In 2014, Catina Webster voted for Saira Blair for House of Delegates.
This year, Webster is running against her.
In an interview with This Week in Morgan County, Webster told host Russell Mokhiber that she voted for Blair in 2014 because she took Blair at her word that Blair was “an independent.”
“When she said she was independent, I honestly believed her,” Webster said. “We need to stop associating with political parties and start getting attuned with our interests. I’m more about interests versus political affiliation.”
Webster said her vote for Blair was “a mistake” and she’s running to correct that mistake.
Webster criticized Blair for supporting what she called “union-busting legislation.”
And as a way out of the state’s budget crunch, Webster supports legalizing marijuana.
“I have an issue with legislating people’s civil liberties,” Webster said. “We don’t need to babysit people for using a substance that’s far safer than alcohol.”
“If you look at Colorado — they are making millions. Our state is about to shut down. Over half the states have legalized marijuana in some shape or form.”
“Governor John Kasich in Ohio just signed it into law yesterday,” Webster said. “Over half of Americans are in support.”
Would she support increasing the cigarette tax?
Webster said she was willing to support a one time 65 cent tax on cigarettes if at the same time West Virginia legalizes marijuana.
Webster favors moving away from fracking and coal and wants the state to move toward renewable energy.
When asked whether she supported Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders during the primary, Webster said — “I did not make a decision.”
“Hillary knows a lot more today about fracking because of Bernie Sanders,” Webster said. “I’m going to do everything I can do to get Hillary elected. But I don’t know that Bernie’s job is done. I’m there for her 100 percent.”
What about Clinton’s militarism and corporatism?
“I’m not here to defend Hillary Clinton,” Webster said.
But you said you support her 100 percent.
“I am going to support her 100 percent,” she said. “I’m going to knock on doors for her. But I’m here to talk about Catina and West Virginia.”
On gun control, Webster says “I’ve been a gun owner for 18 years.”
What are her thoughts on the legislation supported by Saira Blair on concealed carry.
“It was a good idea to get rid of the fee — there were a lot of people who couldn’t support it,” she says. “Let me give you a bit of background about Catina. I am somebody who purchased a firearm from living in (Prince George’s County) Maryland — which is a different environment from West Virginia. I had to go and identify my brother’s body — he was shot in the head. Those images will never leave my mind. Catina’s reason for getting a gun in Maryland is very much different from that of West Virginians. I don’t feel it is my place to impose my culture from Maryland onto West Virginia.”
“Gun ownership in West Virginia is enshrined in the culture,” Webster said. “There are literally families who raise their kids with hunting. I’m on board with that part. There needs to be some amount of accountability. I’m not saying that you need to go out and pay $2,000 for a course. But at the very least it’s not too much to say — this person has spent x,y, z hours on the gun range.”
Webster said she would not have voted for the bill that Blair supported because it was “drafted sloppily.”
On the Blair supported bill that passed the legislature that mandates drug testing of welfare recipients, Webster said “I would have voted for drug testing of legislators.”
Webster says she would have voted to drug test welfare recipients if the legislators were held to the same standard.