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Trump Warns NFL Players: ‘Find Another Way to Protest’

The Free Press WV

Is it football season already? It must be, based on President Trump’s tweets from Friday morning. After reports filtered out about some NFL players kneeling, raising their fists, and taking part in other forms of protest during preseason games on Thursday evening, Trump once more railed against those who did so. “The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,“ Trump tweeted. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love…...“ He continued in a second tweet: “Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway.“

And a final warning: “Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!“ Politico and the Washington Post take issue with Trump’s assertion that the players haven’t been able to define what they’re protesting, with Politico noting the players are pushing back against “racial injustice and police brutality.“ The Post goes even deeper, compiling very specific statements from the players themselves. In May, the NFL banned players from sitting or kneeling during the anthem, but that policy was put on hold in July and won’t be enforced as the league and players union try to hash things out on the sidelines.

FAHRENHEIT 11/9

The trailer to left wing filmmaker Michael Moore’s new project prominently features West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda.

Fahrenheit 11/9 takes aim a the present politics of the day through Moore’s anti-right wing lens. The trailer attacks the Trump Administration and Flint, Michigan’s leadership.

Ojeda is featured prominently with his well exercised bold, in your face attitude.

“I’m sick and tired of people telling me America’s the greatest country…… because we can whip your ###?” Ojeda said in one clip.

In the second clip in the trailer Ojeda, who is ex military, suggests he’ll fight anybody in the street at any time. The comment seems to leave Moore searching for words.

The video came out of a meeting between Moore and Ojeda had back in the winter in Charleston. At the time, Ojeda was gaining notoriety for his outspoken support of teachers during the Teachers Union Strike in West Virginia.

Moore, who previously made Bowling for Columbine, and Fahrenheit 9/11, expects to release the movie in theaters in September.

After Backlash, Fox’s Ingraham Disavows White Nationalists

The Free Press WV

A commentary this week on immigration by Laura Ingraham of Fox News has set off a political ruckus that has resulted in her disavowing the support of white nationalists and the likes of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, reports the Hill. Here’s a look at what’s going on:

  • The original: On Wednesday—watch the video HERE—Ingraham complained that demographic shifts were changing the US for the worse. “In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,“ she said. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like.“ Much of it stems from “both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.“
  • The backlash: It came fast and furious, accusing Ingraham of being racist and/or xenophobic. At CNN, for example, SE Cupp took Ingraham to task. “What once might have been a dog whistle is officially a scream, voiced over the airwaves of the President’s favorite cable news network,“ she writes. Cupp called the commentary flat-out racist. “She’s complaining that people who come to America from other countries—even legally—are making this country unrecognizable to her,“ and, more to the point, to Fox’s largely white, older viewers.
  • David Duke: In a since-deleted tweet, the former KKK leader praised Ingraham’s commentary as “one of the most important (truthful) monologues in the history of MSM,” reports the Daily Beast.
  • Ingraham responds: On Thursday, Ingraham insisted that her commentary was not about race or ethnicity but about “keeping America safe” through secure borders. The second video is HERE. “A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention: You do not have my support. You don’t represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear.“ (The “racist freak” is apparently Duke.)
  • A critic: Of course the commentary was about race, writes Eugene Scott at the Washington Post. “One can’t talk about demographic changes in America without talking about race and ethnicity.“ He adds that Ingraham did not apologize, because that would have defied the Trump playbook.
  • A key base: A post at Axios notes that Ingraham’s show is popular with Trump’s base, and the concerns she voiced resonate there. The post cites a 2017 survey in which nearly half of white working-class respondents said they “feel like a stranger in (their) own country,“ and 68% said the American way of life needs protection from the influence of foreigners.
  • A defender: “Liberals never get tired of pretending to care about minorities to take down their politic opponents,“ tweets Candace Owens of Turning Point USA. “The same people calling for a boycott of Laura Ingraham’s advertisers sent ZERO tweets about the 71 black people that were shot in Chicago over the weekend.“

WV Legislative Update

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Hit and miss local downpours seem to be the norm in explaining our current weather patterns this summer.  The storm that hit a corridor from approximately Belfont – Gassaway – Sutton was exceptional in the amount of rainfall in a relatively short period of time.  It once again exposed the frailty of a century old storm water system that is plagued with blockages, reduced capacity and causing repeated damage to property, roads, homes and businesses. In areas in and out of towns, culverts and ditches proved insufficient for the volume of water produced by the storm.

The National Guard Armory had substantial water damage again.  Some businesses were hit, causing some temporary closures.  Rt. 4 was temporarily impassable to most vehicles near Kroger.  At least one church was affected.  Third Street, Rt. 4 and Elk Street once again sustained damage from a storm drain that overwhelmed previous repairs and fixes.  Damage occurred in Sutton and the surrounding area.

