In the general election of 1924, republicans won every office in Boone County. The Democrats claimed the election has been stolen; the state Supreme Court ruled this the be the case. Thereby the Republicans were removed from the office and replaced by democrats. The Democrats at this time formulated a plan of their own, how to remain in office in the future. With the Democrats majority of two to one voters over the republicans they only had to stay united. The office of the sheriff was the most influential in the county. Besides enforcing the law, collecting taxes, the chair of the party was infuriated. The plan was the Sheriff was to rotate every four years between Big Coal river and Little Col River thereby keeping the Democrats united. It became apparent Republicans could not win elections in Boone County. The Democrats’ control was so complete; The Republican chairman would bring Republican money to the Democratic chairman before general elections. I witnessed this on two occasions. There were two automobile dealers in Madison at the time; both were top Republicans and chairman of their party. The Democratic sheriff held considerable influence over the Board of Education; he made sure buses or vehicles bought were evenly divided between the two. One of the dealers after donating his funds ran for sheriff more than once.
The plan on the Democrats worked fairly well until a sheriff on the Little Coal River side decided to break from the plan. He persuaded republicans to register as Democrats in order to vote for him in the primary election. The sheriff was related to the Governor’s assistant which was an ace in the hole. I supported the candidate from Big Coal River along with the Democratic chairman of Boone County. With the Sheriff’s defeat I won a bet from the governor’s assistant. The trick was to win the primary knowing the general election was insignificant.
Although the sheriff lost the election a plan was created for the republicans, how to be elected to office in Boone County. It would be several years before the son of the Democrat who had created that plan became sheriff. Serving two terms. Since then republicans registered as democrats have won the sheriff and other offices. Presently there are only five offices held by true democrats in Boone County. It is obvious although outnumbered more than two to one; republicans as registered Democrats are in control of the county seat as well as the state. Both partied had plans proven to work. Presently the republicans are in control and ill remain so until the democrats desire a change.
As it is now the republicans control the bulk of the money o both parties. This will be a challenge for the democrats to overcome. Maybe a plan will be forth-coming that will work.
In the General Election of 2008 a well-made plan back fired on the Republican party. During the primary elections; at one point one of the Democratic candidates for president held a commanding lead over a rival. The republicans not desiring to face the candidate; put their plan into action in the election at the first caucus. The plan was simple; republicans voted for the Democratic candidate they thought they could easily beat in the general election. Their plan worked to perfection; but once the democrats realized they had been duped united the democrats as a party for the first time. They voted for the party not the candidate; as the republicans have always done. The Republicans will never forget this plan.
Subsequent to my writing this article the chairman of Boone County’s Republicans had an article of distortion in the Coal Valley News August 11. 2010. He stated, “The Obama administration is against everything we do to earn a living.” “The people of West Virginia mine coal, drill for oil and gas, and cut timber to earn a living.” “Why does the united mine workers support an administration tat is determined to destroy the coal industry?”
Before answering my Republican classmate; I would like to point out Boone County may be the most prosperous county in the country per capita. Coal is king in West Virginia; coal-burning power plants produce 50 percent of America’s electricity. Any person with a smattering of knowledge knows coalmines were mined by the regulations they agreed to when applying for a permit the environmentalists would have little to object to. But as it is today there is little enforcement of regulations. It only takes one rotten apple to cover up hundreds of citations, never issuing one that would curtail production. CSX is the carrier of coal mined in West Virginia as well as Kentucky. In MA and NY cases CSX collects both freight and royalty. If coal is mined on property hey own. CSX is one of the most powerful corporations in the country; the coal companies could have no better partner. Coal will be mined as long as there is a demand and it is profitable. When the coal reserve of a mine is exhausted the mine shuts-down. At this time the reality of the coal industry dominance will be ex posed. Some ears back a rule of the United Mine Workers came into reality. A mine could be bought, shut down for 1 year; reopened with a new name; as non-union and not honor the previous panel. Since then the coal industry has been controlled by one or two corporations in the county. Hen a mine hits-down the company files bankruptcy if the mine is union the miners may receive benefits from the UMW. If the mine in non union as the majority there are no benefits will be forth-coming.
As to drilling for gas in West Virginia, for the past twenty five years thousands of wells have been drilled in the Marcellus shale formation in West Virginia. It is preposterous tot city “regularity environment” for curtailment of gas well drilling in West Virginia. The fact is just the opposite, there are only 18 oil and gas inspectors in the state. Between 600 and 2,200 new wells are permitted each year. That limited number of inspectors cannot possibly do those inspections and check on more than 55,000 active well that have already been drilled.
As to cutting of timber in West Virginia. For thirty years timber in the Appalachian Mountains from Main to Alabama has been cut and sent to China. West Virginia has led the others states in supplying logs to China. As long as there is a demand West Virginia will continue to profit from timbering.
“The Obama administration would consider $5.00 a gallon for gasoline a victory.” Could it be my old class mate has forgotten about settling a pending charge the attorney general of West Virginia held on him? Being a business man in the oil industry and owning several gas stations, he had failed to pay the state gasoline tax totaling into the five percent range. I did manage to have the total payments made is six payments instead of one. This is the typical philosophy of Republicans which is low taxes and when possible no takes; to them this is just good business.
“Why does the UNW support an Administration that is determined to destroy the coal industry.” The chairman’s view is the same is Fox News’ Tea Party candidate for Senator from Kentucky. Unlimited corporate money is to be used against the democrats seeking offices for congress from both West Virginia and Kentucky. Both of the Democrats are being labeled as being against coal. There could be no greater distortion of the truth pertaining to the Democratic candidate running for the House of Representatives from southern West Virginia. This man has stood for coal from day one.