The accompanying pictures explain a lot
This morning’s top-of-the-front-page story in the Wheeling News-Register is, of course, the West Virginia teachers strike which looks like it may continue. Under the headline are two pictures which probably say more to answer the “why” of the school strike than the 700 words that follow.
One of the pictures, of course, is of Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns who certainly has not hidden his animosity toward teachers, especially their leadership. (Note – under local Ogden rules, even a passing reference to Ferns requires a picture of him even if it’s, as in this case, “photo provided.”)
Additionally, there’s a large picture of Robin Capehart, former West Liberty University president and Ogden favorite, who resigned from WLU after pleading guilty to state ethics violations. The caption for the photo reads:
Robin Capehart, counsel for the West Virginia Legislature's Senate Finance Committee, explains a proposed pay raise bill to committee members.
Capehart, if you talk to those who worked at WLU during his reign, left the school in much worse financial shape than when he started. So what did the West Virginia Republican Party do? They downplayed the ethics violations and ignored the financial problems and appointed him counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. (A party that rails against programs that help the poor apparently has no problem paying the former Republican Party chairman $85,000 a year for advice as part of a Republican “welfare” program for their unemployed.)
Yes, indeed. With ethically and financially-challenged Robin Capehart giving advice to an anti-union Republican Party led by Ryan Ferns, the News-Register’s headline may be very accurate.
Teaching an old dog a new trick? Today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail article about Robin Capehart highlights the difficulty
This morning’s Charleston Gazette-Mail doesn't mention Capehart's influence on the teacher strike. Instead it feature another recent story about Capehart; one that is more consistent with his past actions:
WV Senate attorney advocates for legislation, breaking Senate rules
A Senate finance attorney with a history of ethics violations testified in support of a bill before the Senate Education Committee last week, in apparent defiance of Senate rules.
That bill, which would establish a magnet school program for certain West Virginian high school students, passed out of the full Senate Tuesday on a 32-1 vote.
Robin Capehart, counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, testified Feb. 21 to the Senate Education Committee in support of Senate Bill 507.
Senate Rule 55, which covers who can work to influence the votes of senators on pending legislation, says, “No employee of the Senate shall, at any time, engage in such activity, under penalty of immediate dismissal by the Committee on Rules.”
Capehart claims he simply introduced the bill but didn’t support it.
That’s not what the G-M reporter found:
Capehart testified on behalf the bill, making subjective statements supporting its passage — a role usually reserved for policy experts or stakeholders.
Reporter Jake Zuckerman then provides examples.
Just a thought, does anyone think we would learn about Capehart’s actions if Ogden takes over the Charleston paper?