Archive for June, 2012

Morning After

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The real fallout from the SOTUS ruling yesterday will be political…at least for now.  Many readers are politically active or more than causal observers of the game.  To provide a feel for the current political fallout I have clipped some pieces from POLITICOS morning newsletter.

SNEAK PEEK – RNC DAY 2 MESSAGING PLAN: The Republican National Committee is holding a 9 a.m. call with Governors Bobby Jindal and Bob McDonnell and then a Spanish speaking call at 10 a.m. with Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Quico Canseco. They are also releasing a web video highlighting Obama’s promises that Obamacare wasn’t a tax while SCOTUS upheld it as a tax: And they are moving this research piece to highlight the continuing unpopularity of Obamarecare: The RNC will also continue the #FullRepeal hashtag.

DOWN-BALLOT DEMOCRATS IN RED AND PURPLE STATES COULD GET SCREWED: “With Thursday’s defeat, Republicans were handed a powerful tool for motivating their base and a fresh ammo clip for use in House and Senate races across the map,” Charlie Mahtesian reports. “It removed one arrow from the Democratic quiver – the prospect of an outraged and highly motivated base – and provided a new one to the GOP by defining the mandate as a tax…The cautious and measured statements from Democratic House and Senate candidates Thursday reflected the unease about renewing a debate that ended badly for the party in November 2010. The general rule, which seemed to apply to candidates in both parties, was the more competitive the race, the more tempered the response. That meant no touchdown dance for many Democratic Senate candidates – even for former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine in Virginia.”

OBAMA LOOKS LIKE A WINNER: “The decision also will give the president a fresh opportunity to try to win the political argument over the law, or at least do a better job of trying to sway a skeptical electorate than he and his team have done since the measure was enacted,” Dan Balz writes in the Washington Post. “For Obama, the elation that he and his advisers may have felt Thursday could quickly dissipate if more bad economic news occurs. It is a long time until November, and the economy, domestically and internationally, remains extremely fragile.”

WHAT IT MEANS FOR NOVEMBER WON’T BE CLEAR FOR WEEKS: “Over the next six weeks or so, health care will be an unpredictable race within a race,” Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman write. “For Mitt Romney, who had every reason to expect the conservative high court to strike down at least a big part of the law, the decision requires a bit of recalibration. He had hoped to portray a full or partial repeal as evidence Obama squandered the trust of the American electorate by wasting two years…[That] will take a back seat to a more generic GOP assault on the law highlighting the court’s insistence that the individual mandate be legally defined as a tax – an approach more likely to appeal to the conservative base than independent voters…Views about the Affordable Care Act are baked into the political cake already, and most independents undecided about their choice this November are bored, confused, exhausted or all of the above about a law that keeps cropping up like athlete’s foot.” More: . My story with Robin Bravender on the tax messaging:



Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

“ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL” a phrase coined by Tip O’Neill [former U. S. Speaker of the House] is playing out in WV…

There is no place more local than Coalton…Saturday was the annual Coalton Days celebration…where 3,000 “locals from across WV” come annually…it a haven for politicians…they gather at former Senator Mike Ross’ home…along with the rest of the locals…where they are feed, introduced…work the crowd…line up for a hometown parade…this year was no different than in the past…except the lone Republican [besides myself] Bill Maloney showed up… quickly outnumbered…Governor Tomblin arrived via helicopter to serve as parade Marshall…Justice Robin Davis got there early introduce herself around…AG Darrell McGraw walked the parade route [with a tie on…it was hot]…a regular at the outing Walt Helmick in his new role as Ag Commissioner candidate was popular…a glimpse  was caught of Mike Hall who seeks to be State Treasurer [another GOP member]…congressional candidate [2nd]Howard Swint promoted Corridor H along the parade route… there were enough House and Senate members…for a quick session of the Legislature…that may be a new way for locals to influence legislative outcomes.

Staying home from a national political convention…is about as local as it gets…well known by now neither Senator Manchin…Governor Tomblin…nor Congressman Rahall…will attend, participate or vote at the Democratic National Convention in September…this is nothing new…Governor Cecil Underwood did not attend the GOP National Convention in 1996 [I ran his campaign].

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney…is getting local with a six state Every Town Counts bus tour…and it seems to be paying off with Republicans…read about it here.

State Republicans are holding local level platform hearings…across the state preparing for their August 4th state convention…Delegate John Overington leading the effort…I attended the Philippi session last night…many ideas from a room full of people…plus Kent Leonhardt [Ag. Commissioner candidate] was there lining up volunteers.

BTW…learned at Coalton retired General Allen E. Tackett…is campaign manager for Justice Davis…General Tackett is one of WV’s most respected citizens.

Great down home advice from Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito…to Boys State participants…urging attendees to learn how to communicate…you may be able to use this advice at home…read here.

