West Virginia Corruption
Mike Myer uses a 9-year-old book as a starting point to talk about West Virginia corruption. The book, "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," is by Allen H. Loughry II, who is currently a state supreme court justice. For over 600 pages, Loughry's book documents the history of the state's political corruption and then suggests how state government might be reformed. Myer doesn't think that reform will happen but he does think that we should first start with county assessors. The county assessors? This is the corruption that should be first on our list? How about separating the extraction industry and their lobbyists from our legislature so that they don't get to write the state's legislation?
While I have not read the book, I did a little research and found that Loughry places former governor Arch Moore at the top of his corruption list. (Moore's chapter is titled "Corruption - with a Capitol 'C'".) As the Charleston Gazette wrote in a review of the book:
Other West Virginia governors, such as Democrat Wally Barron, engaged in questionable and illegal activities to improve their personal finances.
"But Gov. Moore has to rank at the top of the list," Loughry writes.
In fairness to Myer, it's a general review -- he's not dealing with specific individuals. I mention it because Arch Moore, despite his history of corruption, almost always got favorable coverage from the local "newspapers." (For example, go back to last year's coverage of his death -- the corruption during his terms as governor is barely mentioned.)
One final note -- Loughry was, at the time the book was released in 2006, clerking for State Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard. A year later Maynard voted to reverse a lower court's $76 million judgment against Don Blankenship's Massey Energy despite the fact that he had vacationed with Blankenship in Monte Carlo. I searched, but could not find, what Loughry thought about this particular example of West Virginia corruption.
Another enthusiastic editorial for an Intelligencer favorite
Arch Moore's daughter is getting the same type of favorable coverage that he received. This morning's editorial tells us what a great job the freshman senator is doing representing us. Capito's performance:
. . . . has been excellent. Already, Capito has gained influence and power some senators pursue for years.
Really? And she's "decisive and productive":
For example, she sponsored the ARENA Act, a measure that, if enacted, can rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.
Right. She sponsored a piece of legislation whose sole purpose was so that editorials could be written about how "decisive and productive" she was.
By the way, this editorial supports Thursday's top-of-the-front page headline and story that proclaimed earth-shattering news: "Capito: There's Less Bickering in Senate."
Finally, I find it interesting that the Intelligencer has yet to mention Senator Capito's vote to support President Obama's job-killing, fast-track trade bill. I guess you can do no wrong when you're an Intelligencer favorite.