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.

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!




Saturday, March 9, 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.  Other areas of concentration included Social Science, Business Administration, Economics, Philosophy, and Geography. He later returned to Hagerstown Community College to receive an Associate's degree, which included a concentration  in Criminal Justice.

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.

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 organizations.

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 also then served 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.

Larry has been an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and the Better Business Bureau.

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, former 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!

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. 

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

"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

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.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Martin Niemoller & Us

Offering the invocation at a West Virginia Legislative Session


The ongoing firearms phobia and also the current obsession with hateful and divisive "Identity Politics" by much of our national mainstream media and even some of our elected representatives continues to alarm and worry me.

These perverse perspectives of social justice endanger all of our collective and individual liberties.

Many of these folks seem confusedly convinced that undermining our "American Excellence", by trampling upon our sacred Constitutional rights, somehow will eliminate the dreadful depredations of those who are morally corrupt, malevolent, or even mentally ill.

And so it went that I continued to pray and ponder about this instant assault upon all of our citizen rights and liberties, especially those provided by those amendments that comprise our Constitution's "Bill of Rights".

Then, I remembered my days long ago, as the student editor of "The Night Crier" campus newspaper at Hagerstown Junior College, and how I was inspired by a wall poster about Martin Niemoller.

Martin knew first hand why it's so important for each and every one of us to stand up and be counted in our collective pursuit of liberty and individual rights for each and every one of us, regardless of our differences.

He was a German and a Protestant pastor, who spent the last seven years of World War II as a prisoner in various Nazi concentration camps.

Martin spoke contemporaneously, and different versions abound about what he said, but it went something like this:

"First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist.

Then, they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then, they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.

Then, they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Catholic.

Then, they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."


For more of this about that, see my other posts at this site, and also visit www.facebook.com/LarryDKump.

Please share this message with others, and ask them to go and do likewise with even more others!

Also, please send your campaign contribution, whether modest or magnanimous, to:

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

And may God bless you all real good!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Whistle-Blower Protections to be Enhanced




This week, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed my HB 2497 (Whistle-Blower Law Enhancements) by an unanimous vote of 99 (with one delegate, Kayla Kessinger,  being absent and unable to vote).
 Although HB 2497 is titled under "Whistle-Blower Law", I prefer to describe it as the "State Employees Bill of Rights and Responsibilities".
 Under the current law, a whistle-blower is a state civil service employee who makes "a good faith effort" to blow the whistle on "wrongdoing or waste" in our West Virginia state government.
 HB 2497 extends and strengthens this current law by prohibiting state government from denying whistle-blowers promotions or other increase in compensation that they otherwise would have received.
 HB 2497 also allows whistle-blowers. who are retaliated against, to use the West Virginia Public Employees Grievance Procedure, and provides that nothing shall disparage, impair, or limit any other right or legal action of the employee.
 HB 2497 further allows state employees to be members of employee organizations or to refrain to be members of employee organizations.
 Finally, except when on duty or acting in an official capacity and except where otherwise prohibited by state or federal law, no civil service employee may be prohibited from engaging in political activity or be denied the right to refrain from engaging in political activity.
 Whistle-blowers typically are under a lot of pressure and even retaliation for standing up and speaking out about government wrongdoing and waste.
 HB 2497, if enacted into law, will strengthen and protect our courageous government whistle-blowers.
 HB 2497 now is pending consideration and passage by the West Virginia State Senate.
 For more about my views on good governance, visit www.facebook.com/LarryDKump and also www.LarryKump.us.
 Please share this message with others, and ask then to also go and do likewise.
 May God bless you all real good!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Faith & Politics: My Personal Pilgrimage

