From the first paragraphs of today's News-Register editorial/lecture, “Don’t Be Used by the Politicians”:
Public school employees in West Virginia should be outraged, not to mention suspicious, that their record-length work stoppage is being used by some for purely political reasons.
Democrats in the Legislature have wasted no opportunity to blame the core problems that caused the strike — pay and health insurance premiums — on Republicans.
And what evidence does the editorial use to support this point?
On Tuesday afternoon, just after Justice signed a bill providing a 5 percent pay raise for state workers, two Democrat legislators went into their political act.
Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, warned the PEIA dilemma is “not going to get fixed with the makeup of this current Legislature.”
State Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, agreed, chiming in that strikers should “remember in November.”
The editorial, to Sponaugle’s assertion, argues that the Democrats did nothing about PEIA before the Republicans took power four years ago. That’s probably correct but irrelevant: neither have the Republicans for the past four years and, given what the current Republican legislature first offered the teachers and its two weeks of foot-dragging on a strike settlement thereafter, Sponaugle’s statement is most likely correct.
Romano’s “remember in November” did not originate with him or the Democratic Party – it’s been a part of the teacher strike from the beginning as an Intelligencer article on the walkout on February 22 tells us:
Triadelphia Middle School social studies teacher Stefan Moray carried a sign that stated, “Remember in November.”
That’s not an exception – my hunch is that the phrase is in most pictures/videos of the striking teachers because the teachers knew who was or was not supporting them in the legislature. As the Intercept reported:
Across the state, supporters of the strike have overwhelmingly blamed Republican Gov. Jim Justice and the GOP-held state legislature for meager teacher pay and shrinking benefits. Signs reading “We will remember in November!” were a common sight on picket lines.
Democrat Romano is not at fault for echoing what the teachers have said from the beginning. Obviously, the Ogden papers know this, but they need to support the Republican’s efforts at damage control and I’m sure this will not be the last time we’ll read editorials/Myer columns to that effect.