Editor’s note: Lissa Lucas is fighting for jobs and a clean environment, challenging the destruction of West Virginia by the energy industry.
“As I tried to give my remarks on HB4268 in defense of our constitutional property rights, I got dragged out of the West Virginia House chambers,” said Lissa Lucas, a candidate for West Virginia House of Delegates. “Why? Because I was listing out who has been donating to Delegates on the Judiciary Committee [from the energy industry.] This is, of course, public information.”
The video of Lissa’s removal from the podium at the public hearing went viral. Inundated with calls and interview requests about the incident, Lissa told the People’s Tribune, “I’m so excited people are paying attention. But I’m sad it took John Shott—Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—having me removed. I think the campaign finance data itself should be enough to outrage people. But it goes beyond these corporations just getting the bad guys elected with their money. They also stack the deck in the relevant committees by making big donations to the legislative leaders who seat the bought legislators on the committees, and ease passage of bills that hand our rights to corporations.”
I am hoping that people all over the US start looking up information [about who is donating to whom] and bring it into the chambers and read off names. When their legislature pushes these corporate bills and spends hours with corporate lobbyists, and gives you a few measly seconds to make an argument which they promptly ignore, call them out and vote them out. I don’t care what party they are. Bad guys get elected because of money, and this should not be in a democracy. Whether there is actual impropriety or even the appearance of it,that is breaking our democracy.
“People are out here trying to keep their kids fed and afford their Epinephrine. If they want to stimulate the economy, why not make sure workers have money to spend? If I had it, I would be spending. I have a room with a floor caving in. People aren’t able to keep up. Our teachers and public employees have had their insurance go up every year, and haven’t gotten raises that keep up with inflation. Why can’t we pay our teachers and public employees?
“I want the people to win,” said Lissa.