Things have changed in two years.
And the minds of this editorial board have changed since then. Because, as the old saying goes, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Sometimes things untried and untested are underestimated.
And we believe that is the case with U.S. Rep. David McKinley.
Two years ago, when the longtime state lawmaker and engineer was running for the 1st Congressional District seat, he did not receive our endorsement. But everything he’s done since winning the seat and taking office makes us gladly give it to him today.
The Republican lawmaker has made an impact with his colleagues, the leadership of the House and on the voters of this district. He has a common-sense approach to the biggest problems that face this country — he’s an engineer, after all, and as he says only one of two in the House — and he makes his voice heard on those issues.
Consider what happened when he had the opportunity to ask questions of Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu earlier this year during a committee meeting. McKinley charged Chu with going away from the principles that founded the DOE in 1977 because federal mandates are shutting down small energy-producing plants nationwide, including three FirstEnergy plants in North Central West Virginia.
“I’m concerned in whether or not you have a real interest in reigning in a rogue agency (the Environmental Protection Agency) that is allowing this kind of activity without it based on science or an agreeable comprehensive knowledge of how all of the other people are looking at it across America,” he told Chu on March 9 during the hearing.
“I go back to a statement you made in 2007 — ‘Coal is my worst nightmare,’” McKinley said. “Is that the mindset of why as a short-term goal, you’ve abandoned that in cutting research money? A 41-percent reduction in R&D in coal?
“I’m in awe. I just cannot comprehend where this administration and you and your leadership are with it,” McKinley said. “With all due respect, Mr. Secretary, I think the DOE and the EPA have become the ‘worst nightmare’ for the working men and women in our coal fields across America.”
How easy would it be for a junior congressman from the majority party to sit back and get the lay of the land, make friends and allies, and take advantage of his party’s position?
Instead, what we’ve observed during McKinley’s two years in office is a leader who works across party lines, who has developed relationships with other West Virginia leaders, who makes the stands he needs to when it’s best for the residents of his district.
And that’s happened with the coal issue, as demonstrated by his “pressing” of Secretary Chu in committee.
And it happened with the transportation bill, when McKinley pointed out that the EPA desire to regulate coal fly ash as a toxic byproduct would come with a dramatic cost increase to concrete, as it is a key ingredient in the mixture, and severely limit the number of roadways and spans funded under the bill.
And it happened when the budgets of NASA and the National Energy Technology Laboratory were threatened. Those are two major federal agencies with huge presences in this district. He vowed to continue to support the federal agencies and contracts that make the high-tech sector strong in North Central West Virginia.
“There are so many people who just talk in Washington, but what are you doing?” McKinley said earlier this year. “I’m there to get something done. And I’m going to break from my party when I think it is right to break from them. I’ve done that. I know we’ve got to make some reductions, but I don’t want to do it on clean-coal research, high-tech and (NASA) IV&V. I don’t want to do it on biometrics. This is our future. This is where we are going to be as a state.”
We believe that McKinley has an eye on our future, and will continue to work for the 1st District and West Virginia as a whole if elected to a second term in the House. And because of that, McKinley is fully endorsed by the Times West Virginian for the 1st Congressional District seat.
Things have changed in two years.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths
Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
A simple 57-cent item.
That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.
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- Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives