Archive for November, 2012

Congressional Shopping

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

A new item has been added to the holiday shopping list in West Virginia’s second congressional district – a Member of Congress.

What about a centrist who was defeated for GOP National Committeeman for knowing how to work with Democrats?  I am a fiscal conservative and all conservatives are compassionate.

Add me to the list of those available to serve.


Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

After the not-so-surprising announcement that Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will become a candidate for the United States Senate the attention among these West Virginia hills is the “fiscal cliff.”  Its impact could result in significant change in our State that relies on the flow of our tax dollars back from Washington.

Yesterday I tweeted a piece by James Capretta in National Review “How to Approach the Fiscal Cliff.”  Since then I thought his excellent advice should be shared with readers of PHILLIPSBILLBOARD.  Click for a must read.

BTW you can follow me on Twitter @TygartValleyWV.


Saturday, November 17th, 2012

(Disclosure:  My wife is one of the WV State Board of Education who resigned earlier this week.  The views below are mine alone.  I would never attempt to speak for her.)

This week a despicable and senseless action was taken at the WV State School Board meeting.  A Gang of Five fired the State Superintendent [Dr. Jorea Marple] without cause or notice.  Two board members resigned including my wife.

Despite Marple being a “will and pleasure” appointee she and the education community of West Virginia deserves to know why this unexpected action was taken.  This had to hatched up in private without including the two [Priscilla Haden and Jenny Phillips] who resigned in protest.  Such behind the scenes plotting is a violation of the Open Meetings Law.  This Gang should be held accountable.

Dr. Marple was told to turn in her keys, credentials and be out of the building by the end of the day.  She is held in such high regard that department of education staff while crying packed up her personal items and carried boxes down the street to her home across from the state capitol building.

Within hours it became apparent there was another party in the conspiracy plotted by the Gang of Five when Board President Wade Linger on a special board call said Dr. James Phares [Superintendent of Randolph County Schools] would be named and would accept the position as State Superintendent.

In an interview with The Inter-Mountain [click & read] on Friday Phares said state board officials [Linger] reached out to him this week.  That is interesting because on October 28th Phares made an unexpected visit to our home.  He came on the pretense to update my wife [Jenny Phillips] regarding the stabbing and death of a Mill Creek student and the action taken by Secondary School Activities Commission related to the Elkins High School football team.  During that visit Phares said he had spoken with Linger and proceeded to probe about the relationship of Superintendent Marple and the state board.

Phares returned Tuesday when Sandy dumped her snow [2 feet] in Elkins to “check on us”.  He offered to shovel us out even go for coffee – we had no power.  Phares is not a neighbor nor have we had a personal relationship with him.  My antenna went up.  He may be a Good Samaritan but a scheming one.

To support the claim that this was planned well in advance of Thursday, Phares said in The Inter-Mountain interview “The (Randolph) board was anticipating this.  They did have a heads-up this might occur.”  Phares is so certain he will be named on next Wednesday that he is resigning the Randolph County position on Monday.  He plans to be present at the State Board meeting when a permanent replace for Marple is to be discussed.    Talk about arrogance.

Customarily organizations of this consequence will conduct a search before making a decision.  Not in this case as Linger the leader of this Gang of Five must have “cut a deal” with Phares.   What gives Linger the authority to name the State Superintendent?





Aftermath Part II

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The morning afterwards I wrote a piece about the Aftermath.  I mentioned if there a lesson to be learned from the positive campaign [my wife Jenny’s thought] of Allen Loughry approach in winning a seat on the Supreme Court.  There is a front page story about this very question in today’s Charleston Gazette written by Paul J. Nyden.  Click here to learn the Loughry way.

The aftermath continues for potential change in the WV Legislature. Not only is it being driven by the huge victory by Republican candidates but Democrats must face the new reality.  To help our non-“political valley” readers keep up here is the Statehouse Beat column by Phil Kabler. Stay informed here.

An editorial in the Charleston Daily Mail also addresses the aftermath as it impacts the Legislature.  Read it here.


Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Today is a new day in the political world.  Yesterday brought cheers to some and extreme disappointment to many.  What happen and why, what needs done?

We all know what happen.  On the surface without much sleep or study it appears the Obama team after 2008 made a tactical decision that brought benefits yesterday.  They left a staff footprint in places they knew were must wins for a second term – Ohio for one.  It took entirely too long for Republicans to find their nominee.  The Obama negative machine kicked in to define Romney before he could turn around.  The need to carefully handle the extreme branch of the Republican Party delayed Romney’s message that Republicans must work with Democrats to address the nation’s needs.  Not to be forgotten or even understood was why no effort was made to show the human side of this descent man.  Finally, there was that lady Sandy a late arrival to the political world.

