Archive for June, 2010

Manchin’s Decision

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Many readers of phillipsbillboard do not read The Charleston Gazette on a daily basis nor desire to.  There is an excellent historic perspective prepared by The Associated Press on appointees being named to vacant U. S. Senate seats in West Virginia.

It could explain why Governor Manchin does not wish to occupy the seat of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd even on a temporary basis.  The AP research has revealed none of the five West Virginians appointed to vacant U. S. Senate seats survived the next election – one decided not to run; the rest lost.

It is understandable why Governor Manchin wants to complete his term.  First, he promised.  Secondly, if there is no special election until November 2012 he remains politically safe.

There is one element important to West Virginia that may be being over looked.  That being seniority in the United States Senate.  Senator Byrd proved its importance.

Should Governor Manchin or anyone he names enter the Senate now they would gain over two year of seniority – assuming they were elected to the full term in 2012.  That may not sound important today but it is.  Even more so in twenty years – as we know once elected most Senators remain in office for several terms.

Let’s say there is even a small turnover in Senate membership in the 2010 election.  That would move our West Virginia Senator up immediately in seniority. 

This issue should be paramount in the decision making going on in The Governor’s Mansion after Senator Byrd’s funeral.

Political Tidbits…..

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Governor Manchin kept his word…..he will not go to the Senate but remain in office as promised for his full term…..but the Governor got a little help from SOS Natalie Tennant…..she says the law does not require a special election to fill the Byrd seat…..wonder if she hopes that decision may earned a Manchin endorsement for Governor in 2012.

Now who is on Manchin’s list for appointment to the U. S. Senate…..he has a record of appointing family members…..just ask Gayle…Mark….or young Joe….could Gayle make history by serving as First Lady and a United States Senator…..not sure about US history but that would make the political history books in WV?  Then there is a Governor’s race in 2012!

Has Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin been left at the altar…..don’t count him out…..he has the ability to make a fast start as a United States Senator…..teamed with Senator Rockefeller they could work the system for coal and other WV issues…..a case can be made that this interim appointment could advance his candidacy for Governor in 2012.

Rumor has it that two smart ladies are running the Stuart for Chairman campaign to lead the Republican Party…..bet they did not write or approve the now famous Stuart email attacking the strategy of Chairman McKinney in his re-election bid.  Bet the cause was not helped by the DM piece.

Mark Sorsaia is quietly moving across the state meeting with Republican leaders…..he will get to everyone before filing time…..remember he is exploring a potential candidacy for Governor…..who is the mystery candidate with a name…..no money…..but the potential to draw Democrats in 2010?

List making is a big business today…..everyone has one as to who Manchin will name…..a long time friend who knows politics sent this list…..Hardesty…Barth…Tomblin…Caperton.  Then there is his smart wife’s names…..a Gayle Manchin…Marie Prezioso…Don Nehlen…Mike Garrison…and the list goes on.

West Virginia Day Political Tidbits…..

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

2010 elections will see Democrats spend $50 million to focus on Obama’s minority and young voters…..want to bet this is the first poll for 2012…..to see if surge voters will return to help re-elect Obama.

1st District congressional candidate David McKinley needs to add a security component to his campaign…..a supporter recently took photos at a planning meeting…..many showed charts developed at the session…..then put them in an email to who knows.

Is the Democratic primary for Governor over…..last year potential candidates were running over themselves at Coalton Days…..not so yesterday.  House Speaker Thompson was the only one on hand…..he continues to appear in Northern WV…..building awareness and name ID.

A quick thought about tension at the national level…..Blue Dog Democrats are doing everything to stay in Congress…..Republicans are doing everything to make Obama loss his office.

All indications are in a week Larry Puccio will be chair of the state Democratic Party…..his background of running successful campaigns…..COS to a Governor is the exact background for the job…..a political party chair must be a mechanic…..not a policy wonk.

More on Coalton Days…..and Delegate Mike Ross lawn party…..locally there is an open seat in the House of Delegates from the 37th…..that brought those candidates…..even Republicans have a candidate.  Senator Walt Helmick was on hand he faces a Grant County Republican in November.

