It was my pleasure to have Jordan Thompson working in Senator Sprouse’s office during the last week of the session. Jordan is a 15-year-old resident of Florida whom I met several years ago. After expressing interests in politics I invited him to come for the latter end of the session for an apprenticeship of sorts.
I thought it would be interesting to read what a 15-year-old thought of the going-ons of the Senate so I invited him to share his perspective of the session.
Today I am packing up my porcelain elephant and the various bric-a-brac I collected over five years and heading home. It’s my last day in the Senate.
I admit I have mixed feelings. While I am looking forward to all the new things I will be involved in, I cannot help but feel a touch of sadness that some great times are ending.
The last night of the 2007 Regular Legislative Session came and went with minimal fanfare. There were several bills that managed to squeeze through the Senate and House that will help our state; I’ll review those later.
Because it is difficult to cover everything that happened on Saturday in one coherent article, here are some incoherent random thoughts along with some pictures I took during the long night.
Yesterday was a good day to be a West Virginia Republican. Kanawha County played host to the very first declared Republican presidential candidate to visit our state, Governor Mitt Romney. His speech at the Kanawha County Lincoln Day Dinner was as good as stump speeches go and while one should never make their decision on whistle-stop addresses, he raised several points worthy of consideration.
I first met the Senator soon after I began working for Senator Steve Harrison. I was a young 19-year-old still wide-eyed from the opportunity to work at the capitol and was absolutely on the bottom of the food chain. He walked into my office, introduced himself as he shook my hand and began to inquire about me.
We chatted for a brief minute or two and then when there was a pause in the conversation I asked if he wanted to speak to Senator Harrison. “No,” he replied. “I just came to meet you.” As he walked out the door I instantly became a fan of Senator Mike Oliverio.
An ill wind is blowing in the capitol. West Virginia teachers, upset that they will not be getting a larger pay raise, are threatening to strike. I cannot fully express how much I disapprove.
It’s not that I do not agree with their arguments. Yes, teachers are paid dismally in this state. Yes, they deserve more than a measly 2% raise that does not even exceed the rate of inflation. Yes, they are highly educated professionals that have a direct impact on West Virginia’s future.
But no matter how valid their arguments are, one fact reigns supreme…
It is amazing that 54 days of the 2007 Regular Session have come and gone and only 6 remain. If one stops to consider the miserly little the Senate and House have done with their time, it is depressing. Tough actin’ Tinactin, they aren’t.
There has been one bright spot in the session, however…
In this veritable cornucopia of randomness I update everyone on the table games bill’s progress, Senator Hall, Jim Lewis, and the newest West Virginia blogger.
The Daily Mail was breathless in their Tuesday report that Governor Joe Manchin may run for a national office ï¿½ and even the presidency ï¿½ one day in the future. Of course, his ambition and political posturing is old news, but the Daily Mail breathlessly reported his supposed position on the cusp of intergalactic fame.
As popular as he may be in West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin does not have a chance against national voters who mark their ballots with their eyes open.
Delegate Patrick Lane (R-32 District) graciously wrote an article while I was away early February. Thanks to a glitch in my blogging software, the article and all comments were deleted. It’s too good to simply let it vaporize into the internet, so I am republishing it.
Much is being made this session about table games. Republicans have led the fight over the last three years to kill the table games bill but this year is different. They are still leading the charge, but House leadership apparently is not afraid to run the bill and let it die. With this in mind, I am please to be given this opportunity to explain why table games is bad for West Virginia families by separating the myths from the facts.