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

Political games stall progress

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  • Can we be realistic on roads?

    Can we be realistic on roads?

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:00:54 GMT
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
  • Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Friday, July 11 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-11 14:46:55 GMT
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
  • Energy generation economy will require evolution

    Energy generation economy will require evolution

    Friday, June 27 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-06-27 13:38:18 GMT
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed down an interesting decision in terms of what the Environmental Protection Agency can and cannot do in terms of reducing emissions at power plants and factories.
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed down an interesting decision in terms of what the Environmental Protection Agency can and cannot do in terms of reducing emissions at power plants and factories.

 

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.