An open letter to Sen. Joe Manchin from a West Virginia resident:
Dear Sen. Manchin,
Facts according to the United States Census Bureau:
1) West Virginia is ranked No. 6 in the amount of persons living below the poverty level. (Individuals who make less than $11,490 per year).
2) West Virginia is ranked dead last in the amount of persons 25 years old and over with a bachelor's degree or more.
3) West Virginia is the second worst in median household income with $37,989 being reported. Only Mississippi is worse with $37,790.
4) Only 10 other states are worse than West Virginia's gross domestic product of $62 billion.
Your taxpayer-funded website, states that, "As a small businessman, Senator Manchin believes that to create a thriving economy and jobs we must lessen the burdens of unnecessary rules and regulations. Bureaucrats should not be able to regulate what has not been legislated"
Mr. Manchin, I ask you to justify your actions, your personal responsibility in the outright destruction of nearly 500 jobs within West Virginia and countless support positions which would have been created if Beretta USA had decided to re-locate to West Virginia.
As you well know, Beretta USA is the offshoot of the nearly 500-year-old family owned Beretta company that makes weapons. Maryland, where Beretta is currently located, decided to enact draconian legislation which would make many of their products illegal to sell within the borders of their home states. So, in an act of defiance of such policies and in an act of grand support for American freedoms and personal liberty, Beretta decided to move from Maryland.
Upon that announcement, several of our elected representatives at the state level reached out to Beretta and asked them to consider moving their facility to West Virginia, a move that would have benefited hundreds of West Virginians, especially in the wake of so many job losses due to coal plant shut-downs, which you are also partially responsible for in your war on coal energy. These representatives had direct communications with the vice-general manager of Beretta USA, Jeffery K. Reh.
In a letter from Beretta USA, it is stated that Beretta eliminated West Virginia as a potential new home for their company "especially due to Sen. Manchin's recent legislative choices we have decided not to consider your state for our future plans of expansion."
Your legislation, words and actions regarding the hobbling of the United States Constitution's Second Amendment is abhorrent. You state what we, as West Virginians believe, while ignoring our words to you which are contradictory of your personal agenda and beliefs.
Mr. Manchin, how do you reconcile the statistics of West Virginia's poverty and unemployment levels, with 1) your determination to cripple the West Virginia coal industry while 2) preventing the creation of future manufacturing jobs through your anti-Second Amendment rhetoric and legislative actions with the words on your own website that state "we must lessen the burdens of unnecessary rules and regulations?"