Today's front-page of both the Intelligencer and the News-Register carried this story (with accompanying picture):
McKinley Honored for Manufacturing Support
Here are the first two paragraphs:
Thursday, Eagle Manufacturing President Joe Eddy acknowledged U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., with the National Award for Legislative Excellence from the National Association of Manufacturers.
The award is given by representatives of large, small and medium sized manufacturing companies to federal lawmakers who support legislation favoring their industry at least 70 percent of the time.
I guess we should be impressed that the National Association of Manufacturers gave WV District 1's congressional representative their award. Except that this is not a very special award -- this year a total of 301 members of Congress received the same award. If my math is accurate, that compares to the 234 who didn't get an award from the group. (Here's the NAM page that provides the link to the list of recipients.) And since only seven Democrats (Joe Manchin was one of them) received the award, it would appear that all or almost-all congressional Republicans received the award. Hey, that makes it quite a prestigious award, congressman!
With the NAM award, everybody (except the voter) wins. The National Association of Manufacturers wins because it gives the representative an opportunity for some excellent local PR as it clearly reinforces voting the NAM way on the next important issue. Obviously the local Republican congressman isn't required to tell the local media or his/her constituents that the NAM award that makes them look so special is essentially a participation award -- they certainly like getting their picture taken and all the local coverage. And local media wins -- its an easy story to do and they get filler for their newspaper or newscast. (For example, see channel 9's coverage here). Of course the voter loses because, for the most part, he/she is unaware of how the other groups all work together to create this fake news event.