Another pick up at Randolph County’s Coalton Days…..local insurance guy Jay Wallace drove his company’s fire truck in the parade…..he could not be running for State Fire Marshall that is appointed….just being a good community member…..that is Jay.

Father’s Day is a family day…..not one for Byrd watching…..the Senator’s office was to be the scene of a rally…..to send him a message about the anti-coal policies of the Obama administration…..that event should have had a second thought.

Political Tidbits…..

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Good Saturday morning.  No weekend off for Political Tidbits.

Breaking last night…..President Obama said some members of Congress should share the blame for the Gulf Oil spill…..this was in an exclusive interview with political writer Roger Simons…..look for more over weekend.  Talk about excuses and shifting blame.

When it comes to women…..Sen. Lincoln did not lose in Arkansas as I expected…..honesty is the best policy…..I missed it.  A reader said I missed Justice Robin Davis when listing potential women Governors for WV.

Continuing to build name ID outside southern WV…..House Speaker Richard Thompson went north…..to speak at Downtown Business Association of Weirton.

Statehouse rumor mill says Thompson may by pass his House Ed Committee sending ed reform bills from the Working Group directly to House floor…..if/when special session starts up again…..wonder if he hopes this move gets Governor Manchin to look more favorably on his run for Governor…..Manchin wants education reformed.

One of fifteen….. WV native Matt Parker is a “Rising Star” in the political consulting world…..honored this week by Campaigns & Elections magazine in Washington…..his Columbus based firm focuses on voter contact.  A key player in the firm is known to WV Republicans…..P J Wenzel worked on the 08 Romney efforts here.

Speaking of Republican stars…..sad to report John Scott who directed the WV Republican Committee for many years passed away recently.  He was a brilliant political reporter…..Buckhannon community leader…..and friend.

Political Tidbits…..

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Is there a woman Governor in WV’s future…..they carried the day across the country on Tuesday…..what about Betty Ireland…..Gayle Manchin…..Shelley Moore Capito…..Natalie Tennant……don’t count any of them out. 

Charleston Judge Mary Stanley was in Washington to help celebrate daughter’s…..new position at Bloomberg’s expansion in Washington.  Sarah’s old boss…..Rahm Emanuel made known…..’This is my last bat mitzvah for Sarah.’  We’re talking about Sarah Feinberg.  Remember that name.

There is a celebration in Nevada…..Harry Reid got his wish…..the opponent he believed easiest to defeat…..watch what you ask for…..Bill Clinton started Reid’s November campaign today.

Republican Chair Doug McKinney…..seeking re-election made his strongest case on MetroNews Talkline…..he pointed out 55 county chairs have not been elected since May primary…..that is a lot of votes when only 130 have a voice in the GOP Party’s future.

This one has to be passed along from Politico…..PRESIDENT OBAMA DOING ENOUGH FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY? Matt Bai raises that question in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine cover story, ‘Democrat In Chief?,’ where he describes ‘a meeting in Nancy Pelosi’s conference room at the end of April to discuss the party’s election-year message. Around three sides of the table were close to a dozen Democratic leaders in the House. On the remaining side sat David Axelrod, … along with two other White House operatives: Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, and Stephanie Cutter … Chris Van Hollen, the Maryland congressman in charge of House campaigns this fall, and James Clyburn, the Democratic whip and an Obama ally, complained to Axelrod about the president’s unrelenting assault on Washington rather than on Republicans specifically … When the other lawmakers departed for a vote, … [t]he speaker strolled down to Axelrod’s end of the table and delivered the message bluntly. Obama, she insisted, needed to be cutting and clear about the choice between parties that he was asking voters to make. … ‘Look, if the president could take 10 points off his numbers to give you 10 seats – ‘ Axelrod began, referring to Obama’s approval ratings. ‘That’s not what we want,’ Pelosi said, cutting him off. ‘That doesn’t do any of us any good.’ … Axelrod pointedly declined to say that the president would stop acknowledging the failures of both parties in Washington, but the message was received. … Obama intensified his rhetoric about Republicans, playing to his constituencies on the Hill as well as to the audiences he was addressing.’ Cover imageArticle 

Mitt Romney Has It Right

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Governor Romney conducts a leadership seminar in USA Today.  When it comes to a turnaround his record speaks for itself.  This is a piece that ought to be shared.

