Last updated: July 23. 2014 1:11AM - 1261 Views
By Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

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All right, let’s see how many readers agree with me. All of you? That’s what I thought.

Oh … I was just thinking storage room at the Southern District Federal Building in Charleston must be getting pretty scarce. That observation comes after weeks have turned into months and the feds still haven’t unveiled all the sealed indictments they have for Southern West Virginia officials.

Regardless of the strategy in keeping the indictments secret (except, of course, from those “insiders” who they’ve told about them), one would think holding on to all of the paperwork would become tedious at best.

So, let’s all join in asking the federal officials to unseal the envelopes. Everyone agree? I thought so.

That there are no sealed envelopes may have escaped those who wish to see every public official go to jail for some reason.

Let’s look at a true story from a county not far away. Once upon a time, a veteran state senator who was chair of the finance committee ran for re-election. He was challenged by a young, attractive Republican opponent.

I attended a meeting at a museum operated in the community during that campaign. Although the meeting had nothing to do with politics, I noticed numerous bumper stickers on board members’ cars parked on the lot. They all carried messages in support of the finance chair’s opponent.

Eventually, I asked the members what the deal was. Universally, they told me they wanted to see the incumbent Democrat defeated. When I pointed out that, as finance chair, he was responsible for state government paying their museum mortgage every year, they maintained it was no big deal. His GOP opponent would do the same, they said.

Three years later, after the Republican retired the finance chair, the bank foreclosed on the museum building. It was forever lost to the community.

… That, friends, is what happens when a legislator with seniority and clout loses an election. His or her district loses as well. That’s why the silliness of electing anyone to Congress but Nick Rahall is … well, silly. If re-elected, he will be at least the fourth-ranking member of the House in terms of seniority. If his GOP (I think he still is a Republican this week) challenger wins, he would be last in seniority.

Simple arithmetic, that’s all.

Thinking of those who insanely suggest that Rahall is “anti-coal,” may I ask what they would do differently? He has stood up for coal at every opportunity. Would they simply say pollution is OK as long as West Virginia miners are working? Just curious.

… Mingo County’s Democrats were set to convene Monday, as I write this over the weekend. Thus, you may know before you read this if – and whether – there is a new county Democrat chair. You may or you may not. It depends on whether the committee can make that decision, which they failed to do four years ago. We’ll see.

One thing is for certain, though. Mingo Democrat Women are almost always represented by Catherine Dillon. She was on hand Friday for Rahall’s headquarters opening in Logan.

… The latest word from those “in the know” is that two Logan officials will resign within 30 days. That is, allegedly, part of the corruption investigation going on in the county. I will wait on radio station WVOW to let us know who the two are. I’m sure they know.

… Secretary of State Natalie Tennant still has not answered my inquiry as to whether she would fight putting the Mingo County Family Court judge position on the ballot in November. While spokesmen for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin insist he says the post is “my appointment,” Tomblin told me the opposite himself.

Why on Earth would any elected official oppose letting the people decide? After all, this does not require a special election or additional cost. It would be just another position on an already-planned ballot.

… Rumors are circulating that an area bank is facing a stiff fine from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. I have not heard that this finding is “sealed,” though.

… Is Ralph Rodighiero, the Democrat, running with Delegate Rupie Phillips’ independent opponent for the two seats in the House of Delegates 24th District? Rodighiero’s “friends” on social media suggest so. I doubt it.

… And possibly the most visible candidate on the trail at the moment is Mikel Moffatt, one of two GOP candidates for the 22d Delegate District seat. He seems to be everywhere.

Your comments, story ideas, rumors and sealed indictments are welcome. Contact my email address or call my cell, 304-533-5185.

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