Friday, June 24, 2011

Why Is South Hills Entitled to 7% of the House of Delegates?

South Hills is a neighborhood nestled in the Kanawha Valley. It overlooks the Kanawha River and Downtown Charleston. The movers and shakers of that city live in this upscale area. Interestingly enough, this neighborhood, which is not very large in size, can claim to be represented by 7% of the West Virginia State Legislature.

How is this possible? The southern half of Kanawha County, along with its seven delegates, has been lumped into one delegate district. This district is about half of a 900 square mile county, but all of these delegates live in an affluent enclave, just a few miles from each other. That means that large stretches of the county, such as the areas of Alum Creek, Trace Fork, etc. do not have a delegate living anywhere near them. Even worse, southern Kanawha County has almost nothing in common with their South Hills brethren. They are coal miners, not urbanites. Areas of the county, such as Loudendale, actually have historically strong antipathy towards the South Hills area.

Even worse, Mason County, split by multi-delegate districts, has not had a home grown delegate in two decades.

The big issue here is the very existence of multi-delegate districts. Opponents have raised many arguments for their dissolution, but there are no good reasons to keep them, except for the fact that they benefit incumbency. Delegate Danny Wells in a recent Charleston meeting, when challenged, exclaimed that he did not want to run into his constituency at church or in the grocery store. It is time for West Virginia to have one hundred districts for its one hundred delegates.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Obama Dropped by has apparently decided to move on without Barack Obama for the time being.

Obama, obviously in political survival mode, has considered slight spending cuts in entitlement programs. It would be nothing that would alleviate the debt crisis, more of a public relations move as we get closer to next year's elections. has fired off a broadside that claims that they will move to advance the "liberal" agenda without him. Of course these guys left liberalism behind long ago. They are hard core leftists bent on transformation.

This does not hurt Obama in the least, politically speaking. To be repudiated by the hard core left in public is a gift to the beleaguered, but still radical, president. They will not be able to nominate a more radical candidate; in fact Obama could face a real challenge from the Democratic center. The leftists will vote for Obama and probably even campaign for him again. You won't see them support a Green Party candidate in the general, either. Nope, they will trudge back next year to his fold. is still well-funded and has a certain following. Their public attacks on Obama are meant to push him back their way, not prepare for his replacement. That all being said, it is interesting how his constituency is splintering.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tea Party Evolution

Went to the Potomac Highlands Patriots meeting last night and I'm happy to say that the group is thriving. It had a strong group of individuals with good ideas on how to move forward. This Tea Party is not just resting on its laurels and remembering the triumph of last year. Instead, it is moving forward with plans to support Bill Maloney's gubernatorial campaign, seeking ways to continue to push free market development locally, and preparing to make an impact in 2012.

Of course Mineral County is not alone. Hampshire County's Tea Party, We the People of Hampshire County, have held impressive rallies and hosted speakers. Their website is They are pushing free markets and individual liberty issues very hard in their county and will have a powerful effect on the 2012 election cycle in their area.

The way that these Tea Parties have adapted to the off year is impressive. The Potomac Highlands Patriots will be more involved in addressing local economic development meetings and making their concerns known to entities like the Planning Commission. Hampshire County is working hard to educate people in their issues. They are proving that the Tea Party movement will remain not just viable, but powerful in this region.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Congress Needs to Thoroughly Investigate "Fast and Furious"

The Justice Department has been on its heels all year as revelation after revelation comes out about "Operation Fast and Furious."

This operation co-opted gun stores in the southwestern United States to sell guns to criminals who would then be allowed to take them into Mexico. They would then wait and see where the guns "turned up" rather than intercept them. Thousands of guns made it into the hands of drug cartels and other criminals courtesy of the United States government.

At first, the Obama Administration tried to blame the same gun shops that did their patriotic duty to help the government. They also, in general, tried to make a public gun control case based upon U. S. guns flowing into Mexico. Only when the gun shops gave the details of their involvement, did the government partially fess up. I say partially, because the Justice Department will not turn over full transcripts of documents related to the operation.

Meanwhile, federal agents on the ground cringe (according to a CNN report) when a major gun crime occurs on either side of the border. Will it be one of ours?

This was an operation gone horribly wrong. That happens. However, the government has been in cover up mode for over a year. We must know the full details of this operation. We must also know if the Justice Department or the White House participated in any activities that could be considered obstruction. We must also find out if Obama tried to use this to advance an anti-Second Amendment agenda. This is not just a domestic political issue, but one of national security. Mexican drug cartels are causing the collapse of that country. Chaos in Mexico affects our security. Operation Fast and Furious was irresponsible. We must also find out if it was criminal.