With the country in an uproar, members of Congress are shying away from town hall meetings.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) refuses to hold town hall meetings back home.
Congressman Alex Mooney (R-West Virginia) refuses to hold town hall meetings back home.
But Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) says — bring it on.
Manchin will hold another town hall — this one on Friday October 27 at the Country Inn in Berkeley Springs at 11:30 am.
Manchin is facing re-election in 2018. He’s facing a primary challenge by coal miner’s daughter, mother and Bernie Sanders supporter Paula Swearengin.
Two Republicans have announced for the seat — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Congressman Evan Jenkins.
West Virginia went heavily for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and the state’s billionaire Governor, Jim Justice, recently switched parties from Democratic to Republican.
In August, Morrisey called on Manchin to quit the Senate Democratic leadership.
When asked about Morrisey’s call by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin replied — “I don’t give a shit, you understand? I just don’t give a shit.”
“Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that?” Manchin said. “If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for shit that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me,” he said. “I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”
The opioid epidemic has hit West Virginia hard and will be a key issue in the 2018 election.
And Morrisey doesn’t come to the issue with clean hands.
In June 2016, CBS News ran a piece titled West Virginia AG’s Past Work with Drug Companies Questioned.
“As a lobbyist, Morrisey was paid $250,000 to represent a pharmaceutical trade group funded by some of the same distributors West Virginia is now suing,” CBS News reported.
“Records show he also took more than $8,000 in political contributions from Cardinal Health, a defendant in one of the state’s lawsuits. The West Virginia bar was concerned enough about a potential conflict to launch an investigation.”
(Cardinal Health was recently implicated by a Washington Post/60 Minutes investigative report as one of the three large drug distributors — along with McKesson and AmerisourceBergen — at the center of the opioid crisis.)
“When he first took office in January 2013, Morrisey said he would step away from cases involving Cardinal. But five months later he met with senior representatives from the company.”
CBS News reported that Morrisey’s wife is a lobbyist. One of her biggest clients? Cardinal Health.
“While he’s been in office, his wife’s firm has made roughly a million and a half bucks from Cardinal. ‘I — you’d have to talk and take a look at those numbers. I don’t pay attention,’ Morrisey told CBS News.