Posts Tagged ‘Sen. Jeff Kessler’

Political News from Charleston:

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Vetoing a pay raise may help Tomblin

By Don Surber, Charleston Daily Mail

The unwritten rule book of West Virginia politics holds that Democrats kiss up to the unions that represent government workers to get past the May primary and then kiss up to business for the fall campaign.  Read the full column here.

Governor’s Race?

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Robins have returned…the birds are singing…where are the 14 gubernatorial  candidates…likely scrambling for funds…but this race will not be won on TV…unless the campaign gets negative…likely for Democrats…unlikely for Republicans…the smart candidates are quietly working in the field.

There are more fireworks between the chairs of both parties than in the Governor’s race…GOP Chair Mike Stuart attack Democrat lawmakers…Dem Chair Larry Puccio shot back…will be fun to watch…Stuart with little political experience and Puccio a pro.

Americans are clamoring for a national debate on the federal budget…it is underway… a survey revealed most Americans understand little about the federal budget…it is depressing…check it out.

New leadership for the WV Democratic Legislative Council…Nick Casey will be General Chairman…House Speaker Thompson & Acting Senate President Kessler…must be taking steps to gear up early for the 2012 legislative races…Casey knows his stuff.

Candidates Betty Ireland [Republican] and John Perdue [Democrat] appear the most active…Ireland is the first name that comes up in random conversations with Republicans…and Perdue is putting up yard signs…even in snow covered Randolph County…the two were in a dead heat when Public Policy Polling released finding in January.

NO TAKERS in Republican presidential race…Gingrich was at the altar but only announced a web site…Huckabee made news talking about Obama’s background…. but is planning an Alaska cruise in June…Palin is going to India…Mitt Romney is in New Hampshire.

Caught by surprise…a straw poll that it appears no one knew about…and it was a Charleston Democratic Executive Committee fundraiser…State Treasurer Perdue won…the value of this small victory was one story…the downside for Perdue…the other candidates have been put on notice.

A pass along…the text of Governor Romney Lincoln Day address in Carroll County, New Hampshire.

UNDERWOOD interns are preparing for another summer…information from Shane Wilson @304.539.0694.

Valerie Phillips from a Texas-based political consulting firm…named to run Betty Ireland’s campaign…little heard from by the other GOP candidates…Bill Maloney has sent a couple news releases…Clark Barnes is competing with Democrat John Perdue for the most yard signs in Randolph County.

Will the 2011 Legislative session end as planned…one week after March 12th has been set aside for the budget…may be the two leaders…Thompson & Kessler will decide to postpone important decisions…until after the May primary…come back and do the budget…who would this help the most…their campaigns for Governor!

THE CALL WAS ANSWERED…the Legislature took no further action to award WV’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate…who wins the national popular vote…the proposal would have nearly ended WV’s influence in these elections.

Governor’s Primary

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The “Anything Can Happen Primary” is now underway.  Just to get us here the Governor went to the U. S. Senate, an Acting Governor took office, and the Supreme Count mandated an election, the Legislature rightly disregarded party conventions and put a primary election in its place. 

The field is full of politicians known and unknown and other who want to be.  Some have money, others have taxpayers’ money and some are just “rolling the dice”. 

First let’s look at the Democrat race.

Even before West Virginians knew if, when or how they would get a new Governor a two candidate race was apparent among Democrats.  Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin knew if Governor Manchin went to the U. S. Senate the state Constitution would make him Governor.  And the aggressive Secretary of State Natalie Tennant would never pass up a chance to be Governor without having to give up her office to run. 

This two person race was confirmed before Tomblin became Governor.  A survey conducted in November by West Virginia’s leading pollster Mark Blankenship found 24% of Democratic voters for Tomblin with Tennant close behind at 19%.  Other potential Democrat candidates were in single digit.  Undecided was 25%.

Nothing changed when a North Carolina firm, Public Policy Polling released a January survey.  There was no match up of Tomblin and Tennant but Democrats surveyed approved by 53% the job Tomblin is doing as Governor and 52% had a favorable opinion of Tennant.  

The single digit candidates must work strategically and hard to turn around the primary race.  State Treasurer John Perdue has smartly decided to run against escalating electricity, gas and water bills.  He has placed government paid staff across the state, offices in various places and has been in the grassroots of the Democrat party for years. 

House Speaker Thompson has raised funds, attended events across the state and has a readymade field team, the Democrat members of the Legislature.  Each of them could turn on their “turnout” machine for “the boss”.  They all realize he controls the process that will redraw legislative district lines and every member wants a favorable district in which to run in 2012.

Northern West Virginia Senator Jeffrey Kessler (D-Marshall) would have been better positioned had he not messed up the Tomblin Senate.  He has been running for nearly two years and seemed to be a new voice.  He got power hungry and lead a revolt to change senate rules to make himself “Acting Senate President” when Tomblin was directed by the Constitution to become Governor. 

Kessler will have trouble turning around southern WV.  Tomblin comes from there and Kessler threw out Senator Truman Chafin (D-Mingo) as Senate Majority Leader.  Another serious geographical problem for Kessler is the heavily Democrat counties who have elected Senator Walt Helmick (D-Pocahontas) for years.  “Acting Senate President” Kessler ordered Helmick removed as Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.  His turnaround will be difficult and expensive.

An unknown Democrat from Kanawha County, Arne Moltis has entered the race. 

The Republicans have more candidates but most are unknown.  Maybe one of the unknown will become the next Governor.  The party has depended upon the same names for years Moore, Underwood, Capito and Raese.   

Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, a sure winner to be the next Governor declared she would not run.

The first to enter was former Secretary of State Betty Ireland.  

Ireland from her previous service has some name ID but the Public Policy Polling survey found 50% of Republicans were not sure of her.  Only 38% of GOP voters had a favorable opinion.  She hired a team of consultants from outside the state which would give the appearance of a well funded and nationally connected campaign.

Others must have sensed she is not in a favorable position in the party and the race grew with seven others filing by last Saturday. 

Mark Sorsaia, prosecuting attorney from Putnam County could be the sleeper in the primary.  He began exploring the race more than a year ago, travelled to Lincoln Day Dinners and did an extensive mailing at the holiday season.  He knows how to get elected having won four races in Putnam.  He must introduce himself quickly to Republican voters across the state but will run well in his home county and Cabell.  Ireland will lose votes to Sorsaia in Kanawha if he picks up the pace. 

Delegate Mitch B. Carmichael (R-Jackson) enters late which does not help his chances – if this is what he is after.  He has served ten years in the House of Delegates and should have the help of his GOP colleagues.  Carmichael may be working on name ID for 2012 or this might be his way to gaining support to lead House Republicans in the future.

Senator Clark Barnes (R-Randolph) was beginning to look like the Republican winner with all the names being mentioned from the Kanawha Valley as candidates.  He would have had eastern and central WV all to himself.  At the last minute most decided to stay out and former House member Larry Faircloth of Martinsburg filed.  Faircloth ran statewide for Governor in 2004. 

Three little known Monongalia residents came from nowhere Cliff Ellis, Ralph William Clark and Bill Maloney.  These candidates impact Barnes who must have hoped to carry central WV.  More needs to be known about these three candidates to factor them into any analysis.

The “Anything Can Happen Primary” will be won on strategy, turnout, ideas and money.

Governors Race Heats Up

Friday, January 21st, 2011

GOVERNOR TOMBLIN is trying to return order to the affairs of government…..he returned to his Senate chair this morning…..word is he will offer legislation for a WEST VIRGINIA DAY primary election and an October election for Governor…..this will not be the last word as senior legislative players angle for what works to their advantage…..which could be a party convention… current law provides…..stay tuned.

It could be the Year of the Woman in this election…..Natalie Tennant vs. Betty Ireland…..if the boys don’t get their act together…..and what about Justice Robin Davis…..she stayed out of the Supreme Court consideration of this election issue…..saying she might seek statewide office in 2012…..with the financial resources at her disposal…..2012 could turn into 2011…..if there is a primary.

Never discount Jim Lees in a Governor’s race…..ask Sen. Manchin what happen in the 1996 primary when Lees entered…..and recall he was a last minute entry in 2004 Democrat primary…..Lees offered an op-ed piece about the current “crisis”… only he can do…..THIS IS A MUST READ.

The Republican field for Governor may get bigger…..a draft John Raese effort has been launched…..details were printed in The Dominion Post…..owned by Raese…..conservative GOP workers…..and Tea Party activists are at the ready…..from his recent Senate campaign.

Candidates for Governor… least three were actively working the receptions before the WVU-Marshall basketball game…..Governor Tomblin…..and the two SOS women…..Natalie Tennant and Betty Ireland…..there must have been others working in their own quite circles.

Sen. Clark Barnes appears to be running his campaign for Governor…..from the Senate floor questioning what has taken place since January 12th…..and in the Charleston newspapers which is heavily covering the ongoing hangover in the Senate.

Using the same tactic is House Speaker Thompson also a candidate for Governor…..he is attacking Governor Tomblin in the Charleston media…..all the while Senate revolt leader Jeff Kessler must be wondering what happen when Senate President Tomblin showed up to convene the Senate.