The day afterwards, I called State OES Director Jimmy Gianato to make a preliminary request for assistance.  While there is little doubt the damage does not meet any FEMA threshold for federal assistance, the fact that these local events happen again and again must be addressed.  DOH, already overwhelmed with a decade worth of major slips and slides this year alone, is continuing to help bring things back to normal.

Therein is the problem.  “Normal” is costing us millions across West Virginia by applying band-aids instead of receiving sufficient assistance to going in and actually fix some of these recurring problems.  Every county and every town – especially our small communities – is experiencing similar issues with outdated storm water plans and no funds to secure engineering expertise or a permanent repair. 

Natural disaster will always be a threat.  We cannot prevent every event.  However, we can begin to respond in a proactive manner that attempts to fix rather than patch and move on.

On a somewhat related matter, I’m receiving and acting on numerous road concerns on our state-maintained roads over the past several weeks.  While I take each of these up with county, district and state DOH officials in a timely manner, neither I nor any other member of the Legislature control the scheduling of paving or maintenance.  What we do control is the annual budget, including highway dollars for construction and maintenance on the state level.  DOH determines what level of funding each county receives.

A few days ago, Governor Justice announced he formed a Highway Response Team called SWAT (Safety With Action Today).  According to his press release, requests for roadwork can be reported by one of these three methods:

  • Call 1.800.WV.ROADS
  • Complete an on-line form at: transportation.wv.gov/wvroads
  • Submit by email to: ‘

The press release further states that someone from WV DOT will respond within one business day; they will investigate the problem and send a response within one week.

I’m keeping an open mind on this, but I have concerns that expectations generated by this program may be higher than the actual results obtained.  With material and maintenance budgets; the available DOH workers on any given day; and the unexpected events that occur (as in last week’s flood, etc.), the intent to reply within a business day and receiving a written response within a week is a worthy goal but does not necessarily get the job done.

I encourage you to give the Governor’s SWAT program a try and please let me know the results so I can relate to the DOH officials and the Governor how it’s being received and what results we’re seeing in central West Virginia.

Finally, as I write this week, the full House of Delegates has been called into session on Monday, August 13 at 10 AM to take up the articles of impeachment regarding the four remaining Supreme Court justices.  The House of Delegates’ role in the process is to determine if there is sufficient evidence presented to refer it to the State Senate for an actual impeachment trial.

As I’m not a member of the House Judiciary Committee that has been conducting the legislative investigation for several weeks, I am waiting to hear the evidence submitted on the fourteen articles submitted by the committee.  I’ve had quite a bit of input from several constituents on this issue, which I appreciate.  With fourteen articles of impeachment to consider, some appear to rise to the constitutional definition of an impeachable offense.  As with any bill or resolution, I intend to listen, ask questions and make an informed decision, based on the evidence submitted.  Actual removal from office will fall to the Senate, as prescribed by the State Constitution.

I’ve written much about this topic in recent weeks; much more than I’d like.  However, the impeachment of a statewide elected official is a rare event, last occurring in the late 1980’s.  However, in debating and considering the possible removal from office of all the remaining elected justices of the State’s highest court is both monumental and unprecedented.  Impeachment is basically overturning the results of a previous election and thus, the will of the people.  I do not take this lightly, as it is a sad event for West Virginia and all West Virginians.

Equally troubling is that the Governor will likely appoint the replacement of any removed justices until the May 2020 primary election.  With such an unprecedented situation hanging in the balance, I’d like to see both the majority and minority in the House and Senate agree that any vacancies would be put on the ballot in a special election for our citizens to decide who holds these important, non-partisan positions.

In the interim between sessions, please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304-364-8411.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

Please send your inquiries to my home office:  151 Park Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.  My home number is 304.364.8411; the Capitol office number is 304.340.3142.  If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.  For those with Internet access, my legislative e-mail address is:

You may also obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and leave me a message on the Legislature’s web site at www.legis.state.wv.us/.  When leaving a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and the state government phone directory, may be found at www.wv.gov. Also, you may follow me on Facebook at “Brent Boggs”, Twitter at “@DelBrentBoggs” , as well as the WV Legislature’s Facebook page at “West Virginia Legislature” or on Twitter at twitter.com/wvlegislature.

Continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.  Until next week – take care.

Boston Globe Plans Strike on Trump’s ‘Dirty War’

The Free Press WV

A Boston newspaper is proposing a coordinated editorial response from publications across the US to President Trump’s frequent attacks on the news media. “We are not the enemy of the people,“ says Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of the Boston Globe, referring to a characterization of journalists that Trump has used in the past. The president, who contends he has largely been covered unfairly by the press, also employs the term “fake news” often when describing the media. The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on August 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a “dirty war against the free press,“ per the AP. As of Friday, Pritchard says, about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow.

