"...If You Think Differently You're Crazy." #WVGOVTALK
"In the primary, there’s only one person that can win, that can win the general election, and if you think differently you’re crazy.” -Jim Justice (Charleston Gazette-Mail, 3.26.16.)
To Jim Justice, from CreateWV's "little guys" , the ones you say you're suited to take up for: Hold on just a doggone minute, Jim. We're not so sure about that. You see, you haven't heard or answered the Create WV community's questions yet, nor have we heard from the other candidates. And yes, we're crazy enough to think that what WE hear, or don't hear, will make a big difference in how we vote in this upcoming primary.
We know you had a scheduling conflict that prevents you from attending our event, and that is most unfortunate. Mr. Cole declined as well. We told our community not to jump to conclusions about the two front running candidates declining our invitation. The Republicans in our community, especially the young ones, couldn't get their heads around why Senator Cole refused to attend. Young Dems are equally confused regarding their party's handling of the whole primary so far. Both parties have plenty of folks speculating on the action behind the scenes. People are swapping stories about who's really pulling the strings in both political parties. And while that speculation makes for good social media banter and memes, people are really looking for information that will help them determine which candidate understands modern job creation, placemaking, culture and heritage as economic drivers. We are trying to figure out who seems most likely to LEAD our state to new opportunities and...<ahem>... diversified prosperity.
Friends have told us that we have to understand "political strategy," that the less time some politicians spend in front of voters, the better their chances are at the polls. That notion makes most of us just shake our heads in dismay. We regretfully accept that avoiding engagement with voters is indeed a campaign strategy for some in this state, but it's not a strategy for which the statewide Create WV community has much tolerance or respect. This is not a partisan thing. It's about respect. For many, it's part of our #struggletostay.
A note to everyone else:
Every day, around the clock, more people RSVP to attend the April 5 Create WV Gubernatorial Roundtable. Two candidates readily agreed to participate in what promises to be one of the most, if not the most unique political event yet. Jeff Kessler and Booth Goodwin both signed on to study Create WV's position on the potential for WV to compete in the global economy by way of innovation in diversity, education, entrepreneurship, quality of place and technology. They also agreed to answer the questions that people submitted, and to engage with several hundred people who will be sitting on the edge of their seats listening for signs of real leadership. We're looking for an Innovation Economy hero, and for most of us, we don't care what party that hero claims. We're interested in the one that understands how West Virginia's assets can be leveraged to create new opportunities--opportunities that are motivating to our citizens and to others who would make West Virginia their home if prospects for a quality life were convincingly strong. Many of us are eager to solve legacy and emerging problems with ingenuity, and intellectual honesty. We're looking for executive leadership that supports innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging talent and so much more.
Want a quick snapshot of what each candidate has to say about what needs to be done? Read the comments each candidate makes in David Gutman's recent coverage of one of the rare events in which all four candidates attended at the same time. Think about what you'd ask each of them if you were interviewing them for the job of governor, then be sure to save your seat at the CreateWV Gubernatorial Roundtable event.
Psst. Hey, are you still disappointed that Mr. Justice and Mr. Cole won't be on stage on April 5? Maybe you're Republican and think since your man passed on this opportunity you should too, and you don't think a Democrat has anything to say that you need to hear. Yeah, we know you're out there. We hope you'll plan to join us anyway. Then maybe you'll write to Mr. Cole to tell him what he missed. Or maybe your fave Dem isn't on the stage. Maybe you'll write to Mr. Justice to let him know that a significant number of little guys got together, hoping to get a glimpse of what fueled his recent statement, “I can do what no one has ever done, no one, because I have a creative mind like nobody’s business and I won’t take no."
Lots of thought went into the design of this event, and lots of people contributed--without us ever talking about political affiliation. Attending, and actively listening, will be a good, mind expanding experience for anyone, even single issue voters.
Choose to attend the April 5 CreateWV Gubernatorial Roundtable event and we guarantee you'll leave knowing heaps more about the candidates and their plans to create a West Virginia for the global Innovation Economy, one that offers jobs and opportunities and a quality of life that people actually want, rather than settle for.