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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tom Crouser on Electoral Justice (and eating steak)

Thanks, Tom.
Aptly put.
Let's all eat steak!
For whatever it is worth, I thought I'd give a try at Charlene's question to you (Why does single delegate districts more accurately represent West Virginia constituents?):
Having single-Delegate districts represents the people best because we, as individuals, have more influence over who is voted in as a Delegate.
In a single-Delegate West Virginia district, I am one of 18,500 people.

In a two-Delegate district, I am one of 37,000 people, so my concerns are more easily ignored, regardless of how many Delegates for whom I get to vote. As a result, those Delegates are less pressed to listen specifically to my individual concerns.
In a single-Delegate district, campaigns are less expensive (about $8,000 on average during the last election vs. $50,000 in Kanawha County's seven member 30th Delegate District). Thus, there is less tendency to need special interests (good ol' boys) to raise money for campaigning. Also more regular people can participate as candidates. That's because the campaign expense is lower, the territory is smaller, and a candidate can more effectively communicate personally with voters in that smaller district.
Historically, multi-Delegate districts have been used to disenfranchise
minority voters ("Jim Crow" voting districts, which are now illegal).
For example, if there were 10,000 steak eaters in a district of 18,500; then the steak eaters would have a great influence over the election of the Delegate in that district.

However, when you pack that district with just one additional Delegate, you reduce the steak eaters' influence to 10,000 out of 37,000.
With three Delegates in a district, that influence is reduced further to 10,000 out of 55,500.
So, the more Delegates in a district, the less influence any voter has over the selection of Delegates.
Now, aren't each of us a minority of one?
And, don't we have the most influence when we are in a single-Delegate district?
Hope this helps
Thanks for your email updates. They're great!
Tom Crouser,
Kanawha County, West Virginia

Captive Codices?

Click on the link below for details:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Passing the "Smell" Test

Click on the link below for the news story:

Postscript: I also will be drafting legislation to make the Public Service Commission more acconutable.

This Situation Stinks!

Click on the green headline below for the entire story:

Berkeley Co. Council to discuss alleged sewer violations

The Berkeley County Council will meet behind closed doors with members of the county's Public Sewer Service District next week to review allegations that the utility committed more than 250 major violations since 2007.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

WV Legislature Tramples Equal Justice

 Refusing to grant even a token public hearing on the new West Virginia House of Delegates redistricting proposal (HB 201), House of Delegates Legislative Leaders  continued to spurn outraged citizens and orchestrated yet another gerrymandered outcome, once again denying the principle and practice of  "one man - one vote" as well as also denying more fair representation of local communities.

 A previous session of the Legislature earlier this month approved the Constitutionally required redistricting for the West Virginia State Senate and United States Congressional Districts. These proposals were signed into law by the Acting Governor.

  However, the technically flawed and ill conceived "back room" redistricting proposal for the West Virginia House of Delegates (HB 106) was vetoed by the Acting Governor, requiring yet another and expensive special legislative session to redo the redistricting for the House of Delegates (the new HB 201).

  Concern already has  been voiced that HB 201 has  been yet another rushed and "insider" production by the House of Delegates Leadership, containing numerous drafting errors.

  From the Eastern Panhandle and voting as well as cosponsoring today for the "one man - one vote" amendment to HB 201 were  Delegates Daryl Cowles, Larry D. Kump, Walter Duke, Eric Householder,and John Overington. Delegates Tiffany Lawrence and John Doyle also voted Yea, but were not cosponsors of the amendment.  Not voting and not present at the Legislative Session was Delegate Jonathan Miller. No Eastern Panhandle Delegates voted Nay. The amendment failed (Roll Call # 545: 55 Nays, 41Yeas, and 5 Not Voting)

 Although numerous court challenges are poised to be filed on HB 201 (if the Acting Governor signs the final passage of HB201 into law), the final verdict on this miscarriage of justice will be rendered by Mountain State voters when they vote in the 2012 elections. 

