By Ron Gregory
Mingo Delegate and Majority Leader Harry Keith White is rightfully upset that plans are moving forward to build security structures at the state Capitol complex with no consultation with legislative leaders. It still seems odd to me that an executive administration that can’t abide by state law in the timely appointment of a Mingo County circuit judge seems capable of just jumping out to institute other programs and plans with no concern about how it affects others.
White is right when he worries that the new gated security plan would take parking from House of Delegates members and the general public. Recently, White questioned why such a program would be instituted without someone from the governor’s office at least talking to legislators. Thus far, according to White last week, the silence is still deafening.
“We’re (House members) going to lose all our parking spaces on the (Kanawha) Boulevard and the public is losing its closest parking lot but nobody wants to talk about it,” White said from his Gilbert office.
Capitol officials have been attempting to figure out security systems at the statehouse for years and always seem to get it wrong. County courthouses around the state appear to have no trouble enacting security measures that are effective. While some buildings at the Capitol complex have scanners and officials to monitor those entering and exiting, the main Capitol building is still wide open for anyone to enter. State officials seem to ignore the fact that it is the main building that is the work home to state elected officials from the governor on down. While there is certainly an ever-present Capitol police force, it would seem securing the main building would be the major concern.
But highly-paid officials cannot come up with that seemingly simple plan. Instead, they want to take a huge chunk of already-scarce parking and build a wall. Oh, my. White has this one exactly right.
… Is it possible that pictures have emerged of disgraced former Mingo County commissioner David Baisden recently pushing a tire from the county garage? Well, I have seen them and it sure appears to be what is happening. Tell me these photos are old pictures of Baisden before he was convicted of trying to extort tires at government prices for his personal vehicles, please. Surely, Baisden, who is awaiting sentencing in federal court, would not put his hands on a government-related tire these days.
… Little wonder one can believe every word he or she reads in the Morning Sick Call. A recent article by The Charleston Gazette’s former “investigative reporter” confirms that fact. Now referred to as a mere “staff writer,” Paul Nyden reported on challenger Gary McCallister’s one-vote win over incumbent Delegate Josh Barker in the recent Democrat primary.
Getting to the “story behind the story,” Nyden pointed out that Barker has been a “football coach for the past 10 years at Chapmanville High School.” Nyden let it be known that Barker “could not be reached for comment Friday.” Perhaps that is because Nyden was attempting to find a number for Chapmanville High, which ceased to exist seven years ago when it merged with Harts to form Chapmanville Regional High School.
Had Nyden reached CHS in his “way-back machine,” he might have learned that Barker has not coached at CRHS or CHS the past two or three seasons. Some deeper research could have revealed the well-kept “secret” that Barker is town manager of Danville.
Gawd, I’d hate to have Nyden investigating me. Oh, that’s right … he has. The last time he did that, the ace investigator told readers I could not be reached for comment, either. That, despite the fact that I had stood making small talk with him on the day he was allegedly unable to “reach me.”
Believe what you want from the Sick Call but don’t let facts stand in the way.
… I had predicted that Delegate Josh Barker would end up losing the 22nd District’s second Democrat nomination to Gary McCallister. While I do not think there is any reason to believe there were shenanigans in this year’s Lincoln County primary, it is just inherent that what happens in Hamlin regarding elections will never make sense. Why, for example, did Lincoln County, with a 10th of the voters, have nearly as many provisional or challenged ballots as neighboring Kanawha? Why would their challenged numbers dwarf those of the other three counties in the district? And why did numbers not ever add up?
Because, it’s Lincoln County. Again, I suggest human error rather than corruption this time.
… Finally, this is likely the last time I will bother to address the Internet rumors about me since I have done it all before. Any reader is welcome to call Patty Robinson, owner and office manager of The Lincoln Journal, to see if I was ever fired from that newspaper. Ask anyone; Patty Robinson will tell you the truth and never lie for, or to, anyone. All are invited to check criminal records to see if I was ever convicted of a crime or ever stood trial for any criminal allegations. In the meantime, have fun gaining me more notoriety than I could ever get myself with your Internet ranting.
… Comments, story ideas, rumors and Internet rants are always welcome. Your opinion is probably worth what you’re paid for it by Facebook. Anyway, use the listed email or call my cell, 304-533-5185.