The race for the West Virginia Supreme Court
This morning's Grist (via Mother Jones) has a good article on West Virginia Supreme Court politics. Here's a sample: (Note - Grist notes that Bailey is a lawyer who has fought coal companies.)
The number of twists and turns in this contest have made the outcome anyone’s guess. In the 12 long years since Benjamin was elected, alliances have been turned upside down, nonpartisan campaigns have replaced partisan ones, and a public financing system has emerged. But in other ways, not a lot has changed.
“If Don Blankenship drops $3 million into an election years ago with a shadow group called And for the Sake of the Kids,” says Bailey, the plaintiff’s attorney, “and [now] the Chamber and the Republican Party drop in $2 million on a nonpartisan, one-shot primary type deal, you tell me what improvement we’ve had.”
A follow-up -- new WV right-to-work law to be challenged
Yesterday's Charleston Gazette-Mail carried a front-page story that the state AFL-CIO will soon be challenging the new right-to-work law:
The West Virginia AFL-CIO sent a letter late this week notifying state officials that the labor organization intends to file a lawsuit challenging the state’s new right-to-work law, which was meant to restrict unions from collecting dues from non-union employees, even if those non-members benefit from union contract negotiations.
The AFL-CIO, which represents more than 500 local unions and roughly 70,000 members in West Virginia, sent a letter Thursday to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and the state’s Commissioner of Labor John Junkins, in order to give them 30 days notice of the impending lawsuit, which is required under state law.
According to the letter, the labor group intends to sue the state over the right-to-work law, which is officially referred to as the “Workplace Freedom Act,” on the grounds that the law violates the state constitution.
Speculation of a challenge to the law first made the rounds a couple of weeks ago. (See here.)
Retiring in WV -- now they tell me
Money magazine earlier today reported on a Genway-AARP/Gallup-Healthways study on the best and worst states to grow old in:
South Dakota leads the pack as the best state to grow old in, according to the survey. The state earned top scores for high-quality health care and senior care, as well as one of the highest well-being ratings. Iowa came in second, followed by Minnesota, Alaska and Oregon.
Landing in the bottom five are Indiana, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey and West Virginia, which ranks as the worst state to grow old. Although long-term care is relatively affordable in West Virginia, the state lagged on quality of life and ranked dead last in the health care category.