The following is a statement from West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword and Secretary-Treasurer Andy Walters regarding House Minority Whip Mike Caputo, UMWA International District 31 Vice President emeritus and a Vice President of the West Virginia AFL-CIO:
When the West Virginia Republican Party included a hate group’s poster among their sanctioned displays at “WV GOP Day” at the Capitol last Friday -- a blatant effort to agitate and incite anger -- the only reasonable choice for the Republican House leadership was to seek to remove the offensive content before the matter escalated. Unfortunately, they refused.
As a result, Delegate Mike Caputo faces the threat of additional sanctions despite his repeated and sincere apologies, the lack of proof that anyone, including the doorkeeper, was actually injured, and the fact that the Speaker has already removed him from his committee positions. All this while the House Republican leadership continues to ignore the bigoted and racist comments coming from one of their own members. That is simply unacceptable, but unfortunately part of a larger pattern of this Republican leadership excusing, therefore by omission condoning, reprehensible and hateful statements. All this needs to stop now!
Every single day, Delegate Mike Caputo stands up for working families, advocating for fair pay, good benefits, a safe workplace and workers’ rights, something he has done his entire life. So, when Delegate Caputo stood up to the hate and discrimination that was on display, we weren’t the least surprised. It is in fact who Mike Caputo is: A loyal and dedicated advocate for ALL working families.
He took a stand against hate and discrimination, and we stand firmly behind Mike Caputo.