The weekly "Bill Cole for Governor" editorial
How do you know it's Sunday? Easy, check to see if there's a Bill Cole for Governor editorial at the top of the editorial page. Today's editorial is labeled "Turning W.Va. Economy Around" and like his drug plan which was the subject of a previous Sunday editorial, this editorial is a repackaging of ideas that have been kicking around for a number of years. This time its about creating economic revitalization by improving workforce readiness, regulatory reform, increasing access to broadband, and my two personal favorites: "implementing a strategy to increase manufacturing in West Virginia" and "making the state's economic development efforts more effective."
I'll skip the sarcasm, "what insight!" or "what great new ideas," and state the obvious, "there's nothing new here -- it's the same old crap."
One additional thought -- Cole has been Senate Majority Leader for the past two years. If these are such great ideas, why are we just now hearing about them? Why not push for them and then take credit for them after they succeed?
Covering Cole and the West Virginia economy -- here's another point of view on the Republican efforts to turn around the West Virginia economy
Political reporter Phil Kabler writing in this morning's Charleston Gazette-Dispatch:
Speaking of budget and economy, while I was on vacation, Governing magazine did an article ranking states by economic performance, using a number of factors including unemployment rate, change in unemployment in the past year, state Gross Domestic Product, change in GDP in past year, change in per-capita income, etc.
For 2016, West Virginia ranked 49th, tied for last with Alaska. What is noteworthy is that the last time Governing did the economic performance rankings, in 2013, West Virginia was ranked ninth best.
Obviously, plunging natural gas prices and falling global demand for coal contributed to the drop, but it makes you wonder why none of the efforts taken since 2013 to make the state more business-friendly — from $300 million a year in business tax cuts to tort reform, and including recent right-to-work and prevailing wage repeal legislation — seem to be having any positive impact on the economy.
That didn't take long!
At 11 AM I went to Cole's website to see if there was more information on his economic plan. At the top of the "In the News" section the website was already featuring this morning's News-Register editorial. Maybe the Cole campaign pays someone to work on Sunday mornings or perhaps the site was tipped off that the editorial was coming (after all, it's a regular Sunday event) or is it possible, since there is never a discouraging word, that the editorials are actually written by the Cole campaign?
What happened to coverage of the most recent West Virginia poll?
On Friday (see next post down), I speculated that we would see this weekend a pro-Cole editorial and a column explaining this week's West Virginia Poll. Okay, we got the editorial but there was no mention of the poll results which showed, among other findings, that Republican Bill Cole was trailing Democrat Jim Justice by double-digits.
I guess polls are only worth mentioning when it shows their favorite winning.
Doug Reynolds? Mike Manypenny?
I'm still waiting for a mention of either Doug Reynolds or Mike Manypenny in either "newspaper." If you depend upon the locals to keep you informed about the upcoming election, you might be surprised to learn that Attorney General Morrisey and Representative McKinley are not running unopposed. Manypenny is opposing McKinley and Reynolds is running against Morrisey although I have been unable to find any mention of either candidate in the local "newspapers" since their primary vote totals in May. While Manypenny has not been spending much money, Reynolds is actively campaigning and spending money on ads and yet you would not know it by the local coverage.