In an interview with the Mountain Messenger, Family Policy Council of West Virginia President Allen Whitt denied his lobbying organization is endorsing the Majority Voice Party in Lewisburg.
The Majority Voice Party is a new party of Lewisburg citizens Mark Carver, Dorcus Teubert, Debra Crite-Sams and Allen Petrie who are challenging the incumbent members of the Citizens Party (along with Citizens Party newcomer Kim Morgan Dean) for three seats on Lewisburg City Council.
On Mar. 29, the Family Policy Council of WV posted a photo of the Majority Voice Party candidates on their Facebook page with the statement, “June 13th the citizens of Lewisburg have the chance to restore their city to one that listens to the will of it’s citizens. (sic)”
On Apr. 4, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia posted a photograph and biography of Crites-Sams with the statement, “ great candidate for Lewisburg’s City Council. The Majority Voice Party.”
On Apr. 5, the page was updated with a photo and biography of Teubert and the statement, “Another excellent candidate for city council in Lewisburg. She will listen to the majority voice when making decisions for her city.”
According to their website, “The Family Policy Council of West Virginia is The Mountain State’s leading conservative policy group championing social issues. We positively influence state laws, state lawmakers and state elections to defend the constitutional right of religious freedom for our families and churches.”
They are affiliated with the groups Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, an organization which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) identifies as an extremist group known for their anti-LGBT policies.
Last Wednesday, the Mountain Messenger called Whitt at his Charleston office to ask him why his lobbying group has been posting its support of the newly-formed Majority Voice Party online.
When asked if the Family Policy Council of West Virginia endorsed the Majority Voice Party, Whitt said his organization doesn’t endorse parties.
When asked if his organization was endorsing individual candidates, Whitt affirmed the endorsement.
“Why are you endorsing candidates belonging to the Majority Voice Party?” the Mountain Messenger asked.
“Because I like the colors of their logo,” Whitt said.
The Majority Voice Party’s logo is blue and gold.
The Mountain Messenger asked Whitt if he could offer any further information about the lobbying group’s endorsement of the candidates, and he stated that Mountaineer Blue and Gold are his favorite colors and asked the Mountain Messenger if they did not like those colors as well.
When asked if he would endorse members of the Citizens Party if they used blue and gold in their logos, Whitt conceded that he would not.
During the conversation, Whitt denied that the Family Policy Council of West Virginia was endorsing the candidates in hopes that the human rights ordinance would be challenged or revoked. He also denied that the Majority Voice Party was formed as an opposition group to the human rights ordinance.
“I one hundred percent guarantee that it is not true that party was formed regarding a specific policy,” Whitt said. “And I one hundred percent guarantee that the Family Policy Council does not endorse candidates based on a specific policy.”
When asked why exactly they were endorsing the candidates, apart from their color scheme, Whitt said, “There is a mood within the city for hope and change. With the Majority Voice Party, citizens are guaranteed to be heard.”