Archive for the ‘WV Republicans’ Category

Oh My!

Monday, April 15th, 2019

There’s more to the “no confidence” resolutions being adopted by Republicans across the state than to send Governor Jim Justice a message.  Nor was it about not following the Republican platform – which I doubt 100 Republicans have even read. What is going on is raw politics.

It appears aggressive political operatives saw an opportunity with Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee having vacant committee members. Before offering such a resolution they had to control the committee.  They gathered up willing bodies and were successful in getting them into the open slots. The end result a “no confidence” resolution. What a better place to use the “voice” of Kanawha Republicans to take shot at their Governor than in the political capital of West Virginia.

Watch out Governor Justice there are many county committees like Kanawha sitting there just for the asking. All it takes is a little effort by aggressive battle tested operatives with an agenda.

With little thought in this case the agenda has to involve Don Blankenship. Could it be Don Blankenship and his long time crew are preparing to challenge Governor Justice in 2020 and take over the Republican Party in the process?



Monday, March 4th, 2019

I am disgusted. What’s going on in the Republican Party in West Virginia?

Though I no longer reside or vote in West Virginia I spent a lifetime there building the Republican Party and advancing the two party system.

What took place during WV GOP day at the Capitol last week disgusts me. Messaging that included posters and pamphlets that were anti-Muslin, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee.

This puts the icing on the cake that has been baking for while in the Republican Party.

Our State has a Republican Governor (?) and control of both Houses of the Legislature. Thus, they should not turn a blind eye as to what is displaying at special days at the Legislature when the work of various organizations and industries is recognized.

Where is responsible leadership? I can tell you neither Arch Moore nor Cecil Underwood would have put up with what’s been going on in the Republican Party for a minute.

Maybe it’s time for “old timers” like me to step up and take over – until the Party grows up.

If only I was still there!

Post Script

If you have not heard what took place or read the news recently click HERE.  Steve Allen Adams, an accomplished statehouse reporter, provides insight and his opinion.



Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Disgusted is the way I reacted last night after reading a Twitter post about a $100,000 breakfast being organized by a “secretive” and likely “extreme” conservative group.  You must read/click this link to see exactly what is going on.

It is unfortunate the organizers of this $100,000 breakfast have been or are active West Virginia Republicans.  Their efforts send a message to those who work hard for the Republican party and middle class Republicans they are not wanted.  If this type of activity and events continue the West Virginia Republican Party will be branded as the party of the rich.   No political party should exclude anyone.

This is going on while we have Republican legislators trying to raise the ceiling on campaign contributions to what is reasonable in this day and age – and strengthen disclosure requirements. I believe these are good ideas. But even that will not get rid of “dark money” or “dark organizations” holding $100,000 breakfasts or $25,000 dinners.

Why the secrecy and exclusiveness?

Democrats Dilemma

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Democrats current dilemma in West Virginia is not unlike that confronted by Republicans over the last fifty years.  During those years Republicans seemed only to win elections with candidates named Moore or Underwood.  The Party was never strong, organized, well financed, working together or developing the future.  Besides, with few exceptions, the GOP faced the problem of Democrats voting a straight ticket.

All that began to change in 1996.  Though the national Democratic ticket was headed by popular incumbent President Bill Clinton, Democrat voters showed they knew how to crossover.   WV Democrats helped Republicans elect the only non-incumbent Governor in the nation that year – Cecil Underwood.  Little did anyone realize or think then the GOP dilemma was being transferred to the Democrats.

Like the Republicans in the 20th Century only a few famous names Byrd, Randolph, Rockefeller and more recently Manchin have carried the Democrats to victory.  Though Democrats have won statewide Board of Public Works offices the 2011 primary special election for Governor showed none have emerged to take the place of the famous.

A two-party system appears to be in the making for West Virginia.

It started seventeen years ago with Underwood getting majority party voters to place an X by his name.  The next step was in 2000 when voters made Governor George W. Bush the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to carry the WV in seventy years.  Another Moore (Shelley Moore Capito) entered the scene that year winning a seat in Congress while Bush won again in 2004 and the Republican legislative pick up in 2012.  There have been other GOP wins in state races strengthening the move to a two party state.

Not sure what is happening in the Democrat party, but from the outside the dilemma appears to me not unlike what Republicans have faced for fifty years, too few known names, a lack of organization, adequate funds, a united team and a bench to assure the future.

West Virginia will be the winner if the dilemma ends for both parties.  Nothing would be better for our State than the checks and balances brought on by a strong two party system.

Republican Bank Is Open

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Republican activists should be aware the State Party is now paying for mailings and phone calls for candidates in non-partisan elections.  Just open these links and see for yourself.

I recall Republican legislative candidates in the 2012 election who desperately needed this type assistance.  This kind of help might have made the differences in the make-up of the current House of Delegates.

Based on this development it appears if you are a Republican running for a non-partisan election – or more importantly a partisan election you should call on the WV Republican Party to provide costly assistance.

Maybe this is a new endeavor on the part of the Party and was never discussed or voted on in Party meetings.

