Political games stall progress - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Political games stall progress

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  • Deveron Patterson pleads guilty to 1st Degree Murder

    Deveron Patterson pleads guilty to 1st Degree Murder

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:11 GMT
    A case that began almost a year ago lead to a guilty plea in Kanawha County court on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Deveron Patterson, 26, of Raleigh County pleaded guilty to a First Degree Murder charge in connection with the death of Kareem Hunter in Sept. 2013.
    A case that began almost a year ago lead to a guilty plea in Kanawha County court on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Deveron Patterson, 26, of Raleigh County pleaded guilty to a First Degree Murder charge in connection with the death of Kareem Hunter in Sept. 2013.
  • Car Fire Investigation in Fayette County

    Car Fire Investigation in Fayette County

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:24 AM EDT2014-08-29 09:24:05 GMT
    A car fire early Friday morning (8/29)is being investigated in Fayette County.
    A car fire early Friday morning (8/29)is being investigated in Fayette County.
  • Pilot confirmed dead in Virginia military jet crash

    Pilot confirmed dead in Virginia military jet crash

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:58:58 GMT
    WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) -Military officials in Massachusetts say they've confirmed that the pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed in remote Virginia mountains was killed.Col. James Keefe says his "thoughts and prayers are with the family" of the pilot, whose identity hasn't been disclosed.The pilot and jet were with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.The F-15 fighter jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on Wednesday, shaking residents but causing no injuries ...
    WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) -Military officials in Massachusetts say they've confirmed that the pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed in remote Virginia mountains was killed.Col. James Keefe says his "thoughts and prayers are with the family" of the pilot, whose identity hasn't been disclosed.The pilot and jet were with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.The F-15 fighter jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on Wednesday, shaking residents but causing no injuries ...
  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.

 

Agenda-driven, partisan politics never do much good. We got a nasty dose of those tired and unseemly political shenanigans during the recently concluded legislative session. 

The House of Delegates wasted precious time and resources attacking the Office of the Attorney General. Why? When questioned about the bill, those pushing for it offered up plenty of reasons as to why it was necessary, all of which were completely superfluous. To no one's surprise, when this bill hit the Senate, there was zero interest. It did not even get taken up in a committee. Members of the House tried this same stunt last year and it failed then, too. 

Think of all the good they could have done if, rather than go on futile and possibly unconstitutional witch hunts, they actually tried to tackle some of this state's most pressing problems. What if they had put the same time and effort into hammering out a compromise on legislation that would keep meth cooks from making their poison or if they worked on a bill that could position our state's economy to grow and expand. 

This session might not have done much to move West Virginia forward, but it was interesting to watch for at least one reason — the majority party is doing all it can to cling to the past. Republicans are beginning to assert their voice and voters are growing tired of watching the state they love flounder at the bottom of the good lists while maintaining its seemingly untouchable perch at the top of the bad lists. 

We are seeing firsthand what happens when elected leaders realize they must be accountable. How does the House of Delegates respond to a sea-change in this state's electoral conscious? By near-brawls during closed door meetings and attacking the only Republican on the Board of Public Works. Rather than take a long look in the mirror and try to discern the true reasons this state is trending from blue to red, they react like this? Instead of trying to develop a platform that gives voters a reason to come back, they stage stunts and call one another names. 

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, knowing that elected leaders actually have to compete to earn your vote is a comforting thought.  Accountability, thankfully, does not know party lines or ideology. Those currently in power can either face the cold, hard light of reality, or they can try, and fail, to keep their grip on the throne.