 Please share this message with others.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Road Apples (a Letter to the Editor)

 The Charleston Daily Mail's Thursday, August 18th "West Virginians Want One Delegate Districts " editorial accurately reflects the public outcry for state legislators to repent of efforts to disenfranchise voters.
 Ongoing legislative efforts to thwart "one man -one vote" in West Virginia and gerrymander legislative districts for partisan political ends is nothing more than  a serving of steaming road apples.
 If the Legislature  and Governor fail to do their duty and fulfill their sacred oaths of office, then the citizens no doubt will appeal to the courts for justice.
 In any case, the final appeal will be decided by voters in the 2012 elections.
Delegate Larry D. Kump
Post 2012 Election Postscript: Notwithstanding the rampant and poltically partisan election districts gerrymanding by the political party in power, West Virginia voters still were able to make their voices heard and throw many of those rascals out. More to come in 2014.

WV Special Session Update

HB 201 is the title of the newly introduced bill on legislative redistricting that now is being considered in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

The Acting Governor vetoed the previous special session legislation on redistricting the House of Delegates (HB 106), and, HB 201, as currently pending, only makes a few technical corrections to the previously vetoed bill.

Multiple amendments to HB 201 will be intensely debated by the House of Delegates on Friday and Saturday.

Now is the time to let ALL legislators (not just the legislators in your local region) know how you feel about this issue, which will affect all of West Virginia for the next ten years.

More information about this important issue is posted in the entries below. Also, check out the links under "Videos" on the right hand side of this webpage.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WV Legislature Called Back into Another Session

Another Special Session of the Legislature, regarding a "Do-Over" of HB 106 (redistricting the West Virginia House of Delegates), will convene at 12:00 Noon, Thursday, August 18th.

Now is the time to continue to contact all members of the Legislature and have your voice heard on this important issue, which will affect all of West Virginia for the next ten years.

Click on "WV State Legislature" on the right hand side of this webpage for information on how to contact legislators. (While you're at it, also check out the video links under "Videos")

Thursday, August 11, 2011

WV Governor to Order a "Do-Over"

After a tidal wave of outrage from citizens about the ill-conceived and poorly executed legislation recently enacted by the West Virginia Legislature, West Virginia's Acting Governor has announced that he will veto HB 106 on redistricting the elected representation in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

As legislators return to the State Capitol in Charleston, now is the time for each and every one of us to do our part and tell each and every legislator that we expect no less than "one man - one vote" and absolutely no "green apple side shuffles" or gerrymandering of legislative districts for political skullduggery.

Tell all the legislators that we're counting on and watching them, with every expectation that they will faithfully fulfill their oaths of office with full faith and integrity.

Scroll down on the right hand side of this webpage and click on "WV State Legislature" for information about how to contact legislators. (Also check out "Why It Matters" under the "Videos" links)

Now is the time, so spread the word to all of your friends, family, and other associates.

Let's get working together to stay independent and give West Virginia a better tomorrow.

Yours for Better Governance,
Delegate Larry D. Kump

Monday, August 8, 2011

WV Special Legislative Session News

The two major outcomes of the West Virginia 2011 Special Legislative Session were the vote to completely eliminate the grocery sales tax and the legislative redistricting for the 2012 elections.

The Legislature voted to further reduce the grocery tax to one percent (1%) on July 1st of 2012 and then completely eliminate it on July 1st of 2013. (The grocery tax already is scheduled to be reduced from three percent to two percent on January 1st of 2012.)

The legislative redistricting process was tragically flawed, with transparency and citizen review of the final proposal more farce than fact.

However, the seven (7) member Kanawha County legislative (District #30) was changed from a seven (7) member delegate district to two (2) new delegate districts of four (4) and three (3) delegates, which, given the initial and entrenched opposition from the House of Delegates leadership to any meaningful reform in Kanawha County, was a partial victory for West Virginia citizens.

Unfortunately, House of Delegates leadership could not bring themselves to understand or support the "one-man, one-vote" principle for all of West Virginia, and even went so far as to actually slide backwards by eliminating or gerrymandering single delegate districts elsewhere throughout the State.

Sadly, although all the Delegates in Berkeley and Morgan Counties had
unanimously agreed on a superior delegate redistricting proposal for these two counties, proffered on our behalf by Redistricting Committee Member and Delegate Walter Duke (Berkeley County), a seriously flawed proposal drafted by Delegate John Doyle (Jefferson County) instead was adopted by the committee, even though Delegate Doyle was not even a member of the Redistricting Committee.

The House of Delegates then again rejected the Duke proposal by a vote of 63 nays to 34 ayes (HB 106, Roll Call #530).

