Dedication

This website is devoutly dedicated to all of Larry's friends and associates, both early and late, who have influenced and mentored him. However, it also should be noted that, being who they are, a majority of them have been late most of the time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

"Of Mice & Men" (and also Women)

The "Mouseland" fable originally was written in the 1940's by Clarence Gillis, and then later narrated by the late Tommy Douglas and subsequently made into a slide show presentation.

It was in the late 1960's when I first saw a film of the slide show version, when I was a political science undergraduate student at Frostburg State College in Western Maryland.

It since then has been remade into an animated video version.

Regardless of the politics and Canadian nationality of Tommy Douglas, Mouseland's message rises above fractious and feckless political partisanship, both then and now, with a cry for each and every one of us to stand up and be responsible for our own personal accountability and empowerment.

Click here to watch the video, and decide for yourself if these principles make as much sense to you as they do for me.

Also, pass this along to all of your friends, family, and associates by clicking on the envelope icon at the end of this entry. Even better: Ask them all to go and do likewise!

Regardless of where you live, do your part to support the quest for "Jobs & Prosperity", "Personal Liberty & Family Values", and "Returning Government Back to the People".


Until then, may God bless you all real good!

Working together to Stay Independent,

Larry D. Kump


Postscript: Visit the other posts on this website and also www.facebook.com/LarryDKump for more of this about that!

Addendum: Send your contributions for my election to:

Friends of Larry D. Kump
P. O. Box 1131
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131

Monday, June 24, 2019

Semper Fi!

 Retired Marine Colonel Don Douglas, enjoying a belated 73rd birthday breakfast @ "Betty's" restaurant, with Delegate Larry D. Kump and Larry's beloved wife Cheryl. 🤗
   Colonel Douglas served our country for 38 years, as a "Double Ace" fighter jet pilot and with three tours of duty in Vietnam. 🤔
  He currently is a "Toys for Tots" volunteer coordinator, placing over 6,000 toys for local area needy children during each Christmas.😮
  He also is the chief volunteer caretaker for the African-American "Ubilla" cemetery, in which Civil War era slaves also
are interred . 🙏🏿
Colonel Douglas truly is a man of most infinite worth, who embodies the essence of "Semper Fidelis".
  I am honored and humbled to claim Don as my hero and friend. ☺️

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Heartfelt Letter

After a crazily contentious yet productive special session of the West Virginia Legislature, I made the six hour drive back home here to Falling Waters yesterday, and was heart warmed to find the following letter waiting for me in my mailbox:
"Dear Mr. Kump,
Thank you so much for providing copies of the West Virginia Legislature Membership Directory 2019 at our Hedgesville Library.
How I wish that more legislators were as aware of and concerned about their constituents as you are.
I have always believed that each of us has a responsibility to become informed about the issues, our local, state, and federal governments, and our state legislators and congresspersons.
While voting is a right, it is also a privilege and an obligation.
You have provided, at no cost to us, valuable information in a concise, well-organized format.
I hope that more people will pick up a copy and appreciate you having made it readily accessible.
Sincerely,
Linda L. Jones"
Footnote: Please share this post with others and ask them to go and do likewise. Also, please check out www.LarryKump.us, and may God bless you all real good!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Kump pledges more public service!

Hedgesville, West Virginia – Former two term West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump (2010-2014) and current incumbent Delegate (re-elected in 2018) made the following announcement at the May 1st, 2019 Hedgesville Mayor & Council meeting:

 “After a strong and steady stream of personal pleadings urged me to once again serve in public office and prolonged pondering and personal prayer, I have decided to answer the call to return to duty one more time. And so, I now am a Republican candidate for re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2020 (District #59, Berkeley-Morgan counties)."

"For me, 'Protanto quid retribuamus? (What shall we give in return for so much?)' is my reason to again  agree to serve the public trust."

“When previously elected, it was my sincere promise and firm conviction to always stand up and speak out on behalf of more taxpayer friendly and less intrusive government. "That has not changed, nor will it ever!"

"Accordingly, I will continue to pursue those principles of good governance that will give us meaningful tax reform, protect retired senior citizens and working Mountaineers, defend our personal right to bear arms, provide for local accountability of our schools, more equitable treatment of our school teachers and state employees (including much needed reform of our educational system), and to safeguard our personal property rights and pro-life family values."

"Additionally,  still more needs to be done about the drug and alcohol abuse that rages throughout West Virginia. And so, our West Virginia legislators, in addition to enacting other prudent measures, should lead by our personal examples. That's why I'm  again proposing mandatory substance abuse testing for all West Virginia legislators."

