Apparently, Mike Myer accepted the mission. Here this morning's column:
Now, anyone who knows Cole understands he’s an outsider, too. He is not a career politician. He didn’t take office until May 2010 when, ironically enough, then-Gov. Joe Manchin appointed him to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates.
He's only been in government for six years? How does this prove that he's an "outsider"? Length of service doesn't make you an "insider." Bernie Sanders has been around for decades and he's certainly not an "insider." And how is it "ironic" that Manchin appointed him? Then Governor Manchin was following established procedure; he chose from three names submitted by the Republican Party. And that Cole was on a Republican-created list proves just the opposite -- that he was an "insider" within the Republican Party.
Gov. Joe Manchin today announced that he has selected Bill Cole of Bluefield to be appointed to the 24th District West Virginia House of Delegates to fill the vacancy left by John Shott, who on May 18, was selected to fill the 10th District Senate seat due to the passing of Don Caruth.
In a letter received today, the Mercer County Republican Executive Committee submitted three names to the governor: William "Bill" Paul Cole III, Marty Gearheart and Byron Satterfield.
Anyone who views him as “the establishment” hasn’t been paying attention to the massive shakeup in state government, engineered primarily by Cole.
Sorry, neither party elects "outsiders" as Senate Majority Leader in West Virginia. And as far as the "massive shakeup in state government," Cole and the Republicans' didn't do that, the voters did it when they voted for a Republican majority in both houses.
Myer also conveniently ignores points that certainly suggest that Cole is very much an "insider":
Fund-raising. Take a look at the following chart created by the Charleston Gazette-Mail in late-April before the West Virginia primary. Cole was running unopposed and yet for big donors he easily topped the combined total for the Democrats. Then look at his "small donor" total as a percentage of his overall total, who his big donors were, and notice that he was the only one with a Super Pac. This is not the way that an "outsider" raises money.
The Koch connection. As the Charleston Gazette-Mail documented back in April:
A group fueled by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers has donated $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Republican Bill Cole for governor in West Virginia.
According to Federal Election Commission reports, Freedom Partners Action Fund Inc. wrote the check to the pro-Cole group Accelerate West Virginia in March.
The Koch's are known for making investments in candidates -- insiders are clearly preferred. (Note also that Cole spoke at an exclusive Koch get-together for fund-raisers back in January. See here)
Cole has been the presumptive nominee since sometime last year. "Outsiders" usually must challenge and defeat the "insider." Cole had no serious challengers - he was the ultimate insider.
Finally, Myer has to tell us about Cole's accomplishments:
In contrast, Cole can point to some real progress in West Virginia, as a direct result of his leadership in the Legislature. State spending has been cut and job-creating efforts are paying off (albeit slowly, in large measure because of federal initiatives such as the war on coal).
Yes, it took over 5 months instead of two to get a budget (real leadership, there) and yes, the budget was cut although I would suspect that the major decline in the state's revenue had more to do with cutbacks in spending than Cole's leadership. His leadership did make us a right-to-work state, however, and, by the way, where's all that job growth that we were promised?
As for Myer's mission undertaking: