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Phil Kabler  »  News  »  Columnists  »  Phil Kabler

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyists quick to wine and dine new leaders

With the shift of power in the Legislature following the November elections, lobbyists did not waste any time wining and dining the new leaders-to-be, lobbyist spending disclosures for September-December filed with the Ethics Commission...

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyists quick to wine and dine new leaders

With the shift of power in the Legislature following the November elections, lobbyists did not waste any time wining and dining the new leaders-to-be, lobbyist spending disclosures for September-December filed with the Ethics Commission show....

Statehouse Beat: A symbolic repeal of a symbolic law

Our new-look Legislature is poised to pass its first bill this session, a largely symbolic repeal of a law that itself is largely symbolic (HB2001).

Repeal of the 2009 Alternative Energy Portfolio Act will join a long list of feel-good bills...

Statehouse Beat: Repeal bill on fast track

Republican campaigns last fall followed a simple but effective template: Find some link, however tenuous, between your opponent and Barack Obama — and then hammer on that connection in multiple attack ads.

For many Democrat incumbents,...

Statehouse Beat: Republican staffers draw higher wages than counterparts

One of the goals of the new Republican leadership in the Legislature is to create good-paying jobs, and it looks like they’ve decided the best place to start is at home.

A number of new full-time House and Senate staffers are drawing...

Statehouse Beat: Raines’ position with AG raises ethics questions

It’s always good to see someone land on his or her feet after going through a tough time, so to that end, it was good to hear Thursday that ex-Delegate Suzette Raines had landed a good-paying job with the attorney general’s office....

Statehouse Beat: Counting down top Statehouse stories, part two

Resuming the countdown of the top stories at the Statehouse for 2014:

5. The Department of Agriculture’s “friends and family” loan program. A legislative audit in January found mismanagement, lack of oversight, and possible...

Statehouse Beat: Counting down top Statehouse stories, part one

Counting down the top Statehouse stories of 2014, from one writer’s perspective:

10. Lottery Commission cracks down on “faux fraternals.” After spending nearly a year investigating complaints that Limited Video Lottery...

Statehouse Beat: Looking over House financial disclosures

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at financial disclosures for the incoming state Senate leadership, and am finally getting around to looking at the new House leadership:

Incoming House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, is senior counsel for...

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyists change with new Legislature

With the pending change of control of the state Legislature, it would be reasonable to think that the 300-odd lobbyists who will spend two months trying to persuade the new Legislature to pass (or defeat) particular bills would also be in for a...

Statehouse Beat: Headlines were goal of Ethics complaints

Regarding the dismissal last week of the evidently frivolous Ethics complaint filed against her, Delegate Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, decried what she called the “gotcha” nature of political campaigns these days.

Guthrie was one of...

Statehouse Beat: House clerk’s expertise will be hard to replace

As noted previously, it will be interesting to see if the new Republican leadership in the Legislature is cooperative or vindictive with Democrats.

To that end, the decision to replace longtime House Clerk Greg Gray with former Kanawha County...

Statehouse Beat: Barnes had planned to be Judiciary Committee chairman

Following up on last week’s item about Sen. Clark Barnes’, R-Randolph, intentions of becoming Senate clerk, In talking to Barnes, he said incoming Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, had offered him the Judiciary Committee chairmanship,...

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