Dear Editor:

Ethics problems and election fraud are, sadly, a way of life in West Virginia because of the failure of Democrat leaders to join with Republicans to pass the nation's toughest ethics and election fraud laws. The "culture of corruption" must be defeated.

Whether its Attorney General Darrell McGraw's repeated abuse of the public trust, State Treasurer John Perdue's personal land deals, or the latest voting scandal in Lincoln County, the Republican Party stands for working families and citizens that want a better, stronger, more prosperous West Virginia through honest, transparent government.

State Democrat Party Chair Larry Puccio has publicly dismissed the Lincoln County scandal and defended the right of felons over ordinary citizens. The Governor has remained defiantly silent. But, we, the Republican Party in West Virginia, have and will continue to defend the people of West Virginia from the good ol' boys and criminals that would prey upon its innocent and the public.

I got involved in politics not to build a partisan machine but, rather, because I believe in the greatness of America and the opportunity for a remarkably prosperous West Virginia. I fundamentally believe that every person can make a difference and that every person should try. I am not involved in politics to build influence, curry favor, or accumulate power. I am in politics to truly create a better West Virginia where every citizen - no matter of party - has the opportunity to reach his or her dreams if they are willing to work and sacrifice for its accomplishment. Without strong ethics laws, honest elections, and leaders willing to stand in defense of her citizens, West Virginia will never realize its potential.

I urge each of you –- whether through blog, Facebook, Twitter, email, Letters to the Editor, or other –- to join us in this great fight for West Virginia's future. The most recent scandal was announced on Monday and it is time to turn your blog toward the defense of the citizens of this great state. Even if you are friends with Tomblin and Puccio, it is time to defend the people of West Virginia. Your efforts in defense of West Virginia will be appreciated; Your silence deafening.

Let's go to work and clean this mess up.

Mike Stuart

Editor's Note: Stuart is chairman of the state Republican Party.

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