Alexis de Tocqueville, French author (1805-1859), once pointed out, "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great". So, as we and our nation now move forward, under a new President and Congress, the following previous post of mine struck me as even more relevant now than when I originally posted it, over a year or more ago. May we all prayerfully work together, earnestly seeking the blessings of Providence and good governance, for ourselves and our posterity: Federal Judge Thomas B. Griffith* previously delivered an address, "A Mormon Approach to Politics" **, at the Brigham Young University Milton A. Barlow Center, and his perspective struck a resonating chord within my heart and mind , so much so that it prompted me to summarize my own perspective herein. To me, the principles of my faith and my political views mostly are parallel, each supporting and defining the other, perhaps much in some ways akin to how the Book of Mormon supports and further defines the Bible. Although first elected in 2010 as a Republican in the mostly Democrat West Virginia House of Delegates, my political affiliation is not the only driving force empowering my views about governance. Indeed, I agree with our nation's founding father, George Washington, who disparaged the fractious and feckless political partisanship that so sadly distracts and diverts us from good governance. And so it was that, when I initially and somewhat reluctantly ran for election, I considered myself mostly as an independent and liberty minded "Constitutional" and even "Populist" candidate. I continue to strive to act upon and follow those guiding principles. I stoutly believe that our United States Constitution and "Bill of Rights" is a sacred and dynamic document that succors liberty and individual accountability, as well as fosters economic prosperity. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), my faith reinforces my belief that our United States Constitution was drafted "...by the hands of wise men whom (God) raised up into this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood." (LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 101, Verse 80) I also believe that our Constitutional rights should and must be preserved, "That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which (God has) given unto him, that every man may be accountable...". (LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 101, Verse 78) Our Latter-day Saint mantra of individual accountability and "agency" (freedom of choice) parallels my political philosophy of individual liberty and economic freedom. Also, as a Latter-day Saint and follower of Christ, I believe and continue to strive to practice the principle of charity (the pure love of Christ) toward others and tolerance of them and their various lifestyles. However, it is, to me, a perversion of these principles, when we attempt to force our fellow citizens and rob them of their personal accountability and freedom by government fiat. Divisive "Identity Politics" further compounds this tragedy, by eroding these principles even more. My heart truly does bleed for the less fortunate, but it is a puzzlement to me when others use their sympathy for the less fortunate to justify expanding initiative destroying government entitlement programs and creating even more of them (more of both the programs and the less fortunate). In my view, these expanding government dependency programs and policies weaken the foundation of our families. They create a sense of expectation that the government somehow is responsible for our welfare and happiness. In doing so, the strength of our families and the health of our nation increasingly crumbles, to the peril of all of us and our children. Indeed, former social worker and United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-New York) previously warned us that our rush to increase government control over our lives would lead to the breakdown of our families and an increasingly large and permanent caste system of the underprivileged. His prediction was prophetic, and we now have third and fourth generations of people becoming prey to government entitlements. Increasingly, they now mistakenly look to the government for their well-being and even their happiness. Nowhere has this been more dramatically demonstrated to me than when I previously worked as a prison case manager, dealing with inmates, many of whom had come to expect and even demand "lock-up welfare". Our prisons are overflowing, our freedoms are eroding, and our taxes are increasing - all because we are prostituting our sacred birthrights to the government for "pottage". (Genesis, Chapter 25, Verses 29-34) Moreover, my Latter-day Saint view of good governance is that God "holds man accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society", and that "...no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life." (LDS Doctrine & Covenants. Section 134, Verses 1-2) Further, "...all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property...from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency...". (LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 134, Verse 11. See also the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution) In essence, my faith mirrors that of a Pre-Columbian American prophet, who proclaimed, "My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God has made us free." (Book of Mormon, Alma, Chapter 61, Verse 9) Although not born or raised in the LDS faith, I now cannot discern much, if any, difference between my faith and my political views. The origin of my current viewpoint on government is somewhat akin to the old riddle about which came first (the chicken or the egg?). It now is all the same to me. And so it goes. *Judge Griffith currently serves as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia) Circuit. **"A Mormon Approach to Politics" was published in the Brigham Young University (BYU) Studies Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 1 (2013). Note: Former West Virginia Delegate Larry D. Kump (2010-2014, twice served two year terms of office in the West Virginia House of Delegates (2010-2014), is a High Priest in the Hedgesville, West Virginia Ward and the Martinsburg, West Virginia Stake. He previously worked as a prison case manager, lobbyist, public administrator, labor relations & ethics expert and advocate, group therapist for sex offenders, and certified arbitrator and mediator. He currently has agreed to come out of retirement and to again seek election to the West Virginia House of Delegates. Send campaign contributions to Friends of Larry D. Kump P. O. Box 1131 Falling Waters, West Virginia 25419-1131. Please share this message with others, and ask them to go and do likewise! Meanwhile, may God bless you all real good!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