The publications range from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald, and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000. The newspaper’s request suggests editorial boards take a common stand against Trump’s words regardless of their politics. “Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming,“ the appeal notes. Pritchard says the decision to seek the coordinated response from newspapers was reached after Trump appeared to step up his rhetoric in recent weeks. She says she hopes the editorials will make an impression on Americans and “educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable. We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.“

The McKinley Capitol Report

The Gilmer Free Press

America’s Economy Has Turned the Corner

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and President Trump’s regulatory reforms have unleashed America’s economic engine. Over the past few months we have seen the evidence that our economy is growing:

• 4.1% - Second-quarter Gross Domestic Product

• 3.8% - Unemployment rate, the lowest in 20 years

• $15,878 – Average increase in take-home pay for 1st District families over next 10 years because to tax reform

• $300 million - Amount of wealth that has been repatriated from foreign countries because of tax reform.

• 17-Year High - Consumer confidence level hits highest mark since 2001.

• 86% - Percentage of manufacturers reporting they’ve made plans to increase investment because of tax reform

• 6.7 million – Number of job openings. First time since 2000 that there are more open jobs than unemployed individuals.

• 3.7 million – Jobs created since November 2016.

• 4 million – Number of workers who have already seen benefits handed down from their company because of tax reform.

• 90% - Percentage of Americans who will see bigger paychecks because of tax reform.


Happy Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard turned 228 on August 4th. We thank all the brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving.


ICYMI: McKinley Fights for Retired Coal Miners

Last week, I led a letter to the leadership of the Joint Select Committee on Multi-Employer Pension Plans, urging them to address the looming insolvency of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) 1974 Pension Plan. The bipartisan letter was signed by 25 Members of Congress.

It’s critical that Congress finds a bipartisan solution to the looming multi-employer pension crisis. In particular, we must find a solution for the 105,000 coal miners and retirees covered by the UMWA Pension Plan. These workers put their lives on the line every day to produce the fuel that powered our nation’s economic engine for decades.

We can’t kick the can down the road any longer. Let’s come together and pass this legislation so that coal miners and their loved ones have the peace of mind they deserve and know the benefits they earned won’t be threatened.


Stop West Virginia Overdoses Hosting Showing of “Recovery Boys”

On August 15, Stop West Virginia Overdoses will be hosting a free showing of “Recovery Boys” at the University of Charleston. This powerful documentary follows four residents at Jacob’s Ladder, and shows the reality of recovering from opioid addiction. I had the opportunity to meet with Kevin Blakenship, the Founder of Jacob’s Ladder, and commend them for the work they’re doing to combat this crisis.


McKinley Service Academy Nominee Completes Sea Year Training

Congratulations to one of our office’s U.S. Merchant Marine Academy nominees, Hannah Hill of Parkersburg, on completing her Sea Year training. We’re extremely proud of her and all of our service academy nominees.

Have a great week,

David McKinley
The Gilmer Free Press

Trump: Omarosa Is ‘a Lowlife’

The Free Press WV

Trump has one word to describe former White House staffer and fellow reality-TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman: “Lowlife.“ Manigault Newman claims in an upcoming book, Unhinged, that Trump used racial slurs on the set of his reality show The Apprentice. She also says she later concluded that he is a racist and a bigot. On Saturday, reporters asked Trump during an event at his golf club in New Jersey if he felt betrayed by Manigault Newman. He responded: “Lowlife. She’s a lowlife.“ Manigault Newman was a contestant on Trump’s reality show and later served as a senior adviser to the president. In the book, she paints Trump as scattered, self-absorbed, misogynistic, and insecure. The book is set for release Tuesday. The White House has already slammed it as “riddled with lies and false accusations.“

The AP purchased an advance copy of the book, in which Manigault Newman claims without evidence that tapes exist of Trump using the N-word repeatedly on the reality show’s set. She acknowledges she had never been able to obtain or hear the tapes but said three unnamed sources had described their contents. She alleges that Trump has exhibited signs of a “mental decline that could not be denied” and says she went as far as printing out a study linking Diet Coke consumption to dementia and strokes and putting it in his briefing stack. She also described him as a man who “loved conflict, chaos, and confusion; he loved seeing people argue or fight.“ Manigault Newman also alleges that Trump allies tried to buy her silence after she left the White House, offering her $15,000 a month to serve in a “senior position” on his 2020 re-election campaign along with a stringent nondisclosure agreement.

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