Archive for June, 2009

Byrd Health Mystery

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The Huddle – a must read morning briefing on the lastest congressional news contains the piece below this morning.

Byrd Health Mystery:  The reality is that a lot of key people remain in the dark about Sen. Robert Byrd’s condition.  From Roll Call’s Jessica Brady:  ‘Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-Wa.) has not spoken in recent weeks with his home-state colleague.  Sen. Robert Byrd (D), who has been in the hospital since last month with an infection.

‘Asked Wednesday whether he had spoken with Byrd, Rockefeller said. ‘Nobody has.’

‘I have not been in touch with Senator Byrd directly but I have sent him my well wishes.’ Rockefeller later added in a statement. …Sources have said Senate Democratic leaders and Byrd’s own staff is largely in the dark about his true condition.  Byrd’s office has declined to comment about where he is receiving medical treatment.’

Governors Race Underway…..In Coalton

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

The 2012 race for the Democratic nomination for Governor got underway Saturday. 

Watching the potential candidates you would have thought the election was next week.  They worked the crowd and created excitement during the annual Coalton Days homecoming celebration.  One even passed out campaign buttons.

The scene was a lawn party hosted by Delegate Mike Ross where his guests, town folks and family ate his famous Coalton Days Italian lunch.

Having attended this feast for years I would have thought they came for food.  But I don’t believe that was the case!  Meeting and greeting was the order of the day for:

o  Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin

o   House Speaker Richard Thompson

o  Senator Jeffrey V. Kessler

o  Senator Walt Helmick

o   Secretary of State Natalie Tennant

o   State Treasurer John D. Perdue

There were other current and former Legislators there.  Not sure if they were thinking about a run for Governor or not.  But there is no doubt about the others. 

A homemade parade featured local twirlers, the spaghetti cooks from the Coalton Catholic Church, fire trucks, area queens and of course the candidates.   Attorney General Darrel McGraw’s van known to never miss a parade was on hand. 

A lawnmower race between Governor Joe Manchin and Coach Bob Huggins followed the parade.  Not sure who won that one.

Who says everything happens in Charleston?

Will WV Republicans be relevant in 2012?

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

That question will be answered by the preparation, actions and results in the November 2010 election.  West Virginia Republicans face challenges starting with participation in its own organization.  At a recent Martinsburg meeting only 37 out of 133 members of the State Executive Committee were in attendance.  It was reported only 15 county organizations were represented.  Why?  I will leave that answer to others.

 What needs done now?

First, Republican activists need to support the current leadership.  Any disagreement with their approach to managing the party can be resolved with a new State Executive Committee next summer.

Second, these leaders need to develop party building programs and grassroots training.  The focus of these should be to get registered Republicans to the polls.  In addition, offering a menu of support to potential candidates is vital to success in 2010.

Third, every county should conduct an inventory for potential candidates.  Are there municipal officeholders, former public officials or candidates who almost made it in a previous election?  Is there a community leader who could be encouraged to enter public service?  A VIP recruitment effort should follow.

Fourth, tap the knowledge of successful candidates and those who have run campaigns.  Don’t forget former party leaders.  Experience is a wonderful teacher.

Fifth, build a communications network.  In today’s world this does not require major expenditures.

 It seems State Republicans focus significant attention on raising funds.  Maybe it is time to devote the same energy and emphasis to raising people.

Welcome to my billboard

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Sometime ago a colleague suggested I write a blog.  I ask why?  She explained with your 25 years of experience including Capitol Hill, having managed to elect a Republican Governor in West Virginia during the 1996 Clinton landslide and playing a leading role in 2000 carrying West Virginia for an non-incumbent Republican for President (George W. Bush) for the first time in 70 years people would be interested in your take on the current political climate.  She added don’t forget Bush 2004 and how your strategy in 2008 came close to upsetting a Commissioner of Agriculture in office over 40 years.

As observer of the national and state political world I decided to give it a try.  My goal will be to offer a prospective on the current environment, tried and true ideas, criticize when needed, use my experiences as we look to the future and maybe even look back a few years.

My plan will be to post to when I have something to offer.  Visit when you have time.  Periodically, I will send an email alert of recent postings.  When called for I send the post direct.

Over the years I have worked and communicated with many of you.  If you do not want to receive my notice of posting please opt out below.