On Friday, October 12, a forum was sponsored by the Charleston Gazette between Joe Manchin, Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry Baber and John Raese. In an encounter outside the interview Raese crossed paths with Baber, who reached out to shake his hand. Raese refused to shake hands with or even to look at Baber. He then said, “I refuse to be in the same room with him.”
Upstairs, just a few minutes later in the interview room, there was quite a stir over Raese's apparent departure. Baber said to Manchin, “Oh, surely he will attend.” Manchin replied, “You don’t know the man. He won’t be back.” Manchin’s words proved to be accurate. Raese took his ball and went home.
During the debate Baber called for diversification of the economy in West Virginia, and an immediate start to transitioning from mountaintop removal of coal to providing alternative jobs for WV miners who are losing their work to Wyoming coal and global economic conditions. Baber called for universal health care, fiscal responsibility on the federal level, promotion of education, and federal oversight of fracking. He also said that Joe Manchin was too close to coal and offered as proof the fact that Manchin flew home to the Upper Big Branch crime, which took the lives of 29 miners, on Don Blankenship’s dirty dime.
After the congenial debate between Manchin and Baber, Baber told the Gazette, “I am completely stunned that a candidate would simply walk out and not advocate for his position. It’s incomprehensible to me. He acted like a petulant child, who, if the game couldn't be played by his rules, would not be played at all—at least not by him. Simply put, a man with such qualities is unfit for any public office, let alone the office of United States Senator.”
For more information contact Tiffany Washington at 850-477-8577