WHEELING - Republican John Raese, candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia, believes it is time for a "capitalist revolution" in West Virginia, and the time for a new generation of industrialists to put the Ohio Valley's natural resources to use.
Raese was the featured speaker Wednesday at the "Penny for Your Thoughts" political forum hosted by the Ohio County Republican Party at the party headquarters in the Centre Market area.
"I would like to see the entire state of West Virginia have a West Virginia revolution about what we do best," he said. "Wouldn't that be nice? I would call it a capitalist revolution. How could we do it? The first thing we do is look at what we have."
West Virginia has more natural resources than just two other states - Texas and Louisiana, according to Raese.
The state also has ample river transportation opportunities, making for cheaper costs getting a product to market, he said.
"Can we have steel again in the valley? Oh, yeah," he said. The jobs "aren't coming back if you let government control us. Weak people breed weak nations. And if we're going to be weak in this country, we're going to have that problem. I choose not to be weak."
Raese faces Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin and Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry Baber in the Nov. 6 general election.
"The other two candidates - I won't mention them, but I call them socialists - when they talk about solutions, 100 percent of the time their solution was government-based," Raese said. It wasn't "about personal responsibilities - which I believe in - but it was a government-based solution for all the problems we have. Is that sort of what has been going on this country for the past 25 years?
"That's not a Democrat or Republican issue. It's an American issue. Where have we gone Joe DiMaggio?"
He noted the abundance of coal and natural resources in the Ohio Valley, and called them "the elements to build America."
"If you start at Weirton go all the way through Follansbee and Wheeling ... what's happened here?" Raese said. "I go through downtown Wheeling and it look like a bomb went off. Why? We've had all these wonderful career politicians - Arch Moore ... Jay Rockefeller ... the Manchin family ... the Mollohans. Career politicians? There might be an issue here. I think there is."
The area still has the natural resources it needs to survive, Raese said.
"Those are the resources we need to make the right kind of comeback," he said. "We don't need government. What we need are industrialists."
Past industrialists came to the Ohio Valley because they knew they could make money here, Raese said.
"Make a 'profit' - is that a dirty word today to our president?" he said. "I hear him all the time. He says it's a dirty word. I don't think it's dirty word. I think it's the greatest word in the world.
"When you generate a profit from a company, what do you do? The first thing I do is turn it back into the company - I reinvest. What happens when you reinvest? You get real good real quick."
And jobs are created by profitable companies, not the government, Raese noted.
The "Penny For Your Thoughts" forum scheduled for next week with Rep. David B. McKinley, R-Wheeling, has been canceled due to a scheduling conflict, Ohio County GOP Chairman Elgine McArdle announced Wednesday.