By Lissa Lucas
As I tried to give my remarks at the public hearing this morning on HB4268 in defense of our constitutional property rights, I got dragged out of House chambers.
Why? Because I was listing out who has been donating to Delegates on the Judiciary Committee.
This is, of course, public information.
Allow me to point out that if Delegates genuinely think that my talking about who their campaign donors are—and how much they’re receiving from corporate lobbyists/corporate PACs—is an ad hominem attack… then they should be refusing those donations.
Yeah, refuse any donation that, if someone mentions it, makes you feel personally attacked.
Because that’s not an attack. That’s guilt. And you SHOULD be feeling that. Let that guilt about who you’re really working for inform your votes; don’t let the corporate money do it.
Watch the video, then read my remarks as prepared
Here is the vid
You may not be able to hear it very well, but I ended with a shout of…
Montani Semper Liberi!
I veered from the prepared remarks almost immediately… because I followed Woody Thrasher, who predictably said, more or less, “But we have to let corporations steal from mineral owners, because JOBS!”
(I paraphrase… but not that much.)
I’m Lissa Lucas from beautiful Ritchie County, WV, right in the front lines of the Marcellus. I’m a mineral owner. And I’m here to tell you that ALL of us, no matter our party, want our property rights protected. The attack on property rights is an assault on rural people, and it goes against both party platforms.
While lobbyists have the money to buy your time at fancy gatherings like the Wine and Whisky gala at the Marriott on Wednesday—members of the public have been allotted just about 2 minutes each to make the case for our rights, so I’ll just have time to talk about four delegates.
CHARLOTTE LANE – Kanawha County (D35) $9,500/$48,770 about 20%
Delegate Lane has received money from
1. AEP $2,000.00
2. MARATHON $2,000.00
3. FIRSTENERGY $2,000.00
4. DOMINION $1,500.00
5. EQT $1,000.00 << 5 of the top 6
6. SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY $500.00
7. NEXTERA ENERGY $250.00
8. WVOIL MARKETERS ASSOC. $250.00
9. TIMOTHY P ARMSTEAD CAMPAIGN CMTE – $150.00 I’ll get to why I’m mentioning him in a minute
NEXT LET’S TALK ABOUT
JOHN SHOTT Mercer (D27) – $11,250/$64,350 – about 17%
1. FIRSTENERGY $2,000.00
2. App Power $2,000.00
3. STEPTOE & JOHNSON $2,000.00 – Gas and oil Law firm
4. CONSOL ENERGY $1,000.00
6. EQT $1,000.00
7. MARATHON $1,000.00
8. DOMINION $1,000.00
9. NOBLE ENERGY $500.00
10. GOPAC $250.00
11. MARKWEST ENERGY $250.00
12. WV LAND & MINERAL OWNERS PAC $250.00 The WV Mineral Owners Coalition is AGAINST this bill. This PAC is unrelated appears to be a front for out-of-state resource barons and attorneys who represent the energy industry.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT
JASON HARSHBARGER (Ritchie D7) $3500/$9300 – 38%
1. Harshbarger – He works for Dominion, and donated $2k to his campaign. If you count that, he got 59% of his campaign cash from energy interests $5500/$9300 –
2. DOMINION $1,000.00
3. EQT CORP $500.00
4. FIRSTENERGY CORP $500.00
5. FREDRIK ERIC NELSON JR CAMPAIGN CMTE $500.00 (Delegate Nelson’s top donors are the same top donors as everyone I’ve spoken about here, and in fact he received $23K from anti-property rights corporations like Dominion, EQT, AEP.)
6. NEXTERA ENERGY $250.00
7. GOPAC $250.00
8. HALL, JASON & STEPHANIE (Hall Drilling) $250.00
9. WEST VIRGINIA OIL MARKETERS & GROCERS ASSOCIATION $150.00
10. ARMSTEAD FOR HOUSE 2014 $150
Delegates you cannot, without the appearance of impropriety—and likely without actual impropriety—vote for this bill.
For those watching online or in the gallery, if your delegate votes to give away your rights to their corporate donors, you should get behind a candidate who’ll work for YOU, rather than someone who is getting paid to hand over your property rights to corporations. Save for Del Harshbarger, there are Republicans challenging them in the primary, and a Democrat who will challenge the winner, so in most cases there’s someone no matter your political persuasion.
Full disclosure: There is a Democratic challenger for Harshbarger—that would be me. But I’m here to talk about the sale of our constitutional rights, not to campaign. So let’s move on to Delegate Armstead.
Armstead is not a member of this committee, but he’s the guy who makes committee assignments for his party. His donors include the usual suspects—AEP, EQT, Dominion, FirstEnergy, etc. He got nearly $20K ($19,550) from energy donors, about 21% of his total. He seated on this committee everyone I’ve just talked about, and people I haven’t been allotted the time to talk about. Yeah, he’s working for those same donors, too.
Delegates, voting to help the corporations that bought you is moral turpitude. And if y’all vote to enable Big Government to tell tax paying citizens what we can do with our own durn property, you can bet there will be people like me coming out of the woodwork to challenge you… and to make sure you either represent the people, or you get the hell out.