Saturday: a recycled Myer column about Bill Cole as outsider
In his Saturday column, Mike Myer makes two points:
1st Point -- Democrats and unions controlled West Virginia for far too long. Things are different now that Republicans are in control.
In early 2015, Republicans wrested control of the Legislature from Democrats. They have held the reins for two lawmaking sessions. During that time they have pushed through important measures that make West Virginia more attractive for job creators.
And the result has been? (Cue the sound of crickets.)
2nd Point -- Republican candidate for governor Bill Cole is an outsider.
It has been said this is the year of the anti-establishment politician. Many voters have lost faith in leaders of both parties who have been in power for decades.
Here in West Virginia, Republicans are the anti-establishment force. Cole himself wasn’t even elected to the state Senate until 2012. He’s been president of it for only about a year and a half.
Republicans are the "anti-establishment" force? Yes, nothing says "anti-establishment" like "West Virginia Republican Party." (I can think of a lot better descriptors -- "anti-21st century" comes quickly to mind: in addition to being anti-union, they've returned our gun laws to the 19th century and they think that the most pressing issue facing the state is which bathroom a kid uses.) As far as Cole is concerned, Myer made these exact same points a month ago when he did a whole column portraying Cole as the "outsider" candidate. Please . . . . Cole has been in the legislature for six years and president of the senate for two years; he's raised almost a million dollars this year mostly from big establishment donors like the Kochs and the Chamber of Commerce. Yes, if getting thousands from the Kochs for simply giving a speech at a Koch gathering, endorsements from a Koch-backed small business group, and even more money from the Republican Governor's Association makes Cole "anti-establishment," we have reached a point where words no longer have meaning.
"We were, waist deep in the Big Muddy and the big fool said to push on." (Pete Seeger, 1967)
Today's lead editorial instructs us that the state of West Virginia is in need of a military-like plan to solve it's financial mess. Fortunately for us (as the editorial sees it), Republican Bill Cole is running for governor:
Cole, his party’s candidate for governor, is taking an approach military leaders would understand. The key to success by the armed forces is setting a specific, achievable mission for them.
West Virginia’s economy is a wreck. State government is unsustainable at its current size. Just one month into the new fiscal year, the general revenue budget already is $32.5 million in the red, and that is with a spending plan slightly smaller than last year’s.
Clearly, Cole is right. A detailed, objective discussion needs to be held about just what we need state government to do.
Excuse me, but as Senate Majority Leader, wasn't Cole in charge this year?
As I read the editorial, Pete Seeger's song about the Vietnam War quickly came to mind. Here is the last stanza:
Well, I'm not going to point any moral,
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're, waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.