"Meanwhile, times still are too hard for far too many Mountaineers. That's why we need tax reform, but not more tax burdens.

"A better way is to restructure our already ample state budget, by reforming our tax system and state government programs. Among other things, this could and should lead to improved highways (including long overdue improvements to Rt. #9 between Martinsburg and Berkeley Springs), reduced (not increased) gasoline prices at the pump, better internet access, and the complete elimination of state taxes on our social security benefits and all pensions.

"Further, the persistent problem of West Virginia's aging and declining population adversely affects all of us, even including our representation in the United States Congress. In reviewing our state government policies and tax structure, a serious study of how to reverse this decline also should be undertaken, and I continue to pursue ideas to turn around this problem."

Delegate Kump has over forty (40) years of extensive experience and skills in public policy and administration. He also is a kinsman of founding father Patrick Henry, Town of Hedgesville founder Josiah Hedges, and former West Virginia Governor Herman Guy Kump.

Moreover, Delegate Kump stands up and speaks put on behalf our personal liberty, empowerment, and accountability. He also fights to safeguard our family values and ensure government fiscal discipline.

 For over the past twenty-eight (28) years, Delegate Kump has lived at the same location and within the current West Virginia House of Delegates District #59. This District includes the northwestern area of Berkeley County and the eastern area of Morgan County.

Please join our Mountaineer League of Extraordinary Citizens, and make a difference!

"Send your personal campaign contribution ($100 to $250 is suggested, but whatever you can afford, whether modest or magnanimous, will be appreciated and helpful) to:

Friends of Larry D. Kump
P.O. Box 1131
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131.

So, what are you waiting for?

For further information about Delegate Larry D. Kump, read the "Kump Biography" @ www.LarryKump.us, as well as his posts @ www.LarryKump.com.

Contact Larry in person at (304) 274-3104 or email him at kumpster@mailstation.com.

Footnote: Cash contributions will not be accepted. Also, West Virginia law does not allow the solicitation of campaign contributions from West Virginia public employees, and it is not the intention of this campaign to do so. Any known contribution received from a West Virginia public employee will be returned. All contributions over $250 must include your home physical address, occupation, and the name of your employer.

Please share this news with others, and also ask them to go and do likewise.

May God bless you all real good!


Authorized by "Friends of Larry D. Kump"

Kump candidacy published by "The Journal"


HEDGESVILLE — Del. Larry Kump, R-Berkeley, announced Wednesday at a monthly Hedgesville Town Council meeting that he will seek another term of office during the next election.
Kump, who has already filed pre-election papers with the Secretary of State’s office, will be running for a seat in the state House of Delegates in 2020 to represent District 59, which includes the northwestern section of Berkeley and Morgan counties.
Kump’s decision comes on the heels of a recent health scare for which he underwent a successful surgery to remove blockage from his carotid artery.
“After a strong and steady stream of personal pleadings urged me to once again serve in public office and prolonged pondering and personal prayer, I have decided to answer the call to return to duty one more time,” Kump said in a prepared statement handed out Wednesday evening. “And so, I now am a Republican candidate for re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2020.”
He also cited the saying, “What shall we give in return for so much?” as the reason for his desire to continue serving the public.
In 2010, Kump came out of retirement and was first elected, serving two terms in office, until the end of 2014. He then once again came out of retirement and was elected for yet another two-year term in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2018.
Kump said he has promised and will continue to stand up and speak out on behalf of more taxpayer friendly and less intrusive government. He also pledges to serve with “integrity, accountability and transparency.”
According to the West Virginia Legislature’s website, Kump currently serves on the industry and labor committee; technology and infrastructure committee and the judiciary committee. During the 2019 session, Kump sponsored 15 bills in the House of Delegates.
“During my previous tours of duty, 75 different Republican and Democrat legislators, in the 100-member West Virginia House of Delegates, co-sponsored legislation with me. Even so, I never have been and never will be someone who goes along, just to get along,” Kump said in the statement.
He also vows to pursue “principles of good governance,” which he believes will give the people a meaningful tax reform, protect retired senior citizens and “working Mountaineers,” defend the personal right to bear arms, provide for local accountability of schools, more equitable treatment of school teachers and state employees (including much needed reform of our educational system) and to safeguard personal property rights and pro-life family values.
“Additionally, still more needs to be done about the drug and alcohol abuse that rages throughout West Virginia,” Kump said. “And so, our West Virginia legislators, in addition to enacting other prudent measures, should lead by personal example. That’s why I’m again proposing mandatory substance abuse testing for all West Virginia legislators.”
Kump added times are still to hard for many local residents and so there needs to be more tax reforms, not tax burdens.
“A better way is to restructure our already ample state budget by reforming our tax system and state government programs,” he said. “Among other things, this could and should lead to improved highways (including long overdue improvements to Rt. 9 between Martinsburg and Berkeley Springs), reduced (not increased) gasoline prices at the pump, better internet access and the complete elimination of state taxes on our social security benefits and all pensions.
Born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Kump currently lives in Falling Waters. He moved to West Virginia in 1989 and graduated from the Maryland Correctional Profession Staff Academy as a Maryland Prison Case Manager, according to his biography.
He has also served as a court expert witness, employee training coordinator, cognitive development trainer, employee critical incident stress counselor, certified mediator and a part-time sex offender group therapy facilitator.
According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website, one other individual has filed for candidacy in the 59th District — Republican Chandler Stone Absher of Hedgesville.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Kump Biography

