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.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Common Sense

Published in the Morgan Messenger, March 3, 2010, Letters to the Editor:

Dear Editor:

Your recent editorial about The West Virginia Legislature and the need for more stringent ethics laws, improved traffic safety standards, more state police, and a caution about the proposed new toll road was dead center on the common sense and better governance bulls-eye.

As a minimum standard, HB 4279’s proposed expansion of the West Virginia Turnpike Authority should include a mechanism for local referendums in creating more toll roads. Anything else would be taxation without representation.

However, creating more toll roads is a slippery slope that could create unfair and geographically biased taxation.

Our West Virginia highway system is one area of government that should be fully funded from the statewide budget.

Larry D. Kump
Falling Waters

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Concerned Citizen Chimes In

Hi Larry,
I do enjoy reading your messges.

I keep you in my prayers, that you might be not just successful in your effort in West Virginia, but HIGHLY successful in bringing common sense and Constitional reform...

Bev

Friday, February 19, 2010

Further Friend Feedback

Larry

I pray you have success in this endeavor.

Marian Meyers, Legislative Aide
Maryland Delegate Ted Sophocleus

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kump seeking seat in the House of Delegates

From the Morgan Messenger newspaper, February 17, 2010:

Larry D. Kump says Republican leaders persuaded him to be a candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates, District #52 of Northwest Berkeley County and a small section of Eastern Morgan County.

A Falling Waters resident, Kump gave up his early retirement to run for office. He said he wants to represent West Virginia taxpayers, especially working families, the financially encumbered elderly and struggling single parents.

“All of these folks bust a gut every day to make their diminishing financial ends meet,” Kump said.

He described himself as an independent Republican who considers himself as a populist libertarian.

An advocate of fiscal restraint, with legislative drafting experience, Kump proposes a restructuring of West Virginia taxes and elimination of property taxes on family vehicles as well as the taxes on groceries and home heating fuels.

He points out that many local residents purchase cheaper gasoline in Maryland and Virginia, depriving West Virginia of tax revenue, and demonstrating the need for a reduction and restricting of West Virginia gasoline taxes.

A proponent of “common sense” health insurance reform, Kump is a former public sector labor leader who proposes that a good first step would be to mend West Virginia’s own exorbitant Medical Malpractice rates via tort reform. High medical malpractice rates have contributed to an exodus of qualified doctors and other health care professionals from West Virginia and higher medical expenses for all, he said.

Kump’s experience also includes service as a professional arbitrator, certified mediator, expert witness, training facilitator, cognitive behavior mentor, sex offender therapist, prison case manager, university guest lecturer and critical incident stress manager.

He said he looks forward to working with other legislators to enhance family preservation incentives and protect individual rights.

Kump is a descendent of founding father Patrick Henry and former West Virginia Governor Herman Guy Kump.

He is a graduate of Hagerstown Community College, Frostburg State University and the Maryland Correctional Professional Staff Academy.

Kump has two children and is a member of the Hedgesville congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Granfalloon", "Leap of Faith" & "Hallelujah"

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., in "Cat's Cradle", described a meaningless event as a "Granfalloon", and, sadly, some view their own lives in that way.

As indicated below, we all stumble, but it is our compassion for others and our perseverence in faith that lifts us up to be more than we otherwise ever could be.

In the 1992 movie, "Leap of Faith", starring Steve Martin and Deborah Winger, there is a musical number which tugs at heartstrings.

I don't now remember the name of the song or even most of its lyrics, but part of the chorus went something like this:

"I've been lonely.
I've been cheated.
I've been misunderstood.
I've been washed up.
I've been put down,
and told I'm no good,
but..."

The rest of the song's lyrics are intensely uplifting and go on to strike powerful and positive chords about finding joy in the purpose of life.


A better and even more accurate perspective of how we should approach life is embraced in the song "Hallelujah" by "The Canadian Tenors" (click here for a link to the musical video).