Housecleaning or opportunity…Mik Carpenter…who leads the WV GOP Victory Plan…is leaving Friday…may be headed for Washington.

The cash register is ringing today…when candidates for public office…must file their financial reports…will see how much local money has been raised.


Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Charleston Daily Mail readers got an update this morning on the 2012 WV Democratic Platform from reporter Ry Rivard.  PhillipsBillboard offers readers across the state his review.  Read the full story here.


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.


Sunday, June 10th, 2012

It is a quiet day along the Tygart River.  I hope you are in a quiet spot.  Here is some Sunday reading.

Obama’s real opponent:  Europe 

By Dana Milbank (The Washington Post)

Some think that Ohio will decide the presidential election.  Others are watching Florida or North Carolina or Wisconsin.

But if you really want to know who will win the White House in November, you should ask the Europeans.  They aren’t eligible to vote, but they may well cast the deciding ballot – and for President Obama, it’s looking grim.  Read the full story here. 

With friends like these…

By Kathleen Parker (The Washington Post) 

For the past year, we’ve been relentlessly reminded that Republicans didn’t especially love their front-running president candidate.

Now it appears Obama is getting a taste of Romney’s stew.  Democrats seem to be inching away from their man, undermining and diminishing the president with a thousand ting cuts.  Not even his strongest alleged ally, Bill Clinton, can stay on message.  Of course, Clinton has never really been Obama’s friend, despite his assertions to the contrary.  Read the full story here. 

Sure, This isn’t ’08, but There May Be More at Stake This Campaign

By Richard W. Stevenson (Political Memo, The New York Times)

Washington – The current presidential campaign is producing very few goose bumps, except perhaps among those who get all tingly when they view billionaire-financed attack ads.  Read the full story here.

Poppy Chic

By Maureen Dowd (The New York Times)

I flew down to Houston last year to have lunch with George Herbert Walker Bush.

“Did you come because you think I’m going to die?” he asked me with a wry smile.  Read the full story here.



Still Going

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Just got off the phone with a GOP Legislator…while discussing another matter…they brought up my blog…saying I always learn something…that is good news…I then realized on June 12th it will be three years since I started this “hobby”…sure glad the feedback has been positive…I really enjoy sending along information and a bit of gossip.

I try to stay somewhat non-partisan [expect when it comes to Governor Romney]…there is a good piece on line from The Fix (Washington Post) about Obama’s bad week…I thought it was informative and not really taking either side…you might enjoy…just click here to read.

State Republican leaders are singing the praises of Conrad Lucas….the new State Chairman…who has gotten off to a fast start…putting in long hours…working on the internal infrastructure of the party…to better serve the needs of county organizations…and those running for office.

While Lucas is getting up to speed…the morning newspaper says Larry Puccio does not have opposition to continue as leader of State Democrats…they have a convention this weekend.

BULLETIN Ag Commissioner Gus Douglass…yesterday hosted Ken Leonhardt Republican candidate for Ag Commissioner… at his Capitol office… Leonhardt hopes to replace the legendary Gus Douglass…not sure what is going on here…but bet it has to do with farmer vs. non-farmer…stay tuned.

Conventions are on the minds of everyone political…Republicans are planning one for August 4th in Beckley…and those elected to represent the WV at the Republican National Convention members will be getting organized on a conference call Monday evening…Tampa is going to be hot…50,000 are expected.

Donna Gosney is contacting GOP State Leaders…telling them she plans to seek another term…as WV Republican National Committeewoman.

Back to Lucas…he has written a strong piece that appeared today in The WV Record…regarding the Obama “war on coal”…see it here.

Charlotte is already “hot” for Democrats…their state party has been rocked by a sex scandal…John Edwards lives there…labor leaders are unhappy with many issues…not just what happen in Wisconsin…the incumbent Democrat Governor dropped out of the race…money is short someone decided not to take corporate funds…and the leader of the 99% will deliver his acceptance speech at the Bank of America stadium.

Bill Maloney is having out of town guests…Louisiana Governor Jindal is coming June 19th…and Governor Rick Perry of Texas…will be here WV Day…to help raise funds for the Maloney gubernatorial campaign.

There are parties everywhere…John Raese is celebrating America’s Freedoms on July 4th…the Greer Estate will be turned into a place of fun…and set off the Raese campaign with a bang…the fund raiser tickets start at $150…and end with The Big Bang at $2,500.

A Charge Kept…the Bush Presidential Center sent…the video of remarks President Bush made at the unveiling of President and Mrs. Bush portraits last week at the White House…this is not to be missedClick here.

Look for Republicans to put extra effort into the Legislative races in 2012…the place to begin making real change in WV government.

Jim Reed longtime Republican National Committeeman announced he is leaving the post…on a personal note I have informed State Republican Committee members…I plan to be a candidate.