As I have written here before, Stephen Smith is running an impressive campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of West Virginia. He is smart, energetic and a tireless campaigner.\r\n\r\nHis \u201csmall ball\u201d fundraising is working. Smith\u2019s campaign has reported raising nearly one-half million dollars so far, much of it through donations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. He has held dozens of town hall meetings and his team has organized volunteers throughout the state.\r\n\r\nSmith\u2019s theme of \u201cWest Virginia Can\u2019t Wait\u201d appeals to West Virginians who feel as though the state is caught in a \u201cbusiness as usual\u201d political cycle that leaves too many people at the margins, while favoring elites.\r\n\r\nThat populist message is like those of presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, who has endorsed Smith, and Bernie Sanders. Remember that Sanders won the 2016 Democratic Primary in West Virginia with 124,700 votes, compared with 86,914 for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.\r\n\r\nNow that Smith is starting to release his specific platform positions, it is also evident that Smith\u2019s proposals are in line with the far left of the Democratic Party.\r\n\r\nYou can read the proposals here and decide for yourself, but here are a few points that stand out to me:\r\nSmith wants to raise the corporate net income tax from the current 6.5% to 9%. That\u2019s an increase of 38 percent.* His plan also includes reinstating the business franchise tax of .7% on companies with assets of more than $20 million. The plan estimates that\u2019s a business tax increase of $168 million.\r\n\r\nSmith\u2019s plan also includes creation of a Public Bank of West Virginia to provide \u201cventure capital, forgivable loans, living stipends for arts and entrepreneurs, seed capital.\u201d\r\nCombine that idea with a long list of tax credits that Smith wants to create, and you have state government in the position of picking economic winners and losers on an even wider scale than it does now.\r\n\r\nSmith is also proposing making West Virginia a strong union state. His \u201cWorkers Bill of Rights\u201d includes instituting collective bargaining for public employees, preferences for union companies in state contracts, return of prevailing wage, elimination of the Right to Work law and passage of \u201cthe strongest laws in the country related to protecting the right to organize and strike.\u201d\r\nHis plan includes another significant nod to unions. The state would spend $10 million of taxpayer money to create \u201cWorkers Centers\u201d where workers can get assistance organizing a union in their workplace and filing grievances against their employer.\r\n\r\nSmith believes out-of-state corporations have taken advantage of the state. He\u2019s even proposing a 50-member Corporate Crime division in the State Police to \u201cinvestigate and bring charges against corporate criminals,\u201d a unit that he claims will \u201cgenerate significant new revenue.\u201d\r\nHe says his goal is to re-energize small business in West Virginia, and I have no doubt about his intent. His pro-union, anti-corporation message will play well with his core supporters who believe West Virginia\u2019s economy has never treated the state\u2019s residents fairly.\r\n\r\nHowever, his proposals are a much tougher sell for West Virginians who doubt the wisdom of government exerting even more control over the economy.\r\nHoppy Kercheval is a MetroNews anchor and the longtime host of \u201cTalkline.\u201d Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.