W.Va. House 22 candidate: Michel G. Moffatt Sr. (R)
HOME CITY: Hurricane, W.Va.
HOME COUNTY: Putnam
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I am running for the House to drive job growth, improve our education system, change our legal climate, and begin making government more accountable to the people of the District and the State. I am extremely active in all areas of the District and too many areas are being ignored. The time for REAL change in WV is Nov 2014. Our current legislature continues to fail the people under Democrat leadership and it is time for WV not to be at the bottom of the rankings. It is time for an Engineer to be in the Legislature.
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science, Industrial Engineering, Lehigh University 1994.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Leader in many organizations while being a Father first and foremost.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Danaher Tool Group. Garland, TX 2005 - 2007 (Value Stream Manager), Danaher Tool Group, Springfield, MA 2004-2005 (Plant Closing & Plant Startup, Production Supervisor). SouthCo, Inc., Honeoye Falls, NY 2001-2004(Lean Champion/Production Supervisor). U.S. Aluminum Inc., Haskell, NJ 1998-2001(Plant Superintendent). United States Bronze Powders Inc., Flemington, NJ 1994-1998 (Manager of Foundry Operations).
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: President, Parish & Family Life Group, Ascension Church; Member of the Ascension Church Parish Council; Treasurer of Lincoln County Fair Board; past Member of Big Ugly Neighborhood Watch; Active Volunteer in LEAD (Logan Empowerment, Action, and Development Community Organization); Vice President of Putnam County Republican Club; Member of Citizens for Coal; Member of the Putnam County Rotary; Member of the Putnam County Fair Board; Member of BGPZ Lambda Chi Alpha, Lehigh University Alumni Board; Associate Member of Putnam County Chamber of Commerce; Associate Member of Putnam County Republican Executive Committee; Host Parent of West Virginia Power; Lifetime Member of NRA; Leadership Putnam participant, member Putnam County Chapter of West Virginians for Life.
FAMILY: Wife, Amy; children, Lindsay (6), MJ - Michel Jr.(4).
1. Are you satisfied that the Legislature has done enough to protect West Virginians from chemical spills? Please explain.
No I am not satisfied. The bill is too complex and makes things very confusing. There should have been a single bill to address Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST). The worst way to address issues is inspection. Fool proof process and procedures should have been required. Leak detection and secondary containment should have been the focus.
2. What steps would you recommend to improve West Virginia’s economy?
We need to address our "judicial hellhole" status and give the special tax breaks that attract certain businesses to ALL businesses. The State should fight and give breaks, not only for the large employers, but the small ones too. We are a Coal state and our Government needs to fight harder for Coal.
3. Do you think more needs to be done to ensure high school graduates are competent? Explain.
YES! YES! YES! We need to get the money out of the Board of Ed and down to the classrooms. We are short changing our teachers to have some of the highest Administration to Student Ratios. Our students deserve better. Teachers need to be able to teach and a one size fits all is bad for the local schools.
4. How do you propose keeping more students in school and reducing the truancy rate?
Students need to be taught in things that interest them. Not every student needs to go to college but they are all being taught for that AND some lose interest. Again one size fits all is wrong. Bring back VoTech as many jobs are available in those areas. Let teachers teach and students will be engaged and in their seats.
5. What can the state government do to improve educational achievement in West Virginia?
All students do not need to be college ready at the end of High School but they do need to be life ready. Those that are going to go to college need to be taught to those standards but those that want to go into the Vocational fields need to be sufficiently ready to do so.
6. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
First and foremost the government MUST make the state more job friendly to attract more employers and hence more jobs. Our adult education areas offer many opportunities to retrain but these programs need expansion.
7. What more should the state do to battle the prescription drug crisis?
The State is facing a HUGE drug crisis. Again JOBS JOBS JOBS will help this, but we also need to crack down more on out-of-state drug dealers and the pull pushing doctors. For those issue that are already on drugs - REHAB. We have to expand Rehab centers ASAP as many counties have nothing for addict. Drug Court expansion helps too.
8. Are there more steps the state should take to reduce obesity?
Again part of this goes back to jobs. Many times people say that the healthy food costs too much. It may cost more in the short term but not in the long term and by attracting more high paying jobs to the District, many will be able to have more options.
9. How could the state help small businesses grow in West Virginia?
The state cannot continue to give breaks to all of the Large businesses that they want to attract and ignore the small ones. Our legal system makes it very difficult for our small businesses. Tort reform would be a HUGE benefit to small businesses.
10. Do you think the state should do more to reduce the size of the prison population?
The state can do more to reduce the system by having more jobs available. Crime goes down as employment does up. We should NOT cut prison sentences due to overcrowding. Instead lets adopt some of Sheriff Joe's approach and make prison less comfortable. People in prison live better than some in my district. That is wrong.
11. What measures do you support that would improve the lives of West Virginians, especially children, who are living in poverty?
We need new Leadership in the Legislature that will focus on attracting jobs and not placating the trial lawyers. Jobs are the best program to lift people out of poverty. Until we can attract more employers, WV will continue to suffer with poverty.
12. What measures do you support on fracking/horizontal drilling that would protect people living near drilling sites?
The drilling boom in the Northern part of the state is dong a great thing for the people in the area. It is creating the jobs needed to address many of the issues above. As for protections, the businesses must meet the standards that are in place for all businesses and those that don't should be held accountable.
13. Do you support the West Virginia Department of Education’s Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives, West Virginia’s plan to implement Common Core? Explain.
I do NOT support the NGCSO and am working with WV Against Common Core to educate people as to the flaws of this sellout by the WVDOE. WV adopted Common Core before the standard was even finalized chasing the Federal financial incentives. Common Core is NOT internationally bench marked and will not improve learning.
14. What needs to be done now to diversify the economy of West Virginia?
WV is ranked 49th in Regulatory Freedom and 50th in Business Friendliness. South Carolina is constantly announcing new companies coming to the State. We have plenty of land and markets close by that make WV ideal for companies but until we enact tort reform and update our tax code, especially the Inventory taxes, we will continue to miss these opportunities.
15. What solutions would you offer to deal with drug abuse problems in West Virginia?
The solution is JOBS. Most jobs require drug testing. If someone has a good paying job they would not put that in jeopardy by doing drugs. When people are not working they look to be kept busy through other means and some turn to drugs. Jobs would also bring money to the State to help with long term rehab facilities.
16. How would you address the problems of barriers to employment and other services experienced by those in successful long-term recovery from addictions?
Those that are in long term recovery would be able to pass the drug test and would not face a barrier to employment or other services.
17. Do you support West Virginia asking the USDA to allow the state to say SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase non-nutritive soft drinks? Please explain why or why not.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) should be just what it says Nutrition Assistance. These programs are not meant to be long term programs but assistance when people need it. If we would attract more JOBS then people would be able to buy their non-nutritive soft drinks on their own and leave the program.
18. West Virginia has the highest rate of smoking among pregnant women. We also have one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the country. Do you support increasing the West Virginia state tax on tobacco products to coincide with the national average?
Making up the State’s budget shortfalls by this tax is NOT the answer. Children need to be educated about the many issues of smoking. Most addicts start smoking before they are old enough to buy cigarettes so raising the tax does not address that issue, but those that choose to smoke should assume the Health Care costs of that choice.
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