Note: The link to the Canadian Tenors does not imply any political endorsement by them.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Voice of "Reason"

"Individualist in the Oddest Place"

by John Dentinger (a free lance writer in Los Angeles)
Condensed from "Reason" magazine, "Spotlight", November 1986


When he recently took up genealogy, Larry D. Kump was thrilled to find that he is a kinsman of Patrick Henry.

The last place you'd expect to find Henry's literal or spiritual descendent is at the head of a public workers' union. But Kump, Executive Director of the Indiana State Employees Association (ISEA), is no ordinary union boss.

For one thing, he runs a voluntary group and doesn't think workers should be forced to join a union in order to work for a unionized employer. "Sometimes employees need to be protected from the caprice of their own union, and an open shop is the best way to do that", he says.

He isn't a typical public-employee advocate, either. Most unions, especially those of government workers, fiercely oppose privatization. But Kump, a fan of science-fiction writer Keith Laumer's satires of bureaucracy, supports some efforts to shrink the state. "I don't think any services ought to be provided by the government just because they always have been."

ISEA has proposed legislation that would require the state to demonstrate that a job is really necessary before replacing any employee who quits. The bill would also require cost-savings and accountability studies of any proposed privatization of government services.

But Kump wants wants government either to do a job itself or to get out of the business completely-not to hire private contractors. "The problem with contracting out is you don't want it, as with the Pentagon, to be underground political patronage, often tied to 'contributions' to politicians".

A handful of career state employees formed ISEA in 1953, Kump says, because "they were tired of scurrying to save their jobs every four years." The union has been fighting patronage ever since, but politicians still control about one third of state jobs. With the Indiana Libertarian Party, ISEA has filed suit to overturn the system. The Republicans, who dominate the state, have tried to have the suit dismissed, to no avail.

ISEA also has championed the rights of whistleblowers. "Nobody knows what's wrong with government more than government employees", says Kump. After a four year fight, the Legislature enacted ISEA legislation that protects the rights of state workers to belong to unions, to participate in political activity, and to report corruption without fear or reprisal. ISEA then got the law amended to add criminal penalties for those who harass whistleblowers.

ISEA receives whispered phone calls revealing political corruption. It cooperated with the press and FBI in investigating a scam in which state corrections department officials skimmed state funds and inmates benefits for personal use. Among other misdeeds, reports Kump, the department's commissioner (who came to Indiana from West Virginia) used state funds to restore his already lavish home, even goldplating the bathroom faucets.

Kump didn't plan on a career as a union leader.

In junior college (Hagerstown, MD), he edited the school paper and managed to offend the administration with his libertarian approach to students' rights. "They were so upset that they took away my scholarship which I was supposed to get as a perk for being editor", he recalls.

After college (Frostburg State University), he was chief aide to the Pennsylvania Republican Senate leader, then spent time working as a Labor relations Specialist for a public workers' union (Maryland Classified Employees Association - MCEA), before moving to Indiana.

In Kump's eight years as the Indiana union's Executive Director, it has grown in membership - despite a 20 percent reduction in the total number of state workers. (Indiana is the state with the fewest public employees per capita.) ISEA is now the state's largest public employee union. But Kump has paid a steep personal price for his success.

Kump says that, after encouraging him to take the job, his wife decided she couldn't put up with the long hours he was working.She left him and he was diagnosed with cancer.

"When she told me that she was moving back Easy with our two kids, that upset me more than finding out that I had 'terminal' cancer." An operation took care of the cancer, but his wife is still gone. Kump, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), lists himself on his business card as "Father of David & Sarah".

The union's success - often at the expense of the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME/AFL-CIO) - has also drawn unwanted attention from the Teamsters. Without his knowledge, Kump says, "One of our staff cut a deal on the side with the Teamsters. A Teamster representative came into my office and said, 'We're going to get your membership anyway, so why don't you do it the easy way, and we'll give you a similar position-and save you the embarrassment of being run out of the state.'".

