is 100 percent true and can be verified by the W.Va. Legislative Agency in Charleston. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, I believe the information I have provided should be considered when you cast your vote for one of the 1st Senatorial candidates.
Edwin J. Bowman