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Phil Kabler  »  News  »  Columnists  »  Phil Kabler

Statehouse Beat: Ripples from legislative leadership change
Statehouse Beat: Ripples from legislative leadership change

Presumptive Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, and House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, will want to hit the ground running as the first session of the 82nd Legislature begins Jan. 14.

Procedurally, though, there are obstacles in the way....

Statehouse Beat: Reflections on Election Day

Reflections on a historic Election Day:

Naturally, the victories could turn out to be a blessing or a curse for Republicans, who for decades have said how they would improve the business climate, cut taxes, reform education and upgrade...

Statehouse Beat: House analysis misses third-party candidates

When I first learned that political science students at West Virginia Wesleyan College (my mom’s alma mater, by the way) were analyzing every race for all 100 House of Delegates seats, I was thrilled. If they had an advertising slogan, it could ...

Statehouse Beat: Legislative candidates not afraid to spend

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a job interview? Mine was the cost of gas to and from Morgantown and lunch (and a lost day of grad school) to interview at the Gazette. At most, there might be airfare and lodging costs, which still...

Statehouse Beat: NCAA finances show a sobering reality
Statehouse Beat: NCAA finances show a sobering reality

Every now and then, a legislative audit will catch the public’s attention — I think the last time was when auditors found evidence of mismanagement and possible fraud with the Rural Rehabilitation Loan program under former Agriculture...

Statehouse Beat: Ripples continue from House ballot vacancy fight

The saga of the ballot vacancy/un-vacancy in the House 35th keeps getting more bizarre.

Now comes word the U.S. Justice Department is seeking a consent decree that would delay the Kanawha County Commission’s canvassing ballots in that...

Statehouse Beat: Central West Virginia’s politics resembles coalfields’

Central West Virginia has been one of the bright spots in the state economically, but its politics of late has resembled southern coalfield counties.

It all centers around the local transit authority in Clarksburg, where members of the governing ...

Statehouse Beat: Capito’s debate absence not surprising

Shelley Moore Capito’s campaign followed one of the unwritten rules of electioneering Friday: Incumbents and/or front-runners shall participate in a maximum of one televised debate per election cycle.

Thus, when West Virginia Public...

Statehouse Beat: Refusal to release train info absurd

State Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato’s refusal to release information about routes and frequencies of Bakken crude oil trains through the state is, of course, absurd.

It’s hard to make a case that the routes are...

Statehouse Beat: Looking back on 2000 anti-gay marriage vote

Events of the past days had me reflecting on 2000, when the Legislature passed Gov. Cecil Underwood’s Defense of Marriage Act, which for 14 years barred the state from legally recognizing marriages other than those between a man and a woman....

Statehouse Beat: In election year, politics influences all

At the Capitol, nothing happens in a vacuum, and in an election year, every action has a touch of politics to it — possibly including the state Supreme Court’s writ of mandamus ordering that Marie Sprouse-McDavid be allowed to fill a...

Statehouse Beat: New computer system experiencing turbulence
Statehouse Beat: New computer system experiencing turbulence

When then-Administration Secretary Ross Taylor told legislators this summer the expansion of the wvOasis state supercomputer would have some bumps in the road, he was right on.

Biggest complaints to date are slow or no payments to vendors. In...

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