Misguided Protest

A group called Our Children, Our Future is planning a protest in Charleston Tuesday, where it hopes to capitalize on the special legislative session, expected to begin today, in order to shame legislators and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin into restoring more of the $1.06 million in cuts to programs such as Child Advocacy Centers, Family Resource Networks and domestic violence legal programs.

Tomblin has already performed about as many financial gymnastics as he could, in moving money from one account to another in order to restore $260,000 from the cuts. But that is not good enough for these folks.

“We are asking the governor to tell these families they will still get a hand up out of poverty,” said Our Children, Our Future steering committee member Jamie Gudielle.

Yes, this bunch is well organized enough to have a steering committee, but apparently not enough to understand the governor cannot simply click his heels and make more money appear in the state budget, nor is he willing to lie to those who may be in desperate situations and tell them the state is capable of providing for them all the resources they might want.

Where, it is worth asking, does Our Children, Our Future believe the money they want can be found? Have they made suggestions as to which other state-funded enterprise should receive less, or are they suggesting an increase in taxes or fees?

This organization has set forth its mission as a “Campaign to End Child Poverty.” Surely they understand any increase in the amount of money flowing into the state’s coffers will likely place a heavier financial burden on many of the very people they mean to help.

Tomblin and legislators certainly wish they had at their disposal all the money that has been requested. They do not, and therefore had to make some tough choices this year. Our Children, Our Future’s attempt to force them to continue to try to squeeze blood from a turnip is a waste of time and effort.