If Raleigh County Republican State Senator Rollan Roberts is not re-elected next year, it won’t be because he doesn’t think highly enough of himself.
In a recent newsletter to current and potential supporters, Roberts evaluates the one state senator who he (Roberts) “considers a statesman who brings wisdom, common sense and integrity to the WV legislature.” Quite a mouth full of compliments.
Who, one wonders, is this Superman of the legislature? Well it’s no other than Roberts himself.
One can expect to see campaign mailings next year bearing enthusiastic testimonials to his legislative service given by … who else? Senator Roberts. He doesn’t mind spreading the word about just how great he is. It’s not certain that all Raleigh Countians agree. But he has a few months to convince them of what he already knows.
Despite his high opinion of himself, Roberts is obviously obsessed that Raleigh Delegate Mick Bates, who recently changed from Democrat to Republican, may be planning to challenge him in 2022.
To that end, when not patting himself on the back, Roberts did a backhand “welcome” to Bates to the Republican Party then devoted an entire newsletter section to defining a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only”) obviously aimed at Bates.
In keeping with his self-adulation, Roberts declares himself in a “good position” to evaluate RINOs. He then proceeds to address only party-flippers (those who have changed from Democrat to Republican like Bates) while apparently not realizing there are RINOs who are lifetime, card-carrying Republicans. Or maybe Roberts is just obsessed with a potential Bates challenge, as I mentioned.
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has always been a Republican, dear Senator, but he’s a RINO if you ever saw one. Maybe Roberts was not in as good a position to define RINOs as he thought.
If Roberts made the newsletter a prelude to his method of campaigning next year by praising himself to sainthood and calling Bates’ Republican credentials into question, I doubt how well that will work.
But what if Bates is not a primary opponent at all? What if he’s perfectly happy with his newly-drawn House district and runs for re-election? In addition to having placed an obstacle between him and Bates being friends, Roberts may be prematurely attacking the wrong man. And I doubt seriously, either way, that Bates will volunteer to be a Roberts precinct captain in 2022.
Word is that several are considering making a run at Roberts, whose election in 2018 was considered an upset by many.
In fact, the rumor is that in planning a June fundraiser for his re-election campaign, Roberts has already been turned down by some legislative members of the Raleigh GOP delegation who he invited to be sponsors. At least one told him that he, himself, is considering a run for the Senate seat.
There is clearly dissatisfaction in Roberts (despite his being a “statesman” or maybe because of it) within the Raleigh Republican party.
We’ll keep.an eye on this race. After all, there are only a few true “statesmen” for us to watch.
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Longtime readers know that I sometimes veer from the subject of politics to discuss other matters. Actually, I often go afield. And, by Gawd, j can sure do it on the eve of my birthday if I want to.
Anyway, I’ll take a little space to congratulate my Marshall University national soccer champions. I never figured ANY soccer match could hold my attention as that title game did. Frankly, in the past when the score was nil-nil, my interest level was likewise “nil, nil.” But no more since MU won the College Cup.
Now if only the media and a few poor-mouth fans would stop insisting it’s “Marshall’s first national championship,” which it isn’t.
If the 1947 basketball title, the two football trophies and the mascot crown were not national championships, we were all lied to.
And reporters and fans are degrading the achievements of those teams and Marco the buffalo if they insist this is the “first-ever” national championship. It’s number five.
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Now back to the real purpose of this column.
To irritate my enemies?
No, to provide rumors and political wisdom. That’s the ticket.
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On the subject of Raleigh County GOP politics, did anyone notice that support for new State Republican Chair Mark Harris was virtually non-existent from his “home” county? I didn’t see Raleigh GOP legislators rushing to endorse his recent “election” as chair.
Harris could clear up some of the questions surrounding his qualifications to lead state Republicans by joining U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito in demanding a full-fledged investigation into the sordid past at the Beckley Veterans Medical Center.
Harris and VA officials say his firing as chief of staff there was not linked to the scandal that erupted involving as many as 61 patients being sexually abused at the hospital. Harris was in charge at the time Dr. Jonathan Yates was federally charged with abusing patients.
How about an investigation that tells us for sure that Harris is telling the truth and had no involvement in the scandal? After all, we know he lied to me about letting me know when a new executive director was hired.
