Archive for June, 2014

Have We Learned?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

An earthquake hit the Republican Party last night.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) was defeated  by a Tea Party challenger.  This will fuel Tea Party types with the real impact hitting in 2015 and 2016 as battle for the Republican nomination moves into full gear.

I just hope this is realized by all Republicans not just insiders.  The consequence will be significant as we enter the contest to select a 2016 Republican presidential nominee.

Every day Republicans not active in the party must get involved immediately if we are to nominate a presidential candidate who can get elected.  Otherwise, let’s just crown Hillary Clinton.

This cannot wait until the excitement of a campaign.  Anyone who follows politics will recall the movement to nominate Barry Goldwater in 1964 started well before that year.  F. Clifton White was organizing, recruiting and taking control of Republican Party machinery at the local level.  This is well document in his book Suite 3505.

That year regular Republicans waited too long and the battle ensured.  Throughout the spring and summer of 1964 there was blood on the floor everywhere you looked.  At the last minute even former President Dwight Eisenhower got involved trying to save the Republican Party from itself.  We all know how 1964 turned out!

In West Virginia control of the party has been underway for some time by Tea Party believers.   Our representatives to the Republican National Committee are Tea Party in their heart.  The State Chairman is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.   Following the May election when new county GOP committee members were elected the same is taking place as committees reorganize.

This take over extends even to selecting a Congressman to replace Shelley Moore Captio in the 2nd District.  Not only has the Tea Party prevailed there but it was done with a Maryland resident coming across our state line.

Eric Cantor is a conservative Republican but not obviously to the extent liked by the extremists.

Extremism cannot win in 2016 get involved now – don’t wait until it’s too late.


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Why Not?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Revenue in our State is needed as badly as pothole filling.  The legislature faced with trying to find funds to restore “people” services in its recent special session had to move money from one account to another.  No one can argue about funding badly needed social services.

Beyond that Phil Kabler, Statehouse Reporter for The Charleston Gazette, reported last week that Lottery revenues are expected to be down about $100 million from 2012-13 and some $360 million below the Lottery’s record revenue of $1.56 billion in 2006-07.  The report said Lottery is expected to have had about $1.2 billion of revenue for the current fiscal year which ends June 30.

The time has come to look at new ideas to generate revenue without putting an additional burden on state taxpayers.  I wrote about this in February and offered what I am certain are controversial ideas related to gambling.  Here is a link if you did not read my February blog.

The beauty about new ideas to generate money from internet gaming, taxing Advance Deposit Wagering, offering Instant Racing and other ideas is most funds – reaching our state coffers – will come from out of state or around the world.  That could be a road map to avoid a tax increase on our citizens,  which could surely come if revenue from outside our boarders is not tapped.

Remember the huge money that came into West Virginia after the Lottery was established and casinos were built?  Yes, that is drying up because of competition from nearby states.  Well only three states now offer internet gaming.

With Lottery revenue continuing to decline it could be assumed they have a “think tank” looking at new revenue generating programs brought on by the growth of technology in their industry.  Likely the operating casinos and the state’s horseman are doing the same thing.  Let’s get the ideas from these organizations, our citizens, state officials and others on the table now.  Work should begin on these and other ideas long before the 2015 legislative session.

Why not?

Political Tidbits…5.27.14

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Political Tidbits…5.27.14

2014 primary election is over…summer is almost here…and the traditional start of political campaigns is long over…campaigns now are continual…likewise it appears negative campaigns are edging into mean ones…expect to see mean and costly races across the state.

The big surprise from the primary came in the 2nd congressional district…where the candidate [Alex Mooney] moved just 27 miles from Maryland…nearly at the last minute…to enter the race.  Based on his campaign experience he was expected to run well…but never win…even Eastern Panhandle newcomer Ken Reed outran long time active GOP candidates…some feel he could have beaten outsider Mooney with professional experienced management and his personal funds.

Quiet on the home front [Charleston Marriott]…during the recent legislative interims…hardly a delegate or senator to be found…that usually is the place for gossip and deals…where have all the “boys & girls” gone…likely raising money.

Could the so called “mailgate”…where Democrat delegates were accused by the GOP of using  franked mail [free to delegates but not taxpayers] to contact voters in the primary…could be the beginning of charge after charge to raise questions about these same delegates…and others…in the Republican  effort to take control of the House of Delegates in 2015?

Saira Blair is the new Republican and television star…17 years old and on her way to the House of Delegates…is appearing on various national political & news shows…young Republicans on the move.

Governor Tomblin picked the right person to run his communications shop…Chris Stadelman comes with a background in the news business…the two Tomblin campaigns…has a feel for spin.  He is a professional.

Will the ground game decide many elections this fall…or will it be direct mail and telephone calls…residents of the 2nd congressional district were flooded with both…wonder how much was created by out- of- state firms…not sure WV based firms are even interested in the coming meanness.

Do Republicans believe Mooney has been drinking too much “tea”…and are beginning to  wonder about his views and approach…plus with Sen. Joe Manchin a big booster of Democrat Nick Casey…who many believe to be in the same mold as Manchin…how will that influence GOP voters…who like Manchin…some of the time.

The controversy over calling a special or general session of the legislature…could be another attempt to use it to aid those working to take over the House…look for more such efforts.

Negative campaigning has been underway in the 3rd Congressional district for months…with the conversion by Evan Jenkins to Republican…again.  Not only is an outsider running in the 2nd ….but it appears outside money will fund Jenkins.  Don’t count him out.

Mean campaigning was kicked off by Mooney…who last week in an early morning news release…attempted to catch Nick Casey off guard…asking him to attack outgoing Senator Jay Rockefeller…for remarks at a  senatorial hearing.

All seems quiet in the US Senate race…at least for the time being…maybe that race will take sharp over the summer…Capito is doing her thing now…raising money…Tennant is doing her thing now…raising money.

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