Larry D. Kump came out of retirement and was first elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2010, serving two terms in office (until the end of 2014). He then once again came out of retirement and was elected for yet another two year term in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 2018 (District #59, Berkeley-Morgan counties).

He also has over forty years of prior legislative and public administration skills and experience.

These skills and experience includes management expertise in managing large budgets and meeting payrolls. This expertise is on both the management and employees' side of the table in multiple jurisdictions throughout our nation. He also has drafted and gotten legislation passed into law, often against formidable opposition.

Larry is no stranger to hard work. He began work at age twelve (managing two newspaper routes at the same time), worked at a local shoe store at age 16 (every day after school and on Saturdays), and then continued working at a number of full and part-time jobs to pay for his college tuition. He even found time to be a local radio personality.

This proud father of David & Sarah graduated from Frostburg State University with a Political Science Major and a Minor in Economics, and since then has received an alumni achievement award.  His areas of college concentration included Social Science, Business Administration, Economics, Philosophy, and Geography. He later also returned to Hagerstown Community College to receive an Associate's degree, which included a concentration  in Criminal Justice. Since then, the community college has given him a community citation award.

He worked in bank management, trained as a CPA, was the Legislative Aide for the Pennsylvania Senate Republican Leader, and even was accepted as a candidate for MENSA membership.

This grass roots leader and Constitutional scholar then went on to be a Labor Relations Specialist for the Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA), an independent public employee advocate organization.

After working for MCEA, Larry accepted the position as the Executive Director of the Indiana State Employees Association (ISEA), another independent public employee advocate group. He reorganized ISEA's structure and budget, frequently lecturing at Indiana University and Purdue University post graduate classes on public administration practices and principles.

This kinsman to founding father Patrick Henry and former West Virginia Governor Herman Guy Kump (1932 term) also is related to Town of Hedgesville founder Josiah Hedges.

He also previously served as Regional President of the Assembly of Governmental Employees (AGE), overseeing public policy advocacy issues from Illinois to West Virginia, and received various additional awards for his public service.

His other activities included serving as a leader of the Foundation for Advancement for Industrial research (FAIR), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and many other public service organization, as well as serving as an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau and the American Arbitration Association.

Moving to West Virginia in 1989, he graduated at the top of his class from the Maryland Correctional Professional Staff Academy as a Maryland Prison Case Manager and then  continued to serve as a court expert witness, employee training coordinator, cognitive development trainer, employee critical incident stress counselor, and certified mediator.

He also worked part-time during the evenings as a sex offender group therapy facilitator.

Serving in numerous MCEA elected offices, Larry drafted legislative proposals for the Maryland Legislature and testified before various Legislative Committees.

In 1991, he also successfully organized a coalition of Berkeley County neighbors to block plans for sewage effluent discharge across their privately owned properties by an out-of-state developer.

After witnessing the overwhelmed facilities and woefully inadequate parking at the local Falling Waters Post Office, he contacted and persuaded the national postal authorities to build a new Post Office in 1993.

A cancer survivor, this independent thinker and advocate of citizen empowerment also is an ordained minister within the Hedgesville Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Larry is a strong believer in rock solid fiscal discipline, enhancing family values, and strengthening individual liberty and personal responsibilities.

Gravely concerned about those who are elected to represent us, Larry continues reminds friends and associates that our government belongs solely to the citizens, and that too many forget that one of the major sources of our nation's greatness simply is its citizens.

