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The Club For Growth doesn't like Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R. WV-2) running for Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D. WV) seat.  They claim that she's a big government Republican who likes to waste taxpayers dollars.  Well they might be onto something:

A ThinkProgress review of lettermark requests — letters by Members of Congress to executive branch agencies requesting specific spending — found multiple letters from Capito to the Obama administration requesting grants. In a September 2011 letter to the Department of Energy, for instance, she endorsed SunShot Initiative grant request for her home state. The state later received a $500,000 grant under the program. Another Capito letter that year to Energy Secretary Steven Chu endorsed a proposal for the department’s Innovative Manufacturing Initiative.

While Capito quietly continues to push for spending on projects she deems worthy, she now presents herself publicly as a budget hawk. In a 2011 floor speech, she said: “Mr. Speaker, we’re broke. Everyone from the small business owner in West Virginia to Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s is looking to Washington to solve this fiscal mess.” In a tweet that year, she opined: “The President will not get my vote to raise the debt ceiling unless we cut spending. It’s time to start living within our means.” Federal spending has increased every year, despite earmark ban.

In the past, Capito was a strong defender of earmarking — the system Congress used to direct federal spending toward specific projects and locations. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, she obtained more than $33 million in earmarks spending between 2008 and 2010 (on her own or with colleagues). Several of her earmarks benefited her campaign donors. - Think Progress, 4/1/13

No wonder the Club For Growth hates her.  I doubt they hate her for being a loyal vote for George W. Bush's expensive and not-paid-for Medicare Part D, Iraq War, stimulus program, and tax cuts for the wealthy.  If the Club For Growth is serious about taking out Capito, they better find a candidate soon because Capito is raising a lot of money for her 2014 Senate campaign:

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has kicked off her Senate campaign with strong fundraising, bringing in $915,000 in her first full quarter as a statewide candidate.

Capito will report having $2.35 million in cash on hand, according to her consultant John Brabender.

Capito is running to replace Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who will retire in 2014. The Mountain State’s open-seat race  is expected to be one of this cycle’s most targeted. Senate Republicans must net six seats to win the majority in 2014. - Roll Call, 4/3/13

As for the Democrats, they may have found someone who could be a strong candidate:

Though for the last several weeks, Democratic hopes of retaining Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat in 2014 have looked bleak, it seems party operatives may have finally found their unicorn in West Virginia: a wealthy, pro-coal, pro-business Democrat in the style of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. Attorney Nick Preservati has spoken with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee about running for the seat, in conversations that the committee found "encouraging," according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

"I can tell you that we are -- I'm seriously considering it. Still looking at all the options. Very soon we'll put out more," Preservati said in a brief phone interview on Wednesday afternoon. Preservati said that he had talked with "a lot of people" about pursuing a bid.

Preservati could be an answer to Democrats' prayers. While Republicans seem to have already coalesced around Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, several potential Democratic contenders have indicated that they will take a pass, including former interim Sen. Carte Goodwin, former Gov. Gaston Caperton and Rep. Nick Rahall. Though Rahall hasn't expressly ruled out a bid, he sounds increasingly likely to run for reelection instead and few state Democrats expect him to run for the Senate seat.

Preservati and his family have long been involved in the coal mining industry in the southern part of the state, potentially disarming a potent line of attack for Republicans. Coal is a major industry in the state and the issue has been used to hurt Democratic candidates in recent cycles. In fact, NRSC executive director Rob Collins indicated on the day that Rockefeller announced his retirement that Republicans would try to make it an issue again, saying, "Voters next year will have a clear choice between a Democrat who will be a loyal vote for President Obama and Harry Reid as they try to kill West Virginia's coal industry and bankrupt our country with reckless government spending, versus a Republican who will serve as an effective check-and-balance on their liberal agenda and work to get our country's economy back on track."

"I'm not sure there's much difference between Shelley's position on coal and Nick Preservati's position and Joe Manchin's position," former state Democratic Party chairman Nick Casey said. - National Journal, 3/20/13

I' still waiting on my ideal candidate, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D. WV), to make her decision about running for Senate.  She is giving it some serious consideration.  You can read about why I like Tennant here:

Right now, Tennant's been focusing on fighting voter suppression in West Virginia:

Two bills in the guise of voter ID laws are being opposed by the West Virginia Secretary of State and a non-partisan voting rights protection coalition she formed.

"There are those in our legislature who want to disguise voter suppression as voter ID laws," Secretary Natalie Tennant said on Monday. "These laws would place unfair barriers on certain portions of the population that would make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for an otherwise legally registered voter to cast their ballot. This coalition of citizens from organizations around the state will not sit on the sidelines and let this happen. These laws that require people to devote money and time to obtaining one of these acceptable forms of voter identification will do only one thing and that's keep people away from the polls."

House Bill 2350 and Senate Bill 13, which are pending in the Judiciary Committees of each chamber, would require the voter to present a document issued either by the state or federal government with their name, address and photograph. Otherwise they would sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot and the signature would then be compared to the signature on record with the county clerk before the ballot is counted. - Parkersburg News & Sentinel, 3/19/13

She's also been joining coal miners in their protest against Patriot Coal's pension cuts:

Coal miners listen to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak during the Beallsville Coal event at the American Energy Corporation in Beallsville, Ohio August 14, 2012. .REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS ENERGY BUSINESS)
Early on a foggy Monday morning, a packed bus of retired United Mine Workers from Fayette County pulled out of Oak Hill on their way to deliver a message to Charleston.

Dressed as one in camouflage, they went to add their voices to the thousands who converged downtown in the capital to protest Patriot Coal’s desire to shed $1.6 billion in pension and health care benefits through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving miners and their families without.

There, they were joined by big voices like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, a fleet of West Virginia politicians, and UMWA president Cecil Roberts.

Before the thousands set to marching, they rallied there, where they heard speeches from Sen. Joe Manchin, Congressman Nick Rahall, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Trumka, and Roberts.

They called on Patriot, Peabody and Arch to honor their contracts with employees.

And Tennant urged those outside the building to ask themselves a question.

“Are you next?” she said, echoing the hundreds of waving signs implying that miners at other companies could one day share Patriot miners’ fate.

“It’s immoral. It’s fraudulent,” said Trumka. “This company stands for everything that’s wrong in America today. ... They stand against every American value we stand for. Patriot Coal doesn’t know a thing about patriotism.” - The Fayette Tribune, 4/4/13

This race has been a little sleepy but hopefully the Club For Growth and the Democrats will wake it up because I want us to hold this seat.  West Virginia may have gone to Romney in 2012 but this is the Democrats turf and I want them to fight hard to keep it.

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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