Big Tent

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Big Tent

My friend the late Lee Atwater [ran Bush 41 campaign & served at Republican National Chairman] coined the phrase “big tent” to the best of my recollection.  My friend Jim Lees [twice Democratic candidate for Governor] had an Op Ed in today’s Charleston Gazette.  This is something that should read by both Democrats and Republicans.  They may find a valuable message.  Click here.

Political Tidbits…Republican Politics

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Republicans held a state convention in Beckley this weekend…lots of enthusiasm but less than half [215] of the authorized delegates [509] attended…good thing the State Executive Committee [115] met that morning…not sure what this means for the Fall campaign or the Republican movement.

Convention goers were give red meat by their leading candidates…Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito…led as she had a granddaughter visiting and a son’s engagement party brewing at home…Congressman David McKinley gets stronger and better every day…his speech was a real old fashion “barnburner”…Bill Maloney taking a second run for Governor was more businesslike…and Senate Candidate John Raese…on his fifth statewide race…just cannot wait to debate Sen. Joe Manchin.

Ultra conservative Melody Potter teamed up with Kris Warner who supported former Senator Rick Santorum for President…seems this ultra conservative push to control National Committee positions is going on all over the country…they won over Donna Gosney [strong conservative] and Bill Phillips [that’s me]…both leaders in the WV Romney effort since 2006.

Money is what politics is all about these days…it has even reached the level of selecting party leaders…that was made an issue in the above election…Gosney said “why not an auction instead of an election”…it’s sad today’s political culture has become all about money, mean and partisan to the point if you are friends with a Democrat it may cost you a party election.

Both partisanship and money got in the way of my candidacy for National Committeeman…in my speech I reminded Committee members the importance of working with Democrats to the success of Governor Underwood’s campaign I ran in 1996…things were more civil in those days…plus I got hit for my wife contributing to Democrats…never try to control your wife.

Ever take a look at the voters registration numbers…if you add up the registered Democrats (640,378), Independent(213,154), Mountain Party (1298) and Other (21,879) that is 598.272 voters…Republicans had 352,941 registered in June…now tell me how you win without Democrats.

Seems Beckley was chosen as the convention site…as party leaders believe candidate Rick Snuffer has the best chance in years to defeat Congressman Nick Joe Rahall…remember Speaker John Boehner visited WV a few weeks ago…raising money for the 3rd District race.

Party Chairman Conrad Lucas aided those pushing the money issue…he issued a three page “Members Alert” to State Committee members…outlining “his expectation” for the new National Committee members…saying he “expected” them to raise $50,000 annually…from new donors… defined new donors as having not contributed in the previous 5 years…great goal but should have been done more than two days before the election…this was really out of line…coming from someone who has only been Chairman since May.

Lucas got his authority from a By-Laws provision Kris Warner pushed while Chairman…he got added to the By-Laws Article about National Committeeman and National Committeewoman…”They shall also perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Chairman”….Warner wanted rid of Donna Boley [National Committeewoman at the time] and Bill Pauley [Committeeman]…Warner who was run out as State Chairman after the 2004 election does not take orders…and Lucas wants to control…there is a divide coming that could extend into the membership of the Committee…will be an interesting show to watch.

Convention delegates got an example of that when Lucas attempted to just name…WV Presidential Electors…without nominations from floor…this created a small ruckus and a lot of parliamentary questions.

Lucas slate was to honor those who have served the GOP… Supreme Court Judge John McCuskey, SOS Betty Ireland, State Chair David Tyson, Congressman Mick Staton and Senator Sarah Minear…the convention confirmed his slate.

Other state candidates spoke and a 2012 WV Republican Party Platform was adopted before the day ended.


Political Tidbits…100 days away

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

100 days to sway the undecided…hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent by Obama and Romney on uncommitted voters in a few states…in WV Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney got ahead of the 100 days…he started statewide TV ads last week…fund raising must have picked up…or watch for another big personal check…he spent $2 million in personal funds in the special election.

A new element has been introduced in the WV Governor’s race…Charlotte Pritt…for those new to the political news here…she served as a State Senator…House of Delegates member…and now leads the Mountain Party…and is the only person to ever beat US Senator Joe Manchin in an election…that was the 1996 Democratic gubernatorial primary…Cecil Underwood defeated Pritt that Fall…a campaign I managed…and it was no picnic…as a Libertarian Wallace Johnson took votes from Underwood…in the end Underwood won with 51.6% to Pritt 45.8% and Johnson 2.6%.

This becomes an important developmentfor the both candidate Maloney and Governor Tomblin…the Democrat…Pritt’ s Mountain Party candidate may be able to pull liberal votes from both parties…if there are any in the GOP…creating another close Governor’s election…expect liberal Democrats are already upset with Tomblin…since he will not attend the Democrat National Convention in Charlotte.

State GOP is preparing for its convention in Beckley August 4th…delegates are expected from across the State…plus the State Executive Committee will hold its first meeting under the leadership of Conrad Lucas as the new Chair…he has been busy setting the stage for the 2012 election, raising funds and putting a Team in place…which includes a new Victory Director…Wendy McCuskey one of the best political minds I have met in years…Rob Cornelius will help with Legislative races and media.

