12 September 2008

Election 2008 Roundup

  • Secretary of State Betty Ireland has asked a federal judge to withdraw his April ruling that blocked parts of West Virginia's election advertising disclosure requirements. As The Associated Press reports, Ireland argues the recent special session legislation cures the flaws targeted by that ruling, but the group the challenged disclosure considers the new law as bad as the old one.
  • A national group hopes to help elect Democrat Natalie Tennant as West Virginia's next secretary of state, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The nonpartisan research center includes the state among four where the Secretary of State Project is starting to raise funds for Democrats running for that office. It's goal is “to protect our elections from dirty Republican tricks."
  • The Charleston Daily Mail hears from candidates running for seats in Kanawha County's 30th House district.
  • MetroNews touts a Republican pollster's surveys in the state Supreme Court and attorney general races, with audio.

Gambling in West Virginia: The Greenbrier

Urged on by the union representing workers at the historic resort, the Greenbrier County Commission has voted to place the question of allowing casino table games at The Greenbrier on the November ballot, The Associated Press reports.

A 1999 law allows the local option election, but county voters defeated such a measure in 2000.

The Register-Herald of Beckley was among the first with the story, and earlier reported on the union taking the issue to the commission. MetroNews has a story as well, and audio. The latter also interviewed union officials about the gambit (with audio as well).

In other gambling news, Kanawha County bars and clubs complain of a deline in their limited video lottery revenues they blame on the county's smoking ban, The Charleston Gazette reports.

McHugh to sit in for Albright

Retired Supreme Court Justice Tom McHugh will hear cases for Justice Joseph Albright while Albright spends the rest of the year recovering from recent surgery, the court has announced.

Besides the court's press release, those with coverage include The Associated Press, The Charleston Gazette, MetroNews and The Intelligencer of Wheeing.

11 September 2008

Election 2008: Governor

Gov. Joe Manchin and one of his November opponents, Mountain Party nominee Jesse Johnson, squared off on energy, health care and other issues in front of the editorial board of The Charleston Gazette this week.

The Register-Herald of Beckley, meanwhile, reports that Manchin and his challengers are expected to appear at four debate-like forums before Election Day:

  • Oct. 13 in Charleston, before the state broadcasters' association;
  • Oct. 16, at The Journal of Martinsburg;
  • Oct. 19, to be televised by state public broadcasting and co-sponsored by The Associated Press;
  • Oct 21, at the Dominion-Post of Morgantown.

They Voted For You: Mexican Trucks, Veterans

West Virginia's delegation in the U.S. House helped passed several measures this week by unanimous or near-unanimous margins:

  • A 395-15 vote advanced legislation that would "prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from granting authority to a motor carrier domiciled in Mexico to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border unless expressly authorized by Congress."
  • With no dissent, the House passed a bill to expand health care options for rural veterans through a pilot program, and approved a Senate measure that would boost veteran disability payments to meet inflation.
Reps. Alan Mollohan, D-1st; Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd; and Nick Rahall, D-3rd, voted for all three bills. The Register-Herald of Beckley heard from the latter two on the veterans measures.

10 September 2008

Election 2008 Roundup

  • The Charleston Gazette asks this year's Supreme Court candidates whether they support automatic appeals in cases involving punitive damages (among other questions).
  • The Gazette earlier quizzed U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, and Democratic challenger Anne Barth on Iraq and other issues in their race.
  • The Associated Press reports on complaints filed or planned by Attorney General Darrell McGraw targeting third-party attack ads as the Democrat seeks re-election.

Justice Albright Out for Rest of the Year

Still recovering from surgery on his esophagus and citing the advice of his doctors, West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Joseph Albright has recused himself from the rest of the fall term, The Associated Press reports.

The Charleston Gazette and MetroNews also have reports. The court has posted both a release on his decision, and the letter he sent.

07 September 2008

The New York Times Adds Its Voice to Caperton v. Massey Case

An editorial in the Sunday New York Times echoes the American Bar Association and other groups in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling by its West Virginia counterpart overturning a $76.3 million judgment against Massey Energy Co.

The Times (registration required) opines further that the court should toss the "tainted" decision, citing the $3 million spent by Massey CEO Don Blankenship to help elect Justice Brent Benjamin.

W.Va. RNC Delegation Makes Late Night TV

The tail end of this video from NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien features special correspondent Triumph the Insult Comic Dog shadowing West Virginia's delegation to the Republican National Convention.