Political Tidbits

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Mitch Daniels Gov of Indiana is testing 2012 waters…..a high ticket reception and dinner is set for June 15…..at the Willard Hotel no less…..Daniels was COS for Senator Lugar when I first met him…..cleared the intergovernmental waters for Ronald Reagan and Bush 43 depended on him as head of OMB…..Washington friends pushed him to me over dinner three months ago.

Speaking of GOP leaders Mike Stuart….. declared himself winner on Metro News Talkline earlier today…..the race appears warmer than expected.

Where are all the town-hall meetings during this congressional recess…..Washington political news reports many House Democrats were warned by party leaders…..to avoid Q&A sessions…..looks like caution continues.

Why would Governor Manchin want the Office of Economic Opportunity moved from his office…..when the economy continues to need attention?

Looks like  Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) will join Specter and Bennett tonight…..likely she knows Rep. Alan Mollohan…..he can tell her how to handle defeat.

At last the RNC is winning at something…..a call from the hill let me know the RNC beat DNC in softball….15-3.

Did you read Fred Barnes in WSJ…..the new Washington rumor is President Obama…..is hoping Republicans capture the House…..read it for the answer.

Stay tuned…..returns from today’s primaries across the country…..may provide more answers….. about the impact of the tea party movement.

First District Will Be National Battleground

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Republicans in the First Congressional District were no doubt working behind the scenes and hoping for a victory by Congressman Alan Mollohan.  The conventional thinking was this would be a pick-up seat as national Republicans work to win the House of Representatives in November.

It did not work out that way for Republicans or Congressman Mollohan.

Political thinking now is that by losing incumbents in the primary may not mean losing seats by either party in November.  I doubt Republican David McKinley, a strong contender feels  that way.  Likewise, that Senator Mike Oliverio will take the race for granted.

An interesting Congressional Memo written by NYT reporter Carl Hulse ran in today’s Times.  It uses the Mollohan and Oliverio race as one of its examples to address the theory that parties may hang on to seats despite the resentment against Washington and incumbents.

The defeat of 14-term Congressman Mollohan as the first incumbent in 2010 has received so much national attention.  Don’t think for a New York minute this race will not be a national battleground between the two parties in November.

Job Offer Cover Up

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Last week I wrote about The President’s lunch with President Clinton the day before the unbelievable explanation offered by the White House Counsel on the job offer to Congressman Sestak.  For weeks I had been following this developing issue. 

After the poorly thought out explanation all I could think of was the Watergate cover up.  I included in that post the comparison of explanation given by President Nixon at the time and President Obama at this point in time.

Jack Kelly, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, says evidence mounts that there’s been a job-offer cover up.

Political Tidbits…..

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Control of the state GOP party battle is in full gear…..Chairman McKinney announced this week.  Wonder who from Ohio wrote that news release…..the Mike Stuart team is in full battle gear.  Already there is talk of a negotiated settlement…..beware of the suggested mediator…..he has a connection to the Warner crew.  Is there a third candidate in the wings? 

Tuesday’s primary…..will voters send the same message as in the May 18th election…..voter anger!  They don’t like the way Washington works…..in fact; there is no love for Washington.  Incumbents in both parties…..are being more careful.  Despite the cautious November’s midterms may take care of the term limit issue.

Manchin is taking the high road…..his new “Country Road PAC” is the right highway…..it keeps everything clean…..as he begins traveling “the country”…..where will these roads lead…..a place on a new national Democratic tickets in 2012…..a cabinet position…..or another race in WV?

Speaking of Governor Manchin…..getting his former COS Larry Puccio active again is a good move…..Larry is a first class political thinker…..his comment when ask by a Daily Mail reporter about Manchin putting too much stock in polls…..was brilliant…..he just laid it out  “Well, then you’re putting too much stock in your constituents”

Republican race for Governor may be underway…..Putnam PA Mark Sorsaia has set up an exploratory committee.  Democrats have been watching a huge field jockey for position for a year.

A Republican reader wrote the listing of 10 most influential Republicans…..should include Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-6th).