Archive for the ‘WV Democrats’ Category

Is Manchin Coming Home?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

The Associated Press has a story running that Senator Joe Manchin may be coming home.  After last November election results “Joe” may be the best hope for a revived Democratic Party in our State?  Who knows when it comes to Joe?

Click on this link to learn more.

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.

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…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.


Monday, June 11th, 2012

Ry Rivard, a young enterprising Charleston Daily Mail reporter, keeps his eye on the political world in West Virginia.  Over the weekend he covered the State Democratic Convention.  Many PhillipsBillboard readers across the State are politically involved or interested.  To help keep them in the loop here is a link. Read the full story here.

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.

Larry Puccio has another view

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Democrats run West Virginia very well

By Larry Puccio (OP-ED, Charleston Gazette)

Recently, the West Virginia Republican chairman resorted to his favorite tactic of preaching gloom and doom about our state.  While state Republicans claim they want to better our state, they spend most of their time disparaging it instead of promoting it.  Read the full story here.

The Convention Risk

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

We have an unnecessary crisis in state government underway.  If the political parties hold a convention to nominate their candidates for Governor it will only magnify.  Chaos is exactly what could happen with nearly every leader in the Legislature running for Governor.  They cannot even agree on who should run the State Senate.

Political conventions and the process to convene are messy affairs.  West Virginia election laws [3-5-21] clearly outline the steps.   But rest assured when the interests of candidates, power and the control of state government is at stake every trick known and unknown will be used to win.

A convention must be held in each county once delegates are apportioned.  There members of the political party in each magisterial district elect the specified number of delegates for the state convention.

You may recall in 2008 state Republicans held a convention rather than a primary for the presidential race.  They tried to modernize the delegate process relying on voting via the Internet with a few county-level meetings.  There was a huge outcry that registered Republicans were left out and this one day meeting was only for the politically active – or insiders.  

Anytime a prize such as the office of Governor is at stake there will be conflict and contests.  The law provides a remedy for these conflicts.  A conflict within county party executive committee (more political power brokers) goes to the circuit court of the county and could end in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

All of this takes place before the state convention convenes, adopts its rules and begins the job of nominating a candidate.  Now the games really begin!

I know from having organized a state political convention, managed a candidate at both a national and state convention as well as being a delegate to both. 

Experience is a great teacher.  We don’t need our next Governor chosen in a climate of conflict.  To avoid the confusion and conflict of a convention we need to have a primary, even though I previously expressed concern over the cost of two more elections in 2011.

An old-fashion political convention was fun – however exclusive.  But we need a primary that includes everyone, where all get to vote not just the politically involved.

The Incumbent Protection Act

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

While a change in the election law may be at hand to fill the seat of the late Senator Byrd I would like to urge “The Incumbent Protection Act” be amended.  That is my name for how vacancies in nominations are filled (Section 3-5-19).

Current law says if no one files for an office or withdraws after the filing period the political parties can only appoint a candidate “no later than thirty days after the last day to file a certificate of announcement….”  This is not fair to either party or to our citizens.

To me the law was written to protect incumbents from both parties at the state and local level.  Incumbents normally have the advantage in a primary and come out successful.  I recall years ago political parties had an opportunity after the spring primary to place candidates on the ballot before the November election. 

We should return to this approach.  Circumstances changes after a primary… new people emerge, new issues develop and the office in question may benefit from a candidate possessing different qualifications. 

There is nothing more important than the two party system.  A change in this law will benefit that system, provide a greater choice to voters and likely strengthen the local political committees

Act One for WV Democrats

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Act One in the 2012 Democratic gubernatorial primary played out yesterday in the Legislature.

House Speaker Richard Thompson (D-Wayne) and Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin (D-Logan) both are known as wanting to be Governor.  Labor supported Thompson for Speaker in 2007 and Tomblin has been in the Legislature 35 years.

Governor Manchin had wanted to give state employees and public school teachers a $500 bonus.  The Thompson led House permitted lawmakers to amend the request to give retired public employees a $266 check.  This would double the cost to taxpayers.

Think about the 2012 Governor’s race and you can see where this is going.

 At the request of Governor Manchin the Senate lead by Tomblin adjourned saying no to the House amendment.  The Charleston Gazette noted this was the first time since 1987 that one house adjourned without the consent of the other.

Wonder who Manchin will support in 2012?