My Dad, Jimmy Stewart, & "the Greatest Generation"


My Dad, Willis "Woody" Kump, was a World War II Navy veteran, and my middle name, "Douglas", was given to me to honor my Dad's best friend and best man at Mom's and Dad's wedding.
Douglas Kauffman was a World War II Navy pilot.
Truly, they were the greatest generation.
www.LarryKump.us

Read on for more about Jimmy Stewart and that greatest generation.

For all the fans of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and Jimmy Stewart:
Just months after winning his 1941 Academy Award for best actor in “The Philadelphia Story,” Jimmy Stewart, one of the best-known actors of the day, left Hollywood and joined the US Army. He was the first big-name movie star to enlist in World War II.
An accomplished private pilot, the 33-year-old Hollywood icon became a US Army Air Force aviator, earning his 2nd Lieutenant commission in early 1942. With his celebrity status and huge popularity with the American public, he was assigned to starring in recruiting films, attending rallies, and training younger pilots.
Stewart, however, wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to fly combat missions in Europe, not spend time in a stateside training command. By 1944, frustrated and feeling the war was passing him by, he asked his commanding officer to transfer him to a unit deploying to Europe. His request was reluctantly granted.
Stewart, now a Captain, was sent to England, where he spent the next 18 months flying B-24 Liberator bombers over Germany. Throughout his time overseas, the US Army Air Corps' top brass had tried to keep the popular movie star from flying over enemy territory. But Stewart would hear nothing of it.
Determined to lead by example, he bucked the system, assigning himself to every combat mission he could. By the end of the war he was one of the most respected and decorated pilots in his unit.
But his wartime service came at a high personal price.
In the final months of WWII he was grounded for being “flak happy,” today called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
When he returned to the US in August 1945, Stewart was a changed man. He had lost so much weight that he looked sickly. He rarely slept, and when he did he had nightmares of planes exploding and men falling through the air screaming (in one mission alone his unit had lost 13 planes and 130 men, most of whom he knew personally).
He was depressed, couldn’t focus, and refused to talk to anyone about his war experiences. His acting career was all but over.
As one of Stewart's biographers put it, "Every decision he made [during the war] was going to preserve life or cost lives. He took back to Hollywood all the stress that he had built up.”
In 1946 he got his break. He took the role of George Bailey, the suicidal father in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The rest is history.
Actors and crew of the set realized that in many of the disturbing scenes of George Bailey unraveling in front of his family, Stewart wasn’t acting. His PTSD was being captured on filmed for potentially millions to see.
But despite Stewart's inner turmoil, making the movie was therapeutic for the combat veteran. He would go on to become one of the most accomplished and loved actors in American history.
When asked in 1941 why he wanted to leave his acting career to fly combat missions over Nazi Germany, he said, "This country's conscience is bigger than all the studios in Hollywood put together, and the time will come when we'll have to fight.”
This weekend, as many of us watch the classic Christmas film, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” it’s also a fitting time to remember the sacrifices of Jimmy Stewart and all the men who gave up so much to serve their country during wartime. We will always remember you!
Postscript:
While fighting in Europe, Stewart's Oscar statue was proudly displayed in his father’s Pennsylvania hardware store. Throughout his life, the beloved actor always said his father, a World War I veteran, was the person who had made the biggest impact on him.
Jimmy Stewart was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 and died in 1997 at the age of 89.
Written by Ned Forney