Archive for January, 2013

Manchin Continues

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Senator Joe Manchin continues his “campaign” of attracting national media attention.  This morning’s New York Times features him front page with a color picture.  A NYT reporter joined Senator Manchin in Beckley where he brought 15 citizens together for a discussion of gun laws.  Read here.

Historic Change

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Inaugurations present new opportunities and expectations.  As I sat watching Governor Earl Ray Tomblin take the oath of office for the third time I thought about that day 17 years ago when Governor Cecil H. Underwood took that same oath for the second time.

There is a similarly between these two Governors.  They came to office with a deep knowledge of our State and the experience to begin anew.  The one difference is Governor Tomblin cannot run again and Governor Underwood could.

My expectation on that 1997 day was that Governor Underwood had run his last campaign.  That he would use the enthusiasm and political capital from the “last campaign” to change the course of West Virginia.  That did not happen.  Governor Tomblin has the same opportunity.  He set the stage saying he would not have to worry about campaigning.

Here is my prescription for Governor Tomblin to accomplish an historic change of course and create a lasting legacy.  It is quite simple.

He should seek out the best thinkers available in the country not the normal cast of characters with a policy or political agenda.  This group should include historians, economists, political scientists, government specialists, technologists, sociologists and rural policy experts.

This is not a “blue ribbon” group reporting to the Governor but one in which he personally participates.

Prior to these experts meeting Governor Tomblin should commission a “state of affairs” paper prepared by a neutral party to provide an overview of West Virginia.

This is not an overnight process.  Nor will it be completed prior to the State of the State address in February.  It is a process that will take time, require thinking without regard to potential barriers or whose ox is being gored.  The result should be a comprehensive road map for the 5 to 10 years – not in time for the next election.

Once this work is done there will be the time to determine the steps necessary to implement without regard to existing relationships, political contributions or favors of the past and excuses.


Political Tidbits…1.6.13

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

POLITICAL TIDBITS as we ended the first week of 2013.

Another Republican…House GOP Leader Tim Armstead understands the importance of working with Democrats…he recently told the Register-Herald in Beckley…”We’ve already had discussions with Democratic members about working together.”

Rumblings are being heard from 2012 GOP losers…wanting to know why…they should ask their campaign managers.

Even before State Senator-elect Bill Cole takes office Republicans are talking about him taking on U. S. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall.

Alarm sounded…by Pam Van Horn to the members of her Democratic Legislative Council “In order to play, we’re going to have to change the way we do things…” she told AP’s Lawrence Messina.  The same could be said for Republicans on the national level.

Wonder who was behind all that out-of-state funds that helped the GOP gain 14 members of the Legislature…you guess.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…The Fix [Washington Post Column] named Sen. Joe Manchin as a Winner in the cliff fight…this is two positive national press hits for Manchin during the holiday period…other winners in the piece where Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, President Obama, Debt ceiling and Legislative jargon.

Think about this…the first strategic move in the 2016 presidential contest came during the post-midnight cliff vote in the Senate…FL Senator Marco Rubio and KY Senator Rand Paul voted no…2012 VP candidate Paul Ryan voted yes in the House.

Congresswoman Capito in demand as speaker for Republican events…GOP Legislative Committee fund raiser January 8th….State Party Lincoln Day Dinner February 11th…both in Charleston.

Chad Holland is leaving as Executive Director of State GOP on a high note.  He helped lead the State GOP to its most successful election since 1928. Though he and I were not always on the same wave length I respect his contribution over the last three years.  With every good wish Chad.

DO NOT MISS…a column by Dr. David Turner in The Inter-Mountainhere is a teaser…”After winning the midterm election elections of 1958, Lyndon Johnson and is paladin in the House, Sam Rayburn, bemoaned “too many Democrats”.”

Rumor has it there is a fight brewing about who will replace Senator Walt Helmick…when he resigns to become Commissioner of Agriculture…the question is should they come from the old 15th District or new 11th.

More Joe Manchin…he joined VP Joe Biden on the Capitol steps to greet GOP Senator Mark Kirk…who returned after a stroke and learning to walk over last year…Kirk’s goal was to walk up the Capitol steps…watching the news clip I could see a little of “Uncle Jimmie Manchin” and the kindness of Jennings Randolph in Sen. Joe Manchin…boy we could use more like Jennings Randolph & Bob or Harry Byrd in that place today.

BTW I also noted this week Sen. Joe Manchin & former GOP presidential candidate Gov. Jon Huntsman have teamed up to co-chair the anti-partisan group No Labels…wonder what Manchin is planning?

As expected the inauguration Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will not be lavish…that fits his style.

Remembering Rev. Sherman Davidson who passed away this week…he was a fighter for Republicans as Chair of the Taylor County Committee.


In & Out

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

As we enter 2013 it’s fun to think about what is In & Out.  Here is my list of 13.

In                                                                     Out

RGIII                                                                   Romo

No WV Elections                                               Lost Count

Big 12                                                                   Big East

Less Paper                                                          More Digital

Military Affairs                                                  Petraeus

Smaller Inaugurations                                     Extravagant Inaugurations

? ?                                                                         Haden & Phillips

The Economist                                                  Newsweek

Steve Paine                                                        Jorea Marple

14 Republican Legislators                              14 Democrat Legislators

Pondering other’s views                                 Reading only one opinion

Tea Party                                                           Tea Party

Bus Trips to Greenbrier                                 Exclusiveness