What needs to be done?  The Republican Party’s tent needs to be expanded.  A serious look needs to be taken at the demographics and appeal to people in the minority and immigrant communities.  I recall Karl Rove telling us in early 2001 that for President Bush to win in 2004 we needed Hispanics.  Bush won 44 percent of Hispanics in 2004 and Romney 27 percent yesterday.

We know what happen in West Virginia.  Success came to Republicans by winning the Attorney General’s office with Patrick Morrisey and Allen Loughry becoming a member of the Supreme Court.  More importantly the gains made by Republican candidates for the Legislature is huge.  That is where real change in public policy comes from.  Overall the Democrats continued winning most major offices in the Executive Branch and the US Senate seat.

Governor Romney continued the Republican trend started by George W. Bush in 2000 when he became the first non-incumbent Republican to do so in 70 years.

What needs to be done?  Despite recruiting outstanding statewide GOP candidates as was done this year there is more to it than just filing, raising a small amount of money, attending Republican events and ramping up at Labor Day.  The success of Patrick Morrisey proves you can win but it takes an aggressive campaign, money and a political and marketing strategy.  Is there a lesson to be learned from Allen Loughry’s positive campaign?

Now with the gains in the Legislature it is time for Republicans to develop new public policy ideas with an aggressive communications strategy.

At the county level candidate recruitment should start today.  There are good candidates who did not make it yesterday but need to make a second run.  However, they must be supported by a strong grassroots Republican county committee.

The State Party needs to change the tone of its message, talk about the benefits of a two-party system at all levels and look for new blood where needed.

Finally, too often the party faithful in both parties put off creating the energy required for victory until the next election.  Success comes a day at a time.

Good Morning

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Many of PHILLIPSBILLBOARD readers not living in the “political valley” may enjoy reading a wrap-up piece on this Election Day.  It appeared in this morning’s Charleston Daily Mail written by Ry Rivard Mail Capitol Reporter.  It you do Twitter he is worth following @ryrivard election night or anytime for that matter.  Click here to read the wrap-up.

Political Tidbits…Day Before

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Taking a last look at the 2012 campaign reveals little…you hardly know there is a statewide election…expect by seeing the lines at early voting places…Governor Tomblin had to deal with a lady named Sandy…candidate Maloney put his last dollars into a newspaper ad aimed at state employees…other than the AG race and Agriculture…there is little statewide activity.

That is far from true as Republicans work to level the playing field in the House of Delegates…there are some strong candidates in unexpected placesfunding seems to have exceeded past efforts…for some reason GOP candidate recruitment  left seven Senate Democrats unopposed…not good as real change in government policy can come from the Legislature.

Controversy has entered the Agriculture Commissioners race…some way Walt Helmick’s PR firm headed by a lobbyist Tom Susman…sent unsolicited emails to the work accounts of state employees…wonder where those lists came from…rumors continue that former GOP Ag Commissioner candidate Mike Teets will go to work for Democrat Helmick…if he is successful…hard to believe knowing Teets.

WV asks where is Mitt Romney…he is working for WV coal in the battleground states… trying to round up 270 electoral votes…to change the leadership of EPA…we did our work in the primary to secure the nomination for Governor Romney…don’t forget he visited our state four times in his 2008 race.

Interesting GOP candidates Maloney and Morrisey teamed up with a direct mail piece…wonder how that made their colleagues seeking statewide positions feel…being left out.

Just got a briefing with the Romney campaign in Boston…the briefing focused on the battleground states…the message was one of outperforming Obama in key countiesearly voting and intensity…if last night’s unexpected rally in PA is any indication…and Obama sending Bill Clinton to four events in PA today…Governor Romney is going to be the 45th President.

Can you believe Republican JB McCuskey…who is running for the House in the 35th district…raised more money [over $100,000] for his legislative campaign…than any House or Senate candidate…he is someone to watch.

Gazette columnist Phil Kabler pointed out this morning…Shelley Moore Captio only ran one ad this election cycle…do you think she is saving her funds for a 2014 race against Sen. Rockefeller…noted Rockefeller and wife Sharon were featured in Gazette photo at the recent Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.

With national polls indicating one presidential candidate could win the popular vote…and another  Electoral College…WV Legislative candidate Robin Holstein [36th District] says the Electoral College serves state well…in a Gazette Op Ed piece this morning…worth a read here.

For your calendar…WV’s Governor will be inaugurated on January 13th and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration will be January 21st….due to the 20th falling on a Sunday…by law the President takes office on January 20th…the Oath of Office will be held in a private ceremony.

Happy Birthday to CHU…Cecil Underwood would have been 90 today.