Most eyes are on the presidency up for grabs in the 2012 General Election. However, numerous other races for congressional seats will occur, and there’s also a high profile race for governor in West Virginia.
Pundits are debating the Obama factor in these races. Will a controversial president’s policies impact state races as many believe happened in the 2010 election and in the NY-9 congressional race after scandalized politico Anthony Weiner departed?
The governor’s seat in West Virginia on October 4 could be another litmus test for President Barack Obama. However, what many pundits overlook is the litmus test for Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress—actually for his party as a whole.
In the West Virginia race, Republican businessman Bill Maloney will face a longtime Democrat politico. Maloney’s opponent, acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, took office after Gov. Joe Manchin won the US Senate seat he inherited.
Even Manchin’s success provides a troubling example. Manchin’s messaging touted his conservative credentials—including second amendment rights, of course. However, Manchin has flipflopped on ObamaCare, sometimes saying he opposed it but eventually voting against its repeal. He also voted against prohibiting earmarks that were a trademark of his predecessor, the late Sen. Robert Byrd. Byrd, a Democrat, eventually confessed he was a Ku Klux Klan member in his youth.
There’s another issue Manchin voted ‘yes’ on and it disqualifies the senator from claiming any kinship with conservatives. Manchin voted yes on a bill allowing collective bargaining for public safety officers. Such an arrangement denies the taxpayer of an advocate in the market—after all, the taxpayer is the employer of any public employee. When a politician advocates for a small sector in the electorate, that is highly unethical.
W. Virginia is a forced unionism state.
In the governor’s race, Maloney has faced smears from Tomblin’s campaign. One smear is a complete fabrication. Democrats accused Maloney of actions taken by a company in 2010. Problem is Maloney had sold the company in 2006.
Fact Check has a rundown of various claims by both campaigns. There’s one fact that is comical. Tomblin was accused of mismanaging federal funds in a weatherization program. That mismanagement occurred on Sen. Manchin’s watch. Once Manchin won his Senate seat, he was happy to admit the mismanagement publicly. What does that say about Democrats’ fiscal accountability?
To make matters worse for Tomblin, much controversy erupted when his wife was named president of a community college. The NAACP was infuriated. Why? Tomblin’s wife has a journalism degree. The publication Black Issues in Higher Education (11-25-1999, print) noted, “Tomblin, who is White and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Marshall University, was picked from a field of 39 applicants, including 37 who hold doctoral degrees.” Tomblin was state Senate president when his missus the journalism graduate got a job in public administration.
Democrats must grapple with a poorly written federal healthcare bill they confessed they did not read before signing. The U.S. has record unemployment rates despite nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars committed or spent in an effort to get the economy going. The best Dems can come up with at present is a tax hike on the so-called wealthy.
As if that isn’t enough, Democrats have a national chair who has nothing in common with the minority base Democrats target in messaging. Furthermore, scandals like Fast and Furious as well as the Solyndra fraud illustrate complete lack of accountability because Democrats steered the whole federal ship when those scandals occurred. Toss in unpopular politicos like Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and it’s easy to see why Democrats are challenged in an informed political climate.
As the Oct. 4 governor’s race draws near, it hardly helps Democrats when a governor who is a Democrat (in Georgia) suggested suspending Congressional elections so politicians didn’t have to worry about getting elected. Concurrently Obama’s former budget director wrote an article, claiming Americans need “less democracy.”
Considering Maloney’s excellent record in the private sector, not to mention heroic efforts in helping to free 33 trapped miners in Chile, it’s easy to understand why Maloney’s opponent would resort to smear tactics. The fabrications got so intense broadcasters even pulled one of Maloney’s opponent’s ads because it was substantively false.
Democrats don’t just have a problem because of the president. Democrats have a problem because of their party ideology and unsuccessful policies.