Archive for January, 2011

A Serious Opinion of an “Unserious Speech”

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Peggy Noonan knows what a State of the Union speech is all about.  Her weekly column in The Wall Street Journal today takes a serious look at President Obama’s attempt.

She was a primary speech writer and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.  She is an author of seven books on politics, religion and culture.  Her first in 1990 What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era.

WV Cap And Trade Is Not Dead

Friday, January 28th, 2011

West Virginia read Kimberley Strassel @ WSJ Cap and Trade Returns From The Grave.

We Hoped, No Change

Friday, January 28th, 2011

We heard “Hope & Change” delivered by President/Candidate Obama in the State of the Union Address.  It was just as columnist Charles Krauthammer describes as “the old Obama in new clothing.”

Strategy To Fight EPA’s Expanding Regulatory Reach

Friday, January 28th, 2011

President Obama and his administration on the very day he took office – January 20, 2009 – started its attack on West Virginia.  Every West Virginian knows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been trying to shut down our state. 

 Senator Rockefeller and Congresswoman Capito have been determined leaders in the effort to halt EPA’s campaign against our coal industry.  They are now joined by Senator Manchin and newly elected Congressman David McKinley.  Congressman Rahall has an important role to play.

Help may be on the way as reported in The DailyCaller.  Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce and the Senate Environment and Public Works committees are meeting to craft a strategy to fight EPA.

The article in The DailyCaller provides a good look at various approaches.

Early Eyes On 2012

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

There have been some early observations in the national media about the 2012 presidential race.  If you have not been keeping up you may find this helpful.  Click and read.

Obama could survive some bumps on the road to the 2012 reelection

Who Can Win the GOP nomination?

Mitt Romney edges closer to an announcement

A clip from POLITICO  newsletter

FIRST LOOK – ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE PENDULUM SWINGS: The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has rolled out a new volume of essential analysis on the 2010 campaign – and its implications for the 2012 presidential election. Authored by Professor Larry Sabato and a cast of dozens, the book may leave Republicans asking themselves at least one big question: What if this is as good as it gets? From “Pendulum Swing”: “The Democratic near-landslide of 2008 could never have immediately foretold the thumping Democrats took in 2010. Nor does the Republican near-landslide of 2010 tell us very much about the outcome in 2012. Young people went down from 18% of the electorate in 2008 to just 12% in 2010. Blacks from 13% to 9%. Hispanics: 11% to 8%. 2012 will not look like 2010. … Analysts keep talking about the shift among Independents. It was less a shift than a different group of Independents showing up. Compared to 2008, this group of Independents was much older and whiter. … 2010 was as Republican an electorate as ever shows up, in midterms or in presidential elections.”

SABATO’S BEST NEWS FOR THE GOP: “With over 6,115 state legislative seats on the ballot, over 720 went to the GOP, counting post-election party switches. Compare this to 1994, another great GOP year when they picked up only 472, or Democrats’ great Watergate year of 1974, when they netted 628.” AND FOR THE DEMS: “Net House seat gain for GOP in all Pacific states was zero (+1 in WA, -1 in HI). A growing Hispanic population and the overall deepening Democratic Party affiliation in the Pacific States explain it. … The final turnout for 2010 was 40.8%. Compare that to 2008’s 61.6%. 2012 will be much more like 2008 than 2010.”

MORE – TONER’S CRYSTAL BALL – Former FEC Chairman Michael Toner pens a chapter on campaign money, arguing that President Obama is likely to have an overwhelming financial advantage in 2012: “It isn’t just that he may raise $1 billion or more. It’s that without credible primary opponents, as is likely, Obama will likely be able to roll over hundreds of millions of dollars of excess primary funds directly into his general election campaign … It will be very difficult for any Republican to compete with Obama without raising a minimum of a half billion dollars. Given President Obama’s decision in 2008 to turn down public funds not only for the primaries but for the general election as well – and the near certainty that Obama will do so again in 2012 – all of the top-tier Republican candidates will likely have to do so as well.” page for “Pendulum Swing” here:

Capito/Tomblin Front Runners for Governor

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Public Policy Polling released a survey late this afternoon that indicates Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito as the front runner for Governor.  She is not expected to enter the contest.   Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin captures the front runner status with Capito out of the race.  The results provide an updated insight to where such a race would stand today.  To learn more click on the above link.

Catch Up…..Political Tidbits

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Balanced Federal Budget was the topic of a Center Right Coalition seminar organized by Delegate John Overington…..a national authority on a limited convention for a balanced budget amendment explained…..32 states have completed a Call on Congress directing it to convene a convention…..maybe WV political insiders may get to practice with a convention to nominate party candidates for Governor.

Talk about federal spending…..a North Carolina reader sent along a LINK that brilliantly and simply explains how overspent the government is…..this great visual was created by a college student…..maybe Obama will show it during TSOU speech!!!!!

TIME TO REDRAW congressional and LEGISLATIVE DISTICTS… is not done in Washington ….it’s done in the states….mostly in the legislature….mapmakers were in Washington this weekend for training by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

WV redistricting is to be done this summer in a special legislative session…..while it is possible political parties are holding conventions… nominate the candidates for Governor…..or at least engaged in a hot contest to become Chief Executive Officer…..don’t make vacation plans… won’t want to miss a minute.

Speaker John Boehner has established a direct email address.  It’s

How did I miss this one…..Justice Robin Davis husband hosted a fund raiser…..a while back for Treasurer John Perdue…..guess if he runs Justice Davis will not…..or at least without her husband’s funds.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….Charleston Gazette columnist Phil Kabler says “…..if I had to go to Vegas today and place an early bet on the Oct. 4 election, my money would be on former Republican secretary of state Betty Ireland.”

Ronald Wilson Reagan’s centennial Birthday is this year…..a special Ronald Reagan Commemorative section of USA TODAY has a piece by Mitt Romney.

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.

Capito’s Plans

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

POLITICO carried a statement regarding the plans of Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.  It makes interesting reading and speculation.

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.