Democratic candidate Jeff Kessler gets Second Chances For West Virginians’ endorsement in the race for governor because of his commitment to the ongoing campaign to give a second chance to first-time offenders of nonviolent crimes convicted of misdemeanors and low-level felonies.
“People are looking for someone to stand up and lead,” said Kessler during a Create WV gubernatorial forum. “And I’m the only candidate who has fixed a problem within the confines of state government.”
Here is the link to his Facebook page.
You can access his Web site by clicking here.
The second chance effort involves legislation to amend the state’s expungement statute by eliminating the 18 to 26 year-old age restriction and by adding low-level felonies. Expungement shields criminal convictions from public view, thus eliminating the black marks that are glaringly apparent when applying for employment or housing.
The age restriction has been called “arbitrary and irrational” by Judge Michael Aloi, U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of West Virginia, and co-author of Emergence from Civil Death: The Evolution of Expungement in West Virginia.
The legislation, which will be introduced in the 2017 session, does not provide a second chance for offenses involving serious injury, sex-related or stalking offenses, any offense involving a firearm or deadly weapon, and any felony involving a minor.
Citizens, sheriffs, prosecutors, and the military agree that second chance legislation is the right thing to do for West Virginia by adding jobs, helping poor children and their families, improving local economies, and making the state safer by reducing recidivism.
Kessler’s legislative background includes being a co-sponsor for Senate Bill 411 and the lead sponsor for Senate Bill 526, both of which involved expungement.
Simply put, out of all of the candidates, the Senate Minority Leader has the most vigorous stance regarding second chance legislation.
“I will make it a cornerstone legislative proposal of my workforce development efforts,” says Kessler, deemed Champion of the People and Friend of the Forgotten. “I will introduce the bill during my very first State of the State address. Finally, I will use my bully pulpit to advocate for its successful passage and then…I will proudly sign the bill into law!”
Why Ronald Shamblin is Best in District 40
A strong governor works hand in hand with like-minded lawmakers. In the House of Delegates race in District 40, Ronald Shamblin is the Republican candidate who fits that bill.
District 40 includes places in Kanawha County such as Big Chimney, Pinch, Elkview, and Clendenin. You can view a legislative map by clicking here.
You can view Shamblin’s Facebook page by clicking here.
Shamblin says when elected he will do his best to work for people and not outside interests. After the primary priority of having a balanced budget is met, the most important work for lawmakers, he says, is “legislation that will help keep the standard of living and maintain West Virginia by giving the people a voice in our capitol.”
He was on the Tom Roten Morning Show and challenged the House Speaker. You can listen to the show by clicking here.
You can read his piece, “I Love West Virginia,” by clicking on the following link: 12910633_1279836215364788_442251972_n
As for second chances, Shamblin fully supports the movement to help put the Mountain State back on track.
“Second chance legislation to me means that our society understands the value in rehabilitation instead of incarceration,” he says. “To make something new again, allowing life to begin when you think it’s over. Giving this creates hope and a reason to try.”
House Speaker Tim Armstead, the Republican incumbent in District 40, violated the rights of parents and children by not making the appropriate notification regarding a registered sex offender who worked at the capitol, and then participated in covering up the scandal, according to Chris Regan in a blog post at homeyesterday.com. You can view the post by clicking here.
Armstead is public enemy number one to second chance legislation.
For more details, click here to see the last post. Click here to see an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
The other candidate, Lewis Taylor, has not responded to an e-mail and could not be reached by phone.
Shamblin says he plans to win.
Remember in May – and November
Remember in November, with its own hashtag, is a slogan that is being widely circulated. So wide, in fact, that the slogan was the impetus for a statehouse rally that drew about 150 attendees on the final night of the regular legislative session.
The battle cry is heard far and wide, including on Facebook, in which a page proclaims that Women Will Remember in November 2016. Many people want to remember. That is wonderful news. This type of remembrance spurs us to action, serving as a catalyst for change.
Let’s hit the brakes for a moment and reflect on primary elections, which are often overlooked. Be that as it may, primary elections are an integral part of the electoral system, creating a two-step of possibilities instead of waiting until matters are presented in black and white.
Perhaps Remember in May is not as catchy. It produced no hits in a Google search, underscoring the popularity of the other slogan. Alas, there will be no rallies or press conferences lauding its usefulness or promoting its popularity.
The message is one that bears repeating: Your votes in the primary election on Tuesday, May 10 help determine who the nominees are that get voted on in the general election on Tuesday, November 8.
Please vote for Kessler and Shamblin in the primary election. Also, please vote with your head and with your heart, not just along party lines.
If you have any questions, please feel free to inquire using the comment box at the end of the post.
The well-being of West Virginia depends, in part, on your participation in the process and ultimately, your choices.
Your vote makes a difference. Remember in May – and November.
Next time on May 17 on Second Chances For West Virginians: Melissa Riggs Huffman Challenges House Speaker Armstead in District 40 House Race
About the Author
Robert Grossman’s background includes writing for newspapers and magazines as well as radio and TV news reporting.