On May 21, Christopher J. Regan, vice chair of the WV Democrat Party wrote a long Commentary on the failures of the Republican Administration that has been in power in Charleston for only two years. According to Mr. Regan, the recent 83 long years of Democrat control were extremely successful. He states, “Promise scholarships – aimed at retaining our bright young people so they can get their educations, and then live and work in West Virginia- have been a true success story.” If this success is defined as the lowest per capita income and the highest percentage of unemployed in the nation, then he is correct. Not to mention the exceedingly high number of West Virginia citizens addicted and dying from illegal drugs.
Mr. Regan also laments the 2015 elimination of the prevailing wage law on large projects, which, Mr. Regan, is no longer just large projects, but all WV funded or partially funded projects, and he asks where the savings are.
Well, Mr. Regan, here are some examples of 2015 prevailing wages on an annual 40 hour 52 week basis with benefits so you can compare to other wages: Area 2, Electrician $112,028. Area 3, Laborer – helper, $80,308. Prior to elimination of the prevailing wage law, these wages and benefits were also West Virginia’s Davis Bacon Wages. The following Davis Bacon wages are serious savings for federally funded projects. Davis Bacon wages effective 1 July 2016 as determined by ExOrd 13658 are a minimum of $10.15. This very low wage for skilled and unskilled labor was set by the same President of the United States that was enthusiastically endorsed by Mr. Regan in 2008 and 2012.
Now when West Virginia Paving (a European Company) comes from Ohio to repave our roads the cost will be competitive and will save mega bucks. It will also allow the formation of WV based contractors to pave roads as they will then be able to employ crews to work in neighboring states because wages will be basically equal.
Mr. Regan doesn’t mention the elimination of needless regulations, the stopping of trespassers bringing suit against farmers when they trespass on property, get hurt, and then want the farmer to pay damages. Nor the elimination of the requirement of the insured to pay the complete bill of a five-car accident when only one car is insured.
Mr. Regan seems to forget that the Democrat president whom he supported, stated in 2008 that he would bankrupt the coal industry by putting environmental regulations on coal fired power plants and followed through with that threat/promise. This, and only this, is the cause of the current financial condition of West Virginia. Also, Mr. Regan fails to mention that it was the Governor who provided the WV legislature the estimated budget deficit of $60 million and then on the last day of the legislative session changed the projected budget deficit of $60 million to $270 million. Mr. Regan must admit that the Governor’s last minute notice of a $270 million deficit instead of a $60 million was nothing more than a cheap political ploy to embarrass the Republican Party and also the tens of thousands of West Virginians who put them in office.
It seems to me that Mr. Regan is an avid supporter of “the insiders in Charleston and Washington know best” who should be the leaders of our State and Nation. Mr. Regan also doesn’t want to accept the fact that the voters got it right in voting against the Democrat party 2008 and 2012.
West Virginia should elect Republicans for the next 81 years to make WV a competitive and productive state? It shouldn’t take that long.
Frank W. Tuckwiller