On January 5th of 2021, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won Senate seats. Democrats rejoiced at the opportunity to aggressively pass Joe Biden’s agenda. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, though, hasn’t allowed them to do so.
At this moment, Manchin (and Kyrsten Sinema) is standing in the way of Democrats abolishing the filibuster in order to expand voting rights. This week, a number of prominent West Virginia natives signed a letter urging Manchin to reconsider. Among them were sports legends Jerry West and Nick Saban.
The letter read in part:
“We strongly support urgently needed legislation that will protect both the rights of voters and the integrity of outcomes in all Federal elections. The Freedom to Vote Act, which you sponsored with Committee Chair Senator [Amy] Klobuchar and other colleagues, effectively addressed these goals. Now we also support your leadership in shaping legislation to secure our democracy by protecting election integrity, principled Presidential transitions and our national security during transitions.”
The relationship between Saban and Manchin is particularly close. The two have known each other since the 1950’s and have remained confidants ever since. Time will tell if the letter will change Manchin’s stance.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.