BY LAUREN RIGGS
A Tea Party Rally held Saturday on Main Street, New Martinsville, featured Congressman David McKinley (R-Ohio County) as a guest speaker. McKinley, a native of Wheeling, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the First District in 2010. In Congress he has a seat on the Committee of Energy and Commerce.
Congressman David McKinley speaks to those gathered at Saturday’s Tea Party Rally in front of the Wetzel County Courthouse.
He stressed his gratitude for his elected position, saying, "I can't tell you how honored I am to represent you in Washington."
McKinley spoke primarily on jobs and the economy, the upcoming election, and the choices that must be made, stating that the nation is at a crossroads. "If we continue to do the same, why do we expect to get anything different?" McKinley asked those gathered. He then spoke of President Obama's recent speech at the Democratic National Convention, saying he had wanted to hear a plan from the president, but even after the president's speech, he still could not decipher one.
Reflecting on the fresh news that three FirstEnergy coal-fired power plants in West Virginia will be closing down, McKinley told those gathered, "If you shut down a coal mine, you shut down all secondary industries that run off of it." He also reminded those in attendance that the nation has acquired $5 trillion more in national debt in the past four years, saying that if $1,000-bills totaling $1 million were stacked, the pile would be four inches high. It would take a stack 64 miles high to create $1 trillion.
McKinley stated that change does not mean "we have to go after seniors, social security, or Medicare. . .We don't have to do that." He concluded by saying, "This election is going to tell us the direction of this country."
Wayne Weber spoke next at the event. Weber is a local man whose accomplishments include retiring from Bayer in 2003, holding a position of Bayer's Board of Directors, and running for state senate in 2006. Weber first reminded the audience that prayer is needed for those elected, as God has ordained those in leadership, though he did advise: "We all live with results of who we elect."
Weber then spoke on issues that are important to conservatives, who he defined as those who oppose same-sex marriage, abortion, and embryonic stem-cell research. He stated the country is currently reverting back to old pagan past traditions and reminded the audience that history shows the downfall of many nations due to moral decay.
He added that President Obama is absolutely pro-choice, supporting both partial and late term abortion, as well as harvesting fetuses for stem cell research. Weber referred to this as a "culture of death."
He said family has been under attack and specifically mentioned Obamacare, saying it penalizes the decision to marry, as the plan's subsidies will go to only a small percentage of married couples.
Saturday's Tea Party rally was emceed by Barbara Brasher. At the beginning of the event, Brasher led the attendees in the singing of the National Anthem; at the event's closing, Brasher led the audience in the singing of God Bless America. Also, local resident Herb Jung led attendees in prayer at both the beginning and end of the event.
Brasher later stated that she was very proud to be part of the Tea Party rally, billed as a non-partisan event, and gave credit to Mike Clark, who she stated helped to organize Saturday's event.