In case you missed it…the 2012 presidential debate schedule was announced last week…there will be three…plus a VP debate…Domestic Policy will the topic on October 3rd in Denver…October 16th the candidates will be in Hempstead, NY to debate Foreign and domestic matters…the final debate is October 22nd on Foreign policy in Boca Raton, FL…the VP debate will be October 11th in Danville, KY.

DOWN ON THE FARM…a surprise endorsement of Kent Leonhardt for Agriculture Commissioner…provided by WV Farm Bureau…observers expected longtime Sen. Walt Helmick to be the favorite son…he had supported farm issues in the Legislature…and has been supported by Mike Teets…who got the 2008 endorsement over incumbent  Ag Commissioner Gus Douglass.

No word when the Democrat Jefferson Jackson Day dinner will be rescheduled…it was cancelled due to the storm that hit the State in July.

Republicans are preparing for Tampa…Party Chair Conrad Lucas has named Bill Phillips as Delegation Chair…others set to serve on Committees include Tom O’Neill and Charlotte Lane CredentialsRules Committee Donna Gosney and Bill PhillipsLucas will have a seat on Resolutions…Senator Donna Boley and Delegate Bob Ashley on the Permanent Organization.

Life after the Presidency…an interview with former President George W. Bush…courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center…click here to view.

Purpose of this blog is to keep political developments and news flowing to both Democrats and Republicans…Democrats send along your Tidbits.

Now facts of interest to workers of both parties…Gallup reported 39% of Democrats say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, down from the summer of 2004 (68%) and 2008 (61%)…Republicans (51%) are more enthusiastic than in 2008 (35%) but the same as in 2004 (51%).

Back to the undecided voters…A Washington Post and ABC News polling in recent days…shows there are fewer genuinely undecided voters in the 2012 election campaign…than in any of the last three elections.

Republican Delegate Results

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Governor Mitt Romney was the overwhelming choice when delegates were elected to the Republican National Convention in the May 8th primary.  Romney received 21 of the 28 delegates elected in the primary. Former Senator Rick Santorum won 2 delegates and 5 were uncommitted.  No delegates were received by Congressman Ron Paul or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Three GOP State Party officials are automatically delegates to the August convention in Tampa.  They are National Committeewoman Donna Gosney and National Committeeman James Reed and newly elected party chair Conrad Lucas.  All three are committed to Romney.

Romney will have 24 of the 31 delegates going to the convention in August.

Romney delegates elected At-Large (statewide) were Donna Boley, St. Marys; Bob Ashley, Spencer; Michael Greer, Bridgeport; Rachel Amrine, Fairmont; Rick Barnett, St. Albans; Daniel Amrine, Fairmont; Mark Browning, South Charleston; Bonnie Hersman, Buckhannon; Jerry Mays, Martinsburg;  Andy McKenzie, Wheeling; Bill Phillips, Elkins; Todd Gunter, Charleston; Brian Long, Glen Dale; Tom O’Neill, Buckhannon; and James C. Kline, III, Charleston.

Others chosen At-Large were Santorum delegates are Cindy Frich and Kris Warner both of Morgantown and uncommitted Bill Maloney, Morgantown; and Betty Ireland, Charleston.

Elected from the first congressional district were Romney delegates Tom Azinger, Parkersburg; Bob Harman of Keyser and uncommitted Frank Deem of Vienna.  Second district Romney delegates includes Charlottee Lane and Chris Dodrill from Charleston and uncommitted Mike Hall of Hurricane.  Romney delegates in the third congressional district are Marty Gearhart, Bluefield and Conrad Lucas of Huntington.  Rick Snuffer, Beaver is uncommitted.

More results may be found on the Secretary of State website.

Joe and the Challenge of 2012

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Sen. Joe Manchin is defending his loyalty as a Democrat in an op ed appearing in the Sunday Gazette-Mail.  It all started when he told the National Journal he was uncertain who he would vote for as President in November.    

There is no doubt Sen. Manchin is a Democrat.  It appears as he discusses his votes in the United State Senate and taking on the President he is doing what many West Virginia Democrats started doing in 1996.  That was voting for what is best for West Virginia not just their party. 

I have always believed when Democrats voted for Governor Cecil Underwood that year they started putting the State ahead of party.  I thought it was confirmed when George W. Bush became the first non-incumbent Republican in 70 years to win WV.  It took a lot of registered Democrats to accomplish that feat and again in 2004 & 2008.

However, after the Manchin news broke a prominent lifelong Democrat contacted me saying “Joe’s distancing himself from his President reinforced his reputation as a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) and wimp.”  Further, the negative reaction was much stronger than he would have thought possible and it was coming from liberals, moderates and others.

That assessment was confirmed as Manchin felt compelled to host a call of Democrat County Chairs and State Committee members.  Reports are that Party Executive Director Derek Scarbro compared it to a big family airing their differences.

Despite the belief no one believes Obama is going to win West Virginia, Republicans take it at their own peril to believe so.  The fact the ever popular Manchin had to convene his party’s leaders in an attempt to calm them is a signal they are prepared to battle for Obama’s success and that of their other candidates in November.