Archive for August, 2011

Political Tidbits…8.28.11

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

38 days and voters are counting when they will be free from another political campaign…all the while candidates for Governor are counting the money…financial reports were to be filed Friday…not yet posted on SOS website…appears Tomblin’s funds have come from supporters [$1.25 million] and Maloney raised nearly $400,000 and loaned his campaign another $750,000…it costs money to run for political office.

President Obama got a letter from Speaker Boehner…as he packed to leave Martha [Vineyard] for Irene…Boehner is asking Obama administration for an answer to a request of AUGUST 16, 2010…the letter is here or checkout the Speaker’s blog.

West Virginia’s NUMBER ONE citizen & football fan BUCK HARLESS…was honored Friday night when the stadium named for him…was dedicated at the new Mingo Central High School dedicated…topping off the ceremony the “Pride of West Virginia” performed for Harless and Southern WV football fans.

State GOP leaders are instituting a new tradition…an Lincoln-Reagan Galaheadlining the 2011 annual fund raiser…Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour…this affair should give a boost to Bill Maloney’s campaign for Governor. ..Barbour previously headed the National Governor’s [Republican] Association…good idea Chairman Stuart.

MAYBE BARBOUR will bring the magic formula to raise funds for WV Republicans to contest & control…the LEGISLATURE…Mississippi REPUBLICANS plan to spend $1 million supporting its legislative candidates…after the redistricting mess this should be a priority WV REPUBLICANS…tell them how HALEY.

Americans are taking another look at the leadership skills of President Obama…a new Pew Research Center survey has uncovered…a record high number of people say that Obama is not a strong leader [47%], can’t get things done [50%], isn’t well-informed [33%], not a good communicator [22%] and doesn’t stand up for what he believes in [22%].

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele staffer…Allison Meyers…who directed a “Young Eagles” program…is soliciting funds for Maloney campaign…a fund raiser with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels…during State Chamber Business Summit…BTW the Chamber has still not endorsed a candidate for Governor.

Sunday’s Dana Milbank Post column about AFL-CIO president’s view of President Obama is interesting.

What a difference a year [almost] makes…the special election to replace Sen. Byrdgenerated enthusiasm and a real battle between Manchin & Raese…current special election for Governor…is hardly off the ground…a poll likely paid for by the Democratic Governors Association…shows Tomblin with a 14-point lead…ask Betty Ireland who ran against Maloney in the May primary…what happens when he writes another check…Maloney closed a 30 point deficit.

Signs are…both gubernatorial efforts are going after members of the opposite parties…early August Maloney launched website where Democrats could sign up for a grassroots campaign…no sign of a Tomblin effort aimed at Republicans…but respected businessman Dan Moore…who in 2004 sought the GOP nomination for governor…quoted in Charleston DM analysis praising Tomblin.

Activist Taylor County Republican Chairman…Rev. Sherman Davidson…is organizing a “Get Out the Vote” dinner for GOP candidate Bill Maloney…September 10th…as always GOTV efforts is how you win an election.

Flavor of the week…Mike Stuart again talking with friends…about a run for Attorney General.

Obama Supporter Writes

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Obama and the ‘Competency Crisis’

By Mortimer Zuckerman (The Wall Street Journal)

The rising impatience with the leadership of President Obama was epitomized on August 8 in the middle of one of the now habitual Wall Street roller coasters.  This speech on the economy was 53 minutes late.  What showed on TV screens was an empty White House podium, an image suggestive of the absence of leadership.  When the president did speak, the best he could come up with was “We’ve always been and always will be a triple-A-County.”  Read the full opinion piece here.

Political Tidbits…

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

448 DAYS until the presidential election…49 DAYS BEFORE  West Virginia’s gubernatorial election…with more activity, enthusiasm and interest in the presidential race…maybe the WV campaigns have decided to stay under the radar…save their money and fight another day…as the 2012 gubernatorial primary is only 129 DAYS AWAY.

Candidate speculation is underway for 2012…pressure  building for Mark Sorsaia to seek the Attorney General spot…Sen. Clark Barnes who preserved the current congressional makeup…likely will not run for re-election…but seek the office Secretary of State…2008 Commissioner of Agriculture candidate Mike Teets is making calls about another run…Rick Rice who headed USDA Rural Development in the final years of the Bush administration is expressing interest in statewide office…GOP Chair Mike Stuart is always part of any speculation…you decided.

Looks like Senate President Tomblin [acting as Governor] is picking up more campaign appearances as the 49 days tick away…noted he was in Cabell & Raleigh counties last week…it’s easy handling official duties…and campaigning…RIGHT?

Maybe light will be shed on the Maloney for Governor campaign…when the 8/26 campaign finance report comes out…reports are there is organizational turmoil with the resignation of campaign manager…but having run a Governor’s campaign twice…there is always inside stirring.

Candidate comparison or SHOWDOWN…Governor [acting] Earl RayTomblin and GOP challenger  Bill Maloney…will have their first joint appearance…at the Business Summit…hosted by WV Chamber…CHAMBER endorsed BOTH in their primary election bids…wonder if the presence of former Chamber staffer Roman Stauffer now working on the Maloney campaign…will influence the October 4th endorsement?

Republicans left Shepherdstown united…after a 79 to 24 vote doing away with the 2008 convention…despite a 40 minute plea by State Chairman Stuart…GOP delegates to the Republican National Convention…will now be elected by voters May 8th…as the presidential campaign looks now…Chairman Stuart may get his wish for WV relevance in the process.

The governor’s race will move to Wheeling on September 7th where Maloney and Tomblin will debate…wonder how many more of these “debates” are scheduled…or if they will make a difference.

Democrat action is in the House of Delegates…they messed up the House part of redistricting…they have a chance to create more single member districts…if not Republicans had better seek out their best…and go after them in 2012…it will make the 10 year wait for another round of redistricting…EASIER.

Department of What?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

President Obama is thinking of creating a Department of Jobs which would merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department.  Of course he will market this as a commitment to job creation, saving money and elimination of government programs.

There is a better place to begin and a road map was released in March by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with opportunities to reduce potential duplication in government programs, save tax dollars and enhance revenue.

The report identified federal programs where unnecessary duplication, overlap, or fragmentation exists, the actions needed to address such conditions and the potential financial and other benefits or doing so.

GAO used 81 areas for consideration based on related work.  Thirty-four areas related to overlapping objectives or providing similar services to the same populations.  Forty-seven areas had opportunities to reduce the cost of government operations or enhance revenue collections.

The watchdog agency found 44 federal employment and training programs that overlap with at least one other program in that they provide at least one similar service to a similar population.  Only five had been studied to evaluate whether outcomes were the result of the program itself or another cause altogether. 

GAO said little is known about the effectiveness of most programs.  

A close look was taken at the military but they were not alone.  $58 billion at the Department of Transportation for over 100 separate surface transportation programs.  And almost $1 trillion in government-wide tax expenditures listed by the Treasury Department, some of which the GAO found “may be ineffective at achieving their social or economic purposes.”

One interesting tidbit:  at a time when the national debt has soared over the $14 trillion mark, the government has 20 different agencies – housing 56 different programs – all working on the same thing …improving financial literacy.

Obama & Boehner Fact Sheets

Monday, August 1st, 2011

If you want to see what Washington is reading this morning about the debt deal. 

  • 4 page White House fact sheets, “Bipartisan Debt Deal:  A Win for the Economy and Budget Discipline,” including the “Mechanics of the Debt Deal”.   Click here to readPDF Version.
  • 7 PowerPoint slides Speaker Boehner used on conference call with GOP last night, “Tow Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable”.  Click here to read.