Meanwhile, Delegate Kump has answered the call to return to duty, and now again is a candidate for election to the West Virginia House of Delegates District #59 (Berkeley-Morgan Counties).

Please support his candidacy and contribute to his election @

Friends of Larry D. Kump
P.O. Box 1131
Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131

Also, please share this post with friends and family, asking them to go and do likewise.

Please visit the other posts on this website and also www.LarryKump.com for more about his views on the issues.

And may God bless you all real good!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Straight from the Heart (and a blast from the Past)

I have been asked by friends of Larry to enter some positive comments regarding Larry. I have resisted, not because of any doubts about Larry, but because I am not a West Virginian.
 Also I am very cynical of politics and politicos.
 Honestly, in my opinion and be it red or blue, politics is crap and all crap stinks.
 So at the risk of offending a person that I consider a good friend, I must question his sanity for desiring to enter this foray.
With that being said, I have known Larry for 16 years and from those years of working with, and sometimes even working against Larry, I can say for certainty that Larry would be one of the very few people that would represent his constituents with absolute integrity.
I know that Larry believes in a minimal intrusion type of government and constantly seeks ways to use the remaining "necessary evil" that government is in a most efficient manner.
Quite simply and for what it is worth, if I could vote for Larry I would.

John Reamy, friend and former coworker

Footnote from Larry: This letter of endorsement was first penned by John in August of 2010. It still touches my heart. Check out www.LarryKump.com for other issues pertaining to good governance.

Please share this post with others, and may God bless you all real good!




Friday, March 8, 2019

How this Citizen Legislator Serves

Recent legislative differences of opinions and even some  recent calumnious eruptions within the halls of our West Virginia State Legislature have prompted me to publish how and why I both continue to sacrifice and serve in the West Virginia House Of Delegates (District # 59, Berkeley-Morgan counties)

 Previously and currently, when serving in the West Virginia Legislature (2010-2014 and 2018 to present)), it always has been my habit to arrive early for all committee hearings, and also to start each of my legislative work days at the State House prior to 6:00 AM, and usually earlier than even then.

(It's amazing what you can accomplish with advance preparation and a robust work ethic!)

 Also, I never have participated in lobbyists' dinners or parties during legislative sessions.

 Even so, my legislative office door always has been open to anyone who wants to discuss issues and principles with me.

Furthermore, rather than relying on the loudest and most raucous voices of some constituents and a few lobbyists, my simple solution always has been to carefully consider the merits of all constituent concerns, but then also be diligent in upholding the Oath of Office that is given to all of us elected officials.

Our Oath of Office is to prayerfully deliberate, uphold, and defend  our state and federal Constitutions. This sacred vow is not only made to us and our constituents, but also to God.

Truly, doesn't our Constitution  mandate that the first principles and practices of our government are the pursuit of individual liberty, personal accountability, and personal empowerment (i. e., the "Pursuit of Happiness")?

And so, that always has been and is the well-spring of our unique "American Excellence", and also it is my duty and goal as a West Virginia state legislator.

Simply put, it's not about striving  to pander to the loudest  and most raucous voices.

Instead, it  always should be to attempt to strive to glean the best legislative vote, regardless of any future election outcome.

That is my greatest desire, and may that principle and practice of mine never waiver.

Please Visit www.facebook.com/LarryDKump and www.LarryKump.us, for more about other principles and issues of good governance. For an even better view of the principles of good governance, read the "Davy Crockett & the Sockdolager" entry at www.LarryKump.us. It's a long read, but I believe that the governing principles that it proclaims is well worth your time and interest.
Share this post with others, and ask them to go and do likewise with still others.😉
May God bless you all real good!😍

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Taking the Oath of Office





It made me feel both pleased and proud, to have my wife Cheryl join me and hold the Scriptures, as the West Virginia House of Delegates Clerk Steve Harrison administered the Oath of Office to me, on December 10th, 2018, as a Delegate representing District #59 (Berkeley-Morgan counties)🤗
www.LarryKump.us

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Montani Semper Liberi & More!

Here are just a few fascinating facts about West Virginia:

*Montani Semper Liberi!” (“Mountaineers are Always Free!”) is our official State Motto. Oft times, our elected officials struggle to understand and preserve this precious liberty. Also, my friend Tom Price, while lamenting the efforts of our West Virginia elected officials to impose even more taxes upon us, recently exclaimed, "Montani Semper Impensa!" (Mountaineers Always Pay the Fee!)

