Dec
04
2012

West Virginia requires conservative attention on the STATE level.

I feel that a lot of perhaps misplaced angst (and possibly, even recklessness) is on display in this Roll Call article that’s ostensibly about finding a more conservative alternative to Shelley Capito for WV-SEN (people could be forgiven for thinking that the article is actually about complaining about the Tea Party in general).  You can like or not like Shelley Capito as you please, of course.  You can rather keep Senator Rockefeller in that position until he dies than put in an insufficiently conservative Republican replacement, too.  You can even be disgusted by the whole thing.  I have varying degrees of sympathy towards those positions, but it’s a free country: you don’t have to care about my personal opinions if you don’t want to.

What you shouldn’t do is ignore the basic math of the situation.  The West Virginia legislature is controlled by the Democratic party: the breakdown is 54D/46R in the House of Delegates and 28D/6R in the state Senate.  If you want to have credible, conservative alternatives to run for Senate and Congress and governorships, you need to, bluntly, breed them first in the state legislatures.  I respect the work that the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund and other national conservative groups do, and I share their frustration with a system that seems to be a little less than… nimble, sometimes.  But there is no substitute for legwork.  Clearly West Virginians will vote for Republicans, at least for President.  Also clearly, they’re happy to vote for Democrats on the state level.  The first step to making the Democrats sweat in that state should be in getting West Virginians to change their habit of ticket-splitting.

Moe Lane

PS: If you are a Republican in West Virginia the WV GOP wants to hear from you.

PS: Seriously, there are no shortcuts. Competing on the federal level more or less requires that we first successfully compete on the state level.

3 Comments

  • earlgrey says:

    Great point about yes we need to compete on the state level. It is in fact another reason why “all politics are local” and we should encourage fellow conservatives (and discourage liberals) to become informed and participate in LOCAL elections. Most people don’t follow the Barack Obama political path. Not realistic. He is special, you know.

    OTOH, for people like me still looking for “pets” to get my support so I can still feel somewhat involved in the process, it is challenging to get behind candidates like this.

    For a while I was sending some $$ to Washington State Republican Party–I have no idea why. They were really nice on the phone. Sometimes I wonder if the state R parties in predominately liberal states are purer than R parties in Red states like mine. The R party here has a bunch of officials that might as well be democrats. They are awful.

  • Spegen says:

    The problem with one party states is that government tends to attract Big Government politicians. Without a credible opposition, you end up with big-gov republicans in power.

  • Phil Davis says:

    I think in the Pacific NW you have to look for ‘pets’ to a certain extent. If nothing else, to get your support to the candidates who have the fire in the belly to actually campaign hard. I’m fortunate enough to be in district 28 so I’m not lumped in with the Peoples Republic of Tacoma and we still managed to elect Carrell (‘prefers – Republican’) and Tammi Green (‘prefers – ….communist?’) I’m convinced that Carrell landed the vote because he absolutely carpet bombed the district with signs and volunteers, and I gave $$ to Pierce County GOP and to his campaign directly. I feel like I’m dropping money in a large dark hole giving to Wash State GOP. Lots of ‘oh, so that’s who’s running for (fill in the blank)’ because the ballot is the first time you’ve even seen their name anywhere.

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