Berkeley and Morgan County Delegates Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump , and John Overington voted Aye on that amendment to HB 106. Jefferson County Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence voted Nay. Berkeley County Delegate Jonathan Miller was absent and did not vote.

On the final vote to pass HB 106 by the House of Delegates (64 Ayes to 33 Nays, Roll Call #532) Berkeley and Morgan County Delegates Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Eric Householder, Larry D. Kump, and John Overington voted Nay. Jefferson County Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence voted Yea. Berkeley County Delegate Jonathan Miller was absent and did not vote.

Perhaps the saddest part of the redistricting vote was when Delegate Patrick Lane offered a hopeful amendment to make future legislative redistrictings more transparent, solicit more public input, and make the initial redistricting recommendations nonpartisan. The amendment never even was allowed to be brought to a vote, because Speaker of the House Richard Thompson ruled it "not germane" to the issue and "out of order".

Legal questions regarding HB 106 also were raised when Delegate Walter Duke pointed out independently confirmed errors in the population statistics used to draft the legislation. These issues remain and may become part of a larger court challenge.

All eyes now are upon Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, to see if he will go along with this continuation of the West Virginia good old boy system and sign HB 106 into law, or stand with the people and veto it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fighting for Legislative Justice

Delegate Larry D. Kump, speaking in the Chamber of the West Virginia House of Delegates on behalf of single-member legislative districts:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Vote on Single Member Districts

Minutes ago, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted down a proposed amendment to HB 106 (39 YEAS and 61 Nays, Roll Call Vote #511, 1:12 PM 8/04/11). The amendment would have created single-member election districts throughout the State of West Virginia.

Eastern Panhandle Delegates voting FOR single-member districts were Berkeley and Morgan County Delegates Larry D. Kump, Walter Duke, John Overington, Jonathan Miller, Daryl Cowles, and Eric Householder. Voting AGAINST single-member districts were Jefferson County Delegates John Doyle and Tiffany Lawrence.

HB 106 now is awaiting further action by the House of Delegates.

Postscript: The House of Delegates will reconvene at 12:00 Noon on Friday, August 5th, 2011, and will consider further amendments at that time.

Please share this news with others, and also let all your West Virginia legislators know how you feel about how they voted on this issue, which will affect all of West Virginia for the next ten years.

Legislators Shun Citizen Scrutiny

Yesterday afternoon, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted against the process proposal by Delegate Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha) to create 100 single member delegate districts, but, and perhaps even sadder, they also voted against allowing a reasonable time for grass-roots citizen voters to be able to review and provide feedback to legislators on the gerrymandered redistricting proposal before allowing amendment votes.

Only 36 members of the House of Delegates voted in favor of allowing citizens the opportunity to review and provide comment on HB#106 prior to further action by the House of Delegates (Roll call #510, 36 votes yea and 61 votes nay, Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011).

In the Eastern Panhandle, voting FOR further citizen review and feedback were Berkeley and Morgan County Delegates Larry D. Kump, Daryl Cowles, Walter Duke, Jonathan Miller, John Overington, and Eric Householder. Voting AGAINST further citizen review and feedback were Jefferson County Delegates Tiffany Lawrence and John Doyle.

HB#106 was written behind closed doors by Delegate John Doyle (D-Jefferson) and the House of Delegates Leadership. As has been otherwise and widely reported by the media, it was not written by or even reviewed in committee by the House of Delegates Redistricting Committee prior to their Tuesday morning (August 2nd) meeting. Further, and at the insistence of the House Leadership, all attempts that morning by committee members (in both political parties) to amend HB#106 were summarily squelched.

Further amendments to HB#106 will be considered on by the West Virginia House of Delegates after the session convenes at 12:00 Noon on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 (today).

To contact any or all Delegates, click on the "WV State Legislature" link on the right hand side of this webpage.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Leaders Stonewall Reform

The leadership of the West Virginia House of Delegates and the House Redistricting Committee successfully opposed each and every amendment offered to amend and improve legislative redistricting.

They even opposed amendments proposed by fellow Democrat Delegates and persuaded other Democrat Delegates to vote as a group against their colleagues.

The bill now moves to the floor of the House of Delegates for further votes by entire House of Delegates.

You may visit the West Virginia Legislative webpage by clicking on the "WV State Legislature" link on the right hand side of this webpage.