Los Angeles Times, Daily Jefferson County Union – The man Sen. Joe Manchin III replaced as a senator from West Virginia, Robert C. Byrd, was so deft at securing federal funds — and non-coal jobs — for his needy constituents that the landlocked Mountain State boasts a Coast Guard maritime center. In 2005 when he dedicated a biotechnology science center, one of dozens of places in the state bearing his name, Byrd told the crowd, “You’re looking at Big Daddy!” Read the full article.
Byrd made the most of the Democratic leadership posts he held for most of his 51 years in the Senate. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who served alongside him for half that time, had less power but was equally zealous about seeking federal money for social programs benefiting children and the working poor.
Many West Virginians “are fighting to survive,” he said in his Senate farewell address in 2014, adding, “I believe genuinely in the ability of the government to do good, to serve and to right injustices.”
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