*“Vandalia” was the first name suggested for West Virginia, as part of a proposed 14th colony, which also included Eastern Kentucky and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The first name proposed for the current State of West Virginia was “Kanawha”, although that proposal did not include the current Eastern Panhandle as part of West Virginia.

*The West Virginia “State Fruit” is not our elected public officials. It is the Golden Delicious Apple.

*Romney (Hampshire County) and Shepherdstown (Jefferson County) fiercely contest which was the first incorporated municipality in West Virgina, but Hedgesville (Berkeley County) was third.

*Civil War General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was born in West Virginia.

*The Grandparents of famous frontiersman and hero of the Alamo, Davy Crockett, lived in Spring Mills (Berkeley County). Their home still stands, just a few scant miles from my home in Falling Waters.

*“Pepperoni Rolls” were created by West Virginia coal miners, as a handy meal to take with them into the depths of coal mines. West Virginia Delegate Joshua Nelson authored a resolution naming pepperoni rolls as the official West Virginia State Food in the 2013 session of the West Virginia Legislature.

*The smallest state park in the United States is “Berkeley Springs State Park”, which is right smack downtown in the West Virginia town of “Bath”. Nope, the name of the town of Bath is not Berkeley Springs. Berkeley Springs only is the name of the Post Office which serves the town of Bath.

Also, visit www.facebook.com/LarryDKump for information about good governance issues

Please share this message with others, asking them to also go and do likewise!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Davy Crockett & the Sockdolager

Reposted as requested:

When I just was a young sprat, the Walt Disney television show about the life of Davy Crockett, the hero of the Alamo, was the favorite of me and my pals. We all even persistently pestered our parents until they allowed all of us to get and proudly wear coonskin hats. Much later in my life, I gleefully discovered that Davy's grandparents once lived only a scant few miles from my Falling Waters home in Spring Mills (Berkeley County, West Virginia), where it still stands today. Back in 2013, I shared the following "Sockdolager" incident from Davy's life with all my fellow West Virginia State Legislators. It speaks for itself.
 - West Virgina Delegate Larry D. Kump



Davy Crockett & the "Sockdolager"

From The Life of Colonel David Crockett,
by Edward S. Ellis (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884)

Crockett was then the lion of Washington. I was a great admirer of his character, and, having several friends who were intimate with him, I found no difficulty in making his acquaintance. I was fascinated with him, and he seemed to take a fancy to me.

I was one day in the lobby of the House of Representatives when a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support – rather, as I thought, because it afforded the speakers a fine opportunity for display than from the necessity of convincing anybody, for it seemed to me that everybody favored it. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose. Everybody expected, of course, that he was going to make one of his characteristic speeches in support of the bill. He commenced:

"Mr. Speaker – I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount. There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; but if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt. The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Like many other young men, and old ones, too, for that matter, who had not thought upon the subject, I desired the passage of the bill, and felt outraged at its defeat. I determined that I would persuade my friend Crockett to move a reconsideration the next day.

Previous engagements preventing me from seeing Crockett that night, I went early to his room the next morning and found him engaged in addressing and franking letters, a large pile of which lay upon his table.

I broke in upon him rather abruptly, by asking him what devil had possessed him to make that speech and defeat that bill yesterday. Without turning his head or looking up from his work, he replied:

"You see that I am very busy now; take a seat and cool yourself. I will be through in a few minutes, and then I will tell you all about it."

He continued his employment for about ten minutes, and when he had finished he turned to me and said:

"Now, sir, I will answer your question. But thereby hangs a tale, and one of considerable length, to which you will have to listen."

I listened, and this is the tale which I heard:

Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there, I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way.

The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. There were not enough of them to sustain the call, but many of us wanted our names to appear in favor of what we considered a praiseworthy measure, and we voted with them to sustain it. So the yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.

The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them.

So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddlebags, and put out. I had been out about a week and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow when I said to him: "Don't be in such a hurry, my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted."

He replied: "I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say."

I began: "Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and – "

"'Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.'

This was a sockdolager... I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

"Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the Constitution to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is."

"I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question."

"No, Colonel, there's no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?"

"Certainly it is, and I thought that was the last vote which anybody in the world would have found fault with."

"Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity?"

Here was another sockdolager; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it. I found I must take another tack, so I said:

"Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did."

"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution."

I have given you an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

"So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you."

I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

"Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it full. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said there at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot."

He laughingly replied:

"Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way."

"If I don't," said I, "I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it."

"No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you."

"Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name."

"My name is Bunce."

"Not Horatio Bunce?"

"Yes."

"Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me; but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend. You must let me shake your hand before I go."

We shook hands and parted.

It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

I have told you Mr. Bunce converted me politically. He came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. He did not make a very good Christian of me, as you know; but he has wrought upon my mind a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and upon my feelings a reverence for its purifying and elevating power such as I had never felt before.

I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him – no, that is not the word – I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted – at least, they all knew me.

In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

"Fellow citizens – I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only."

I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation as I have told it to you, and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

"And now, fellow citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

"It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit of it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so."

He came upon the stand and said:

"Fellow citizens – It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today."

He went down, and there went up from the crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.

"Now, Sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed and was directing them to my constituents when you came in.

"There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men – men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased – a debt which could not be paid by money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."


The Genesis of West Virginia

God was nowhere to be seen for six days.

Finally, Michael, the Archangel, found him resting on the seventh day.

Michael asked God, "Where have you been?".

God smiled with deep satisfaction and pointed downward through the clouds, saying, "Michael, look what I created!".

Puzzled, Michael asked, "What is it?".

"It's a planet", replied God, "and I'm going to call it Earth, and it has balance."

"Balance?", said Michael, "What's that?".

God then explained, pointing out the different areas of Earth.

"For example, this area is a place of great forests, but this other area is covered with rocky mountains. Over there is a region of many lakes and streams, but over here is a broad grassland.".

He continued, "This area is hot and humid, but over here it is cold and covered with ice.".

Michael, impressed with God's handiwork, then pointed to one particular spot and said, "What about that area?".

"That's West Virginia, the most glorious spot on earth. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, and plains. The people I've placed there are good looking, modest, intelligent, and humorous. They are sociable, hard-working, high achievers, peaceable, and producers of good things.".

Gasping in awe and wonder, Michael then asked, But what about balance? You said that there would be balance.".

God ruefully smiled and explained, "Over there, just East of West Virginia is Washington, D.C.. Wait until you see those people and that place!".

For information about good governance issues, take a moment to visit www.facebook.com/LarryDKump, and ask others to go and do likewise.

Why I voted "No!"

My votes on the West Virginia House of Delegates Concurrent Resolutions #33 and #61 have been difficult, even heart wrenching.
 Truly, we, as a nation and as a society, are in an existential crisis - our national unity of principal and Constitutional clarity is coming apart at the seams.
 Furthermore, I sincerely sympathize and support the passionate proposals (i. e., term limits, fiscal restraints, & jurisdictional limitations) of those who advocate convening a Convention of the States on our Constitution.
  I also believe that it is our Constitution that is the well spring of our "American Excellence", even though it now is hanging by a thread.
 In my personal experience in life, I have been a student of our Constitution, ever since I was a teenage boy, and I love it dearly.
 In point of fact, our Constitution is deeply rooted in my simple faith, so much so that I can scarce tell the difference between the two.
 That's why this issue of convening a Convention of the States on our Constitution has brought me to my knees in deep personal prayer.
 Indeed, I too share the sincere concerns of many, who also are among my constituents and dear friends, some of whom so passionately pursue and propose a Constitutional Convention of the States.
 In that vein, I have prayerfully pondered this issue for a number of years, and have had many discussions with constitutional scholars and lawyers, constituents, friends, and many others.
 Accordingly, I simply do not believe, not for a second, that our country's woes and worries are in any way the fault of our Constitution.
 Instead, I firmly believe that those who so relentlessly twist and thwart our constitutional rights and responsibilities are the true culprits.
 Moreover, it is my understanding that there has been no Supreme Court, or even lower court ruling, regarding exactly how the procedures and scope of a Convention of the States on our Constitution actually and lawfully should play out. That might be because it's unlikely that the courts even would have any jurisdiction over these issues.
 I further believe that God has a plan for us, and that plan does not include convening a Convention of the States on our Constitution.
 Simply put: the idea of playing "Russian Roulette" with our Constitution gives me the galloping heebie-jeebies.
 Therefore, I have a moral duty to vote against proposing a Convention of the State on our Constitution, and encourage all to go and do likewise.
 May God bless you all real good!
Updated Note: House Concurrent Resolution #33 (term limits, fiscal restraints, and jurisdictional limitations) failed by a vote of 40 yeas to 56 nays). House Concurrent Resolution #61 (term limits only) passed by a vote of 55 yeas and 42 nays.

Postscripted Update: House Concurrent Resolution #61, wh1ch passed the House of Delegates (55-42), subsequently failed to be considered by and voted upon by the West Virginia State Senate.