This is from an Intelligencer editorial last June about the new non-partisan election of judges:
Funny thing about that old business of the shoe being on the other foot. Sometimes the fit is very good.
Among long-overdue changes West Virginia legislators approved this year was one involving elections for magistrates, circuit court judges and state Supreme Court justices. Beginning next year, candidates whose names are on the ballot will not be identified by political party affiliation.
And why did the Republican legislature make these changes? According to the editorial, partisanship had nothing to do with it -- they passed it, "because it was the right thing to do for West Virginians."
Mike Myer in today's Intelligencer:
I have to wonder how we in the press managed to be so out-to-lunch when West Virginia legislators and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin changed the way judges at all levels are elected. We should have warned readers about an incredible flaw in the new system.
It's difficult to imagine the politicians weren't aware of what they were doing. But for one reason or another, they took what could have been a very good thing and made it into a monstrosity.
( Sorry, the Intelligencer wasn't "out to lunch," the editorial went out of its way to praise the legislation.)
What sanctimonious crap! Myer and the Republican legislature knew exactly what they were doing in 2015. Dropping the designation of the candidate's party affiliation was done to help overcome the edge Democrats have over Republicans in voter registration. (According to the Secretary of State's office, there were 614,000 registered Democrats vs. 353,000 Republicans in 2014.) And now this new plan, much to Republicans' and Ogden newspapers' dismay, may backfire with the distinct possibility that voters will elect Democrat Darrell McGraw in the upcoming election.
The legislation was supposedly designed to help take the partisanship out of the election of WV Supreme Court judges. Yeah, right -- look at the two commercials in the previous post or watch local TV sometime in the next 10 days. I think you will see some very obvious partisanship from both sides. Or, better yet, look at the amount of outside money pouring into the state:
With less than two weeks to go before Election Day on May 10, four outside groups have spent more than $1.1 million in the West Virginia Supreme Court race, where five candidates are vying for one open seat on the bench, according to a Brennan Center for Justice analysis of state disclosure forms and data from Kantar Media/CMAG.
I think we can assume that all that money didn't end up here because these four groups want to see a fair, non-partisan election.
Mike Myer also might want to check out that shoe that's on the other foot -- it looks like it has picked up some toilet paper along the way.