Page C4 of the opinion section has a guest column by the House of Delegates member Ryan Weld (R, Brooke and Ohio). The title, "Democrats Obstructed Budget Solely for Politics," describes the first fourth of the column. The rest of the column is a personal attack on Senator Jack Yost.
The column purports to be about the recent West Virginia budget negotiations. Weld tells us that the governor held "all the cards when it comes to a budget bill." No, he didn't -- he never did. (The legislature has most of the power in West Virginia's form of state government.) As of the beginning of the session, the Republicans had a majority in both the Senate and the House of Delegates. At any time, the legislature could have passed a budget bill. Simply put, they didn't because a significant group of Republicans were opposed to new and/or raised taxes. Like our "newspapers," Weld refuses to accept any Republican responsibility for the budget mess.
Weld then tells us how pure his motives are:
Despite my reservations, however, I knew that the people of my district sent me here not to be dogmatic, but to be pragmatic; not to shy away from the difficult decisions and to do what I thought was right for West Virginia.
Are you kidding me? Can he be any more sanctimonious? But we know he's not done.
I cannot say the same for everyone in Charleston.
And who could that be? Satan? No, it's Senator Jack Yost whose seat he is challenging in November.
The remaining 75% of the article is an attack on Yost. (If you're interested in what Weld says, the link is above -- I'm not going to dignify his arguments by repeating them.)
I don't believe that a real newspaper would run this column. It's mean-spirited, self-serving, petty, wrong on factual points and most importantly, contributes nothing to the democratic process. Even for a Republican propaganda outlet like the News-Register this is bad. (To suggest a degree of fairness, are they going to give space to his opponent, Jack Yost? I doubt it.)
In my first year of doing this blog, I suggested on a couple of occasions that our "newspapers" had reached a new low. From frequent use, I eventually ran out of "low" and quit using the phrase. I'm going to have to revise that policy, this time they really have gotten to a new low.