The man told him, says Kump: "You have trouble with anybody, you point him out to us, and we'll punch him in the nose." Kump thought he was kidding, but "then saw that he was serious. I told him to do what he could and if they could take over, I'd get a job slinging hamburgers."

In a free market, Kump is confident that this brand of union leadership sells best.


Footnote - The above condensed and edited magazine article was and is not an election endorsement of Larry D. Kump, who was a 2010 candidate for election to the West Virginia Legislature.You may contact Reason magazine at www.reason.com. Contributions also may be made to Mr. Kump's election campaign at:

"Friends of Larry D. Kump"
P.O. Box 1131
Falling Waters , WV 25419

Monday, February 1, 2010

From the Martinsburg, WV Journal-News

Kump announces bid for House

The Journal, Martinsburg, WV

Falling Waters man is vying for 52nd District seat

By Jamie West Journal Staff Writer. Posted: January 30, 2010

MARTINSBURG - When people ask how Larry D. Kump is doing, the answer isn't one they're used to hearing. "I'm goofy," he often replies.

Most times it's in reference to his personality and mood, an accurate depiction of his affable demeanor. Although, Kump said, people occasionally follow his response with, "Yeah, and I'm Donald," hinting at the two famous Disney cartoon characters.

Though Kump admittedly likes to joke, he is all business when it comes to the well-being of West Virginia.

A firm believer that anyone can make a difference, Kump announced Friday that he will run for the 52nd District seat of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Delegate Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, has represented the 52nd District since 2002, and recently announced his intentions to run for the West Virginia Senate.

Kump said he has been involved with government in one way or another throughout most of his life and has been an activist for personal freedom issues.

He said that after being approached by some county Republican leaders, they persuaded him to make a run for office.

"It was always a someday issue for me. I hadn't been thinking about doing that at this point in my life, and my daughter said to me, 'Dad, put your pom-poms down and get in the game,' so here I am," Kump said. "The amount of support I've already gotten from people has just really humbled me, and been really incredible."

Kump is running as a Republican, but considers himself more of a Libertarian/populist. His job history includes being the chief aide to the Republican leader of the Pennsylvania State Senate, executive director of the Indiana State Employees Association, the regional governor of the Maryland Classified Employees Association and most recently as a case manager specialist with Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Md.

Some of the issues he is passionate about include being an advocate for fiscal restraint and lowering or eliminating certain taxes. "I just think it's, for lack of a better phrase, cruel and unusual punishment to tax people on groceries and home heating fuel. Those are necessities that people need to live," Kump said.

He also has noted that people in the Eastern Panhandle often go to Maryland or Virginia to get their gasoline because of the cheaper prices. "I think the West Virginia gasoline tax should be lowered so we can compete with surrounding states," Kump said.

Though he is retired, Kump now finds himself busier than ever, but he said it's a "happier busier" and that he enjoys being active. He also has fought through two terminal cancer diagnoses and a house fire.

"I was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1989 and given six months to live, and in 2002 I was told I had terminal cancer again in another area, and both of them went away by the grace of God.

It had to be that," Kump said. Now he wants to fight for the people and be their listening ear and representative.

"One thing the people won't get from me is political pandering," Kump said. "I'm not going to be one that glad-hands and goes to places just to get re-elected. What they can expect from me is to respond to every citizen that contacts me and to be straight-forward with what I'm for and what I'm against.

All legislative seats at all levels of government belong with people, and you need to listen to them.

"I really have a lot of sympathy with the little guys and gals out there, and not just in Berkeley County, that are trying hard to make financial ends meet, and are busting the gut.

We've got the elderly, the single parents, people that are just really hard pressed, and I think West Virginia could do a whole lot better for them than what they have," Kump said.

For more information, call Larry D. Kump at (304) 274-3104 or send him an e-mail at kumpster@mymailstation.com.

-Staff writer Jamie West can be reached at (304) 263-3381, ext. 132, or jwest@journal-news.net.