My grandpa always said, “if he’ll lie to you about one thing, he’ll lie to you about something else.”
It still seems an odd coincidence to me that Harris “retired” from practicing medicine at the same time he resigned his VA job. He must have discovered that being a church pastor is much more lucrative than most of us knew.
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The retirement of Wyoming Circuit Judge Warren McGraw marks the end of another iconic political career.
A friend of his tells me Ill health prompted the decision, which is effective June 20.
Forever to be remembered for his infamous “Scream at Racine” that ended his statewide career, McGraw is one of the last old-time liberal Democrats.
The rants at the United Mine Workers Labor Day Picnic are still on social media. If you want to hear a barn burner impassioned union Democrat speech, take a listen sometime.
I always liked McGraw, although seldom agreeing with his political philosophy.
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One hopes Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin was not asked to approve the letter sent to Fred Joseph forbidding display of a patriotic yard sign on his property at Memorial Day.
The size of the sign and the fact that Joseph didn’t get a permit to display it were cited as the reasons he was sent the warning and given five days to take the sign down.
Joseph, a staunch conservative and military veteran, says there’s something called “freedom of speech” he fought for. That seems to be lost on others in the mix.
One city pundit remarked, “for someone who never stops worrying about PR, it’s pretty clear Amy missed the boat this time.”
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Curiosity may kill the cat but not endanger Williamson political observers puzzled about some billing in Williamson Memorial Hospital’s bankruptcy case.
The law firm representing the former medical facility included at least three billings for “grand jury” preparation.
Williamson Mayor Charlie Hatfield voluntarily assured me he was never called before such a jury in his role as Chief Executive Officer of the facility.
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Last week I pointed out that the president of the Judicial Crisis Network, Carrie Campbell Severino, is no fan of Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. It’s safe to say the feeling is mutual.
I quoted some of Severino’s alleged disagreements with the AG. Morrisey was quick to respond.
Although critics of the AG have alleged he’s in the pocket of Big Pharma, Morrisey says he’s actually the worst thing that ever happened to drug manufacturers and there’s some evidence he’s right.
Interestingly, Severino operates under the belief that Morrisey was originally elected as a solid conservative who has drifted leftward the past eight years. As I noted last week, there are right wing voters who agree with Severino to some extent.
Most of the in-state questioning of Morrisey’s philosophy comes from the hard right, who believe he should have unilaterally opposed Governor Jim Justice’s Covid pandemic mandates. These same critics are fueled by Morrisey’s earlier explanations that his office functions as the *Governor’s lawyer.”
My friend Tom Roten articulates the prevailing question well. “If Morrisey is the Governor’s lawyer, who’s the peoples’ lawyer?” he asks.
In terms of semantics, Morrisey likely should never have used the “Governor’s lawyer” title although, in some cases, he is definitely that.
Objectively, Morrisey is still a solid conservative. He is not “drifting” leftward by leaps and bounds.
He noted, in discussing his performance, that he has maintained A+ ratings from the National Rifle Association and the Civil Defense League as well as 100% from West Virginians for Life.
Morrisey pointed out that he is one of the leading attorneys general in fighting overreach by the Biden administration. And he correctly mentioned that, as attorney general, he is governed by far different ethics requirements than the Governor or other elected officials.
As for specifics, Morrisey mentioned that he is defending the state’s stringent abortion laws against federal overreach. Defense of gun rights is another key category where the AG said his credentials are solidly conservative. He further defended his change in policy of hiring outside counsel by competitive bid “rather than politics.”
As he has before, Morrisey inferred that Big Pharma is actually behind the attacks on him because they know the outside firms he has hired for litigation “will get more money out of them than anyone.”
He said his office is defending the state’s new integrity in women’s sports law as well as defending the most expansive school choice law in the nation.
He said he is leading the national AGs in fighting the Biden climate initiatives. And working to assure that states like West Virginia will not be penalized when they lower taxes.
All solid arguments why Morrisey is still a true conservative. Most liberals would never think of him as one of them, that’s for sure.
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And three years before the 2024 primary, Morrisey is still the favorite to succeed Governor Justice, who is term limited from running again.
That is, if Justice doesn’t just appoint himself to four more years by executive order.