24 November 2008

Cecil Harland Underwood, 1922-2008

Former Gov. Cecil Underwood, who held the distinction of being both the youngest and the older West Virginian ever elected to that office, died Monday at age 86, The Associated Press and others report.
In 1956, Underwood became the Mountain State's first Republican governor since the rise of the New Deal Democrats in the 1930s. He reclaimed the state's top office in 1996, before losing a bid for a third term in 2000.

Underwood was a business executive and president of Bethany College in between his gubernatorial terms. He had been hospitalized over the summer.

Others with coverage include the Charleston Daily Mail. MetroNews also has a report, with audio, and reaction from Gov. Joe Manchin; U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-3rd; and state GOP Chairman Doug McKinney.
Manchin has also posted his statement.
Update: Others marking Underwood's passing include U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va.; and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd. MetroNews has also posted historical audio from Underwood's 1956 campaign.

23 November 2008

Quote of the Weekend

“It is as great a pleasure for me to be criticized by the communists and the atheists of the Charleston Gazette as to be applauded by my best friends... Would we be upset if Osama Bin Laden was critical of us?”

-- Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, as quoted by the Williamson Daily News at a Thursday coal industry event at which he also targeted congressional Democrats, climate change, energy conservation, "greeniacs," the Iraq war and U.S. foreign policy. "Let the world fight over the oil," he said at one point. "Liquify the coal.”

Capito Helps Quiz Big Three CEOs

As a member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, took part in questioning the Big Three's chief executives during a Nov. 19 hearing "on extending the Department of Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to the U.S. auto industry."

The committee has posted video of the six-hour hearing. Capito's questioning begins around 1:37:24, and lasts about five minutes.

Lemmon Out at State Police

State Police Superintendent David Lemmon may be the first high-ranking administration official leaving before Gov. Joe Manchin begins his second term.

As The Associated Press reports, Lemmon sent the governor a letter Thursday saying he would resign on Dec. 31. Manchin has not yet announced a successor.

"However, in an issue that has hit the news the past few days, a majority of field troopers complained in a recent survey of inadequate staffing across the state," the article said. "Some of the troopers also alleged that they face punishment for missing unofficial traffic ticket quotas. "