|COMMENT By Bob Weaver|
2014 has been a fascinating, high-gear negative campaign year.
County races were decided in May.
In rural Calhoun and regional counties, like never before, voters have been barraged by well-funded PAC and special interest groups supporting candidates, mostly with negative statements.
It's been a barrage of campaign material in the mail box and dozens of robo calls, many with negative attacks.
Voters reaction? More will stay away from the polls, and the election will be decided by hardy base voters.
Since the Citizens United US Supreme Court decision that gave person-hood to corporations, in most cases allowing them to filter huge sums of money into political campaigns without recognition, the political landscape has changed.
Those corporations and special interest groups are now using big money regional and local races, in many cases for the first time.
It would be fair to say that America is on a fast track to becoming a full blown oligarchy, with little outcry from US citizens, except to stay away from the polls.
An oligarchy is a power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people, in America's case the monied elite.
The hot-button issue in West Virginia's political campaigns is who dislikes President Barrack Obama the most, with his photo appearing with the opposing candidate.
Federal prison inmate Keith Judd got on the state ticket for president and won 42 percent of the primary vote against Obama.
Nearly 52,000 West Virginia voters cast their ballots for Judd. It was obvious that many voters had never heard of him and simply checked the box for "the other guy who is not Barack Obama."
Obama didn't win a single WV county in that General Election.
The anti-Obama campaign tactic is alive and well in 2014.
The other big issue is who is more for coal, with a little lip service to natural gas.
See WEST VIRGINIA ELECTION ALL ABOUT COAL - The Failure To Diversify, Educate
Among other hot-button issues for West Virginians are the same from the last election cycles, who loves God, family and guns the most, and who disdains abortion and gays the most.
Of course there is generally a spin about jobs, while a large number of candidates having voted against increasing the minimum wage.
There is an old political adage that says, "People vote their pocketbooks."
Not in West Virginia.
See WEST VIRGINIANS HAVE "WORST CONFIDENCE LEVEL" IN ECONOMIC FUTURE, SAYS GALLUP - Voters Not Voting Their Pocketbooks?
Calhoun taxpayers are among about a dozen WV counties that have yet to pass a school levy to support pubic schools.
A $3.5 million levy is on the ballot for a second time in November, barely being defeated in May.
The Calhoun school system is struggling to come up with funding to operate the system at current levels, and more recently struggling to overcome a recent release of information that the system's deficit has increased to $1.8 million, information that was apparently held back.
It is likely that a record number of registered voters will not vote in this years off-year election, the winners to be beneficiary of party bases.
With election season top of mind for many, a new study shows West Virginia ranks fairly low in many voter turnout categories.
Only 14.8 percent of eligible voters nationwide cast ballots in the first 25 of this year's state primaries.
West Virginia has received the lowest overall voter turnout.
West Virginia was last in the lowest percentage of citizens who voted in the 2012 Presidential Election category. The state was also fairly low in other categories including:
Percentage of registered voters in 2012 Presidential Election — 41st.
Percentage of citizens who voted in 2010 Midterm Elections — 44th.
Percentage of citizens who voted in 2012 Presidential Election — 51st.
Help the politicians, please don't vote.
See WEAVER'S EPISTLES FOR POLITICAL CONTROL -'Make Noise, Confusion, Conflict And Chaos'
And CHARLEY REESE'S REAL COLUMN ABOUT THE US CONGRESS - Politicians Campaign Against Their Own Decisions