Monday, August 09, 2010

New Article on Virginia Graf in Charleston Gazette

In this weekend's Gazette, the Democratic challenger to Shelley Moore Capito finally gets some deserved notice in a fairly-decent biography and write-up. Graf has been an educator for the rural poor and has worked for social justice for much of her life. In the article, she mentions that West Virginia has been last in education rankings, in salaries, and in job opportunities for far too long. My sense is that she understands the value of government programs to rectify these systemic inequities, though a larger plan for addressing West Virginia's economic problems should be introduced.

There are two main issues that are key to West Virginia's betterment that contrast Graf's positions with Capito's. On the destructive practice of mountaintop removal, Graf opposes this environmentally-unsustainable practice while Capito supports any and everything associated with the coal industry. The second issues is health care. On health care, Capito voted against the weakened Democratic bill introduced in Congress, this despite it offering quality health care opportunities for tens of thousands of West Virginians. Graf, by contrast, supports "Medicare for all" from birth to death, a program which would eliminate the for-profit healthcare companies participation as health care providers. Graf's website clarifies her positions on these and other issues.

The Gazette article is a good start for introducing voters to Graf. But, as Graf mentions, voters deserve full press coverage of candidate's positions, and "grassroots campaigns" deserve just as much attention as the races that the major parties deem worthy of their financial support.

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