A digital tiger roars, taking a swipe at the camera, as the commercial comes to a close.
There are many other similar ads for the Miley Legal Group. The ads hit the airwaves when Miley opened the Miley Legal Group in 2006, and they've worked.
(The tiger ads hit home with Miley's fellow Democrat delegates too. When it became clear he would become speaker, the caucus bought him a fake tiger. The small statue is the only real decoration in the speaker's office now, apart from a few pictures of the Legislature.)
Miley was able to hire his brother Doug and a third attorney to work at the firm. Along with his wife Susan, the group is able to handle the workload that comes up when Tim Miley is away at the Legislature.
Growing up, Miley said he and his little brother had their fare share of fights. Working with his wife can present interesting situations as well. Although Miley, "I thought perhaps the office would be the only place where I could boss her around," he quickly discovered that wasn't true.
For the most part though, the family works with together.
"Quite frankly, were it not for my wife and my brother's presence at the law firm, I couldn't have even begun to consider this opportunity to serve as speaker," Miley said.
Former speaker Thompson essentially closed his law firm when he decided to run for governor; Miley mentioned the move, but said he's confident his firm won't shutter while he takes on the additional duties of speaker.
Trial lawyer ties
The fact that Miley is the second consecutive trial lawyer to become speaker isn't lost on his opponents. Within minutes of his election as speaker, several groups blasted the decision. The state Republican Party quickly tried to tie Miley to President Barack Obama, calling Miley an insider in what they consider failed liberal leadership.
Others accused special interest groups who support Miley of having inappropriate influence in the speaker's election. Fellow Democrat Ryan Ferns of Ohio County voted for the GOP nominee in a move he said showed his displeasure with the process. Labor organizations were accused of strong arming some Democrats into voting for Miley. (They denied the claims).
Immediately after his election, Miley said he never asked any organizations to pressure anyone. He acknowledges labor organizations have supported his campaign from the start, but he's said he's gotten more support from business than the trial lawyers over the years.
"I don't mind saying it publicