The below letter was written by USMA ’56 grad BG John C. “Doc” Bahnsen and sent via West-Point.org
email to the class of 1956. It has since been shared with USMA ’77 and hopefully others. There have been a few modifications since the original was sent, but this is what “Doc” wants everyone to know.
The conservative revolution in West Virginia is nearly complete. When I moved to this state in the 1990s, West Virginia was a backwater of depression-era and New Deal thinking. The entire Congressional delegation of two senators and three congressmen were democrats who voted nothing but the liberal party line. Worn-out socialist and labor union politicos were running amok and the state was being run into the ground. In the year 2000 — with Al Gore pushing his global-warming, anti-fossil fuel, big government-must-solve-everything agenda — we got the state to vote for George Bush. This was the first time a first-term Republican candidate for President had won the State since Herbert Hoover did it in 1928; it was the start of the conservative revolution in WV. West Virginia has now voted for the Republican nominee for President in every election since 2000, and now, conservative republicans hold four of those five seats in Congress.
By 2014, both houses of the West Virginia Legislature switched from liberal democrat control to conservative republican majorities. We’re on the cusp of the objective, and we now have a chance to consolidate the win, finish the job, and save West Virginia. What we need to do is get rid of the one key person in the one key position who can stop the will of the people…we need to elect a conservative Secretary of State. You see, the Secretary of State runs all elections in West Virginia. For decades, elections and voter rolls have been purposely mismanaged and grossly unsupervised so that union-backed officials could prevail in rigged local elections. Entire counties and swaths of the State have been run as corrupt enterprises by a few local, labor-backed henchmen and thugs. With fair elections whereby our conservative-leaning people can have a government that genuinely represents them, this State will prosper. We are almost there, and this year is the time to push through the objective.
We need a Secretary of State who will clean elections up statewide, and this year we’ve got the candidate to do it. Mac Warner is West Point Class of 1977. I’ve known Mac and his family for three decades now, and he’s as solid as West Point granite. His father served in Patton’s Third Army, and he has three brothers who are Grads from ’73, ’78 and ’89.
Mac was on the Honor Committee that cleaned up the mess at our school in the big cheating scandal of 1976-1977. Mac started his career as an artilleryman and became one of our great JAG lawyers — an expert in international law. In the 1980s and 1990s, Mac helped clean up dysfunctional governments and militaries in South America, Central America, Eastern Europe, and Southwest Asia. He often helped countries to re-write their constitutions, live up to the Geneva convention, hold fair elections, respect human rights, and embrace the Rule of Law.
From the Army War College Staff, Mac retired in 2000 and that is when he really went to work. He and his lovely Army wife, Debbie, sent three of their four children to graduate from West Point: Steven ’08, Lisa ’12, and Scott ’15. His other daughter, Krista, is an Army Reserve Captain in Alaska, and is married to a West Point ’08 graduate. Steven and Lisa both completed combat tours in Afghanistan where Steven received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Lisa is married to a ’12 West Point Grad, an Infantry Officer now going thru SF School at FT Bragg. Scott is headed off to the 173d in Vicenza this year. I got to know Mac and all his rock-solid children extremely well over the last 10 years as he helped me oversee the conservative youth camp I ran every summer in the hills of West Virginia. If life were a Texas Hold ’em game, Mac is “ALL IN” every day — he and his family should be the on the poster for selfless service to the US Army; there should be a special monument to him somewhere at West Point.
But that is not all. Mac just spent the last five years in Afghanistan on a State Department contract to build a legal system in that rugged war-torn country. He ran the largest Organizational Capacity Building Rule of Law program in the world. If there is one person with the wherewithal, experience, and background to stare down the corruption that has riddled this region of Appalachia for decades, lock up the thugs, and ensure we have fair elections, it is our brother from the Long Gray Line, Mac Warner.
I want you to open your checkbooks and help elect Mac as WV Secretary of State. Let’s grip hands and help this great servant go to work in West Virginia and fix things before we all fade off to Fiddler’s Green. Please join me and send all the help you can up to the $1000 limit to:
Mac Warner for Secretary of State
PO Box 18154
Morgantown, WV 26507
If you prefer to give on-line, find the “DONATE” button at
Thank you for helping us out.
John C. “Doc” Bahnsen, USMA ’56
Brigadier General, US Army (Ret)
USMA Distinguished Graduate 2016