Strange Goings-on in the WV State House

Thanks to the hard work of Coal River activists, 46 members of the WV State House have signed on to sponsor a resolution supporting the Coal River Wind Project. The Coal Industry has been fighting this hard. And today, the battle took a turn toward the ridiculous. The following is a description of today’s events by Rory Mcllmoil:

 Right at the onset of the Floor session, a delegate made the motion to have Resolutions read out of line, and to bring them to the front of the session. That was granted.

There were only two resolutions introduced today, the wind reso (HCR 52) and another one honoring two folks who had died (HR or HCR 46). The first funny thing is that they brought up the wind reso first, even though it had a bigger number to it. I’m not sure if this happens but when they read bills, they go in number order. Anyhow, so they brought up HCR 52 and noted the original sponsors.

Then, right as the clerk – or whoever notes the bills and resolutions to the Speaker – was recognizing the desire of Delegates Susman, Manypenny and either Wooten or Perdue to speak to the Resolution, the Speaker cut him off, asked the House members to rise, asked the gallery to rise, and brought Reso 46 to the attention of the House.

It was a pretty intense moment, with lots of drama added to it, and in came a family to the center of the Floor, and for the next 15 minutes they read Reso 46, line by line, which as I said was an Reso in honor of two gentleman who had died and I believe had made some great contribution to the state government. The Speaker came to the floor and presented them with an official copy of the Reso and greeted each family member. The family left, and then things got back to business.

Then, instead of going back to the wind resolution, and presenting the Delegates who’d asked to speak in its favor with the opportunity to do so, the Speaker immediately referred the Reso to the House Rules Cmte and moved on. He never even read the title, the Reso never came up on the LED screen (everything else introduced in the House does, as far as I’ve seen), and not a single Delegate who’d requested to do so got to speak.

Now, my (strong) initial reaction was that the whole thing was an underhanded stunt, but I passed that feeling off as paranoia until I was having a conversation with someone who has been working in the legislature for years, and that person told me that such a thing has never happened.

That this person has never seen a situation where the Speaker cuts off the reading of the title of a Resolution in order to address another. My friend is positively convinced that the success of the Resolution thus far led the coal industry folks to put pressure on the Speaker to undermine the appropriate introduction of the wind reso and to ensure that the supporting Delegates didn’t have a chance to speak in its favor.

If that was the case, which in my honest opinion and with respect to the insight of my friend, I think it was, then that means that we aren’t in as good of a position to get the resolution passed through the House as I thought. My honest feeling when all this went down was that it felt like a stunt, the whole dramatic air to it was ridiculous, the set up was suspect and the timing was too perfect. So it seems Bill Raney and Co have been stirring up some unrest in the House hallways while going straight at the Speaker as well.

Coal River Wind Resolution (H.C.R. 52)

List of House Delegates Who’ve Not Signed On 

**Denotes Delegates who were approached/asked but declined or have yet to support the Resolution 
 

Speaker Rick Thompson  (D-Wayne)   (304) 340-3210

William Anderson   (R-Wood)   (304) 340-3168

Troy Andes    (R-Putnam)   (304) 340-3121

Tim Armstead**   (R-Kanawha)   (304) 340-3240

Bob Ashley    (R-Roane)   (304) 340-3185

Tom Azinger**   (R-Wood)   (304) 340-3202

Craig Blair    (R-Berkeley)   (304) 340-3122

Larry Border    (R-Wood)   (304) 340-3136

Greg Butcher**   (D-Logan)   (304) 340-3113

Thomas Campbell   (D-Greenbrier)  (304) 340-3280

Ray Canterbury**   (R-Greenbrier)   (304) 340-3131

Mitch Carmichael   (R-Jackson)   (304) 340-3115

Daryl Cowles    (R-Morgan)   (304) 340-3177

Kevin Craig**    (D-Cabell)   (304) 340-3350

Walter Duke    (R-Berkeley)   (304) 340-3151

Timothy Ennis    (D-Brooke)   (304) 340-3126

Allan Evans    (R-Grant)   (304) 340-3399

Mike Ferro    (D-Marshall)   (304) 340-3111

John Frazier**    (D-Mercer)   (304) 340-3396

Roy Givens**    (D-Brooke)   (304) 340-3129

Daniel Hall**    (D-Wyoming)   (304) 340-3119

Bill Hamilton**   (R-Upshur)   (304) 340-3167

William Hartman**   (D-Randolph)   (304) 340-3178

Mark Hunt    (D-Kanawha)   (304) 340-3392

Tal Hutchins    (D-Ohio)   (304) 340-3270

Woody Ireland   (R-Ritchie)   (304) 340-3195

Patrick Lane    (R-Kanawha)   (304) 340-3275

Harold Michael   (D-Hardy)   (304) 340-3340

Carol Miller    (R-Cabell)   (304) 340-3176

Jonathan Miller   (R-Berkeley)   (304) 340-3147

John Overington   (R-Berkeley)   (304) 340-3148

Brady Paxton    (D-Putnam)   (304) 340-3337

David Perry**    (D-Fayette)   (304) 340-3117

Dave Pethtel**   (D-Wetzel)   (304) 340-3158

Linda Phillips**   (D-Wyoming)   (304) 340-3163

Daniel Poling**   (D-Wood)   (304) 340-3137

Thomas Porter    (R-Mercer)   (304) 340-3172

William Romine   (R-Tyler)   (304) 340-3226

Mike Ross**    (D-Randolph)   (304) 340-3145

Ruth Rowan    (R-Hampshire)  (304) 340-3157

Robert Schadler   (R-Mineral)   (304) 340-3191

Patti Schoen    (R-Putnam)   (304) 340-3141

Stan Shaver**    (D-Preston)   (304) 340-3146

John Shott    (R-Mercer)   (304) 340-3179

Doug Skaff    (D-Kanawha)   (304) 340-3362

Margaret Smith**   (D-Lewis)   (304) 340-3123

Kelli Sobonya    (R-Cabell)   (304) 340-3175

Sharon Spencer**   (D-Kanawha)   (304) 340-3218

Josh Stowers**   (D-Lincoln)   (304) 340-3384

Linda Sumner**   (R-Raleigh)   (304) 340-3180

Randy Swartzmiller**  (D-Hancock)   (304) 340-3138

Robert Tabb    (D-Jefferson)   (304) 340-3274

David Walker    (D-Clay)   (304) 340-3135

Ron Walters    (R-Kanawha)   (304) 340-3194

Larry Williams   (D-Preston)   (304) 340-3160

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One Response to “Strange Goings-on in the WV State House”

  1. […] Cowards Take Name Off Dead Resolution As you may have read in my post “Strange Goings-on in the WV Statehouse,”  a resolution  in support of a windfarm atop Coal River Mountain was tabled (killed) by the […]

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