Gregory’s Web brief
by Ron Gregory
What many (but not I) considered a major upset in State Senate District Four may be the key to organizing that body in 2021.
Amy Nichole Grady knocked off current Senate President Mitch Csrmichael, assuring that there will be a new leader. The question is who and which party.
If Grady is successful in holding that Senate seat for the GOP, the Republicans will likely still have a majority. With the GOP in charge, names mentioned as potential candidates include Dr. Tom Takubo of Kanawha County, Mike Maroney of Marshall and Berkeley County’s Craig Blair.
That would give legislators a possible Northern Panhandle candidate; one from the Eastern Panhandle; and Tabuko representing the mid-south to Southern areas.
An earlier complicating factor could have been the entrance of Charles Trump into the contest but he is said not to be a candidate. With he and Blair representing the same Senate District, having both in the running would be self-defeating.
If Democrats were to take over the majority, recent gubernatorial candidate Dr. Ron Stollings of Boone would be a leading contender. Others said to be interested include Cabell County’s Bob Plymale and Mike Romano of Harrison.
In that scenario, Stollings would be the more moderate, giving him a real shot at winning.
* * * * * *
Another name mentioned is former Senator Robert Karnes. After losing in the 2018 GOP Primary, Karnes came back Tuesday and ousted appointed Senator John Pitsenbarger.
If Karnes can defeat former Democrat Delegate Denise Campbell in the fall, associates say he’s interested in the presidency.
* * * * * *
Urban legends are myths that just generally are accepted as truth. Republicans can use them as well as Democrats. The fable that President Trump, for example, mocked a disabled newsman will live forever. The lie that he called the coronavirus a “hoax” continues regardless of factual evidence that he did not.
Many, both Democrats and Republicans, love to use the false narrative that the greyhound race tracks are given a “subsidy” that could be better used for school lunches, etc. They call the fund “taxpayer money.”
That’s wrong and they know it. The “subsidy” comes from special funds generated by the tracks and part of it is rebated to the them. Nobody dips into the general fund for a “subsidy.” It is not “taxpayer money.”
But an organization supporting Karnes and opposing race tracks, GRAY2K USA, sent mailers saying Pitsenbarger “gave” money to the tracks. That simply is not so.
In a state where revenues are stretched and every dollar is important, one would think nobody would favor shutting down an industry that provides hundreds of well-paying jobs — and taxes. But that’s what Karnes and others apparently want to do to the racing industry.
It’s akin to the Rockwool project in the Eastern Panhandle. Environmentalists oppose it without significant data to support their view. It is going forward, nevertheless.
Amazingly, I’ve yet to have a track opponent even argue with me when I say the funds are no subsidy. But that doesn’t matter if they can just keep selling it to the public.
It’s hard to boost a state’s economy when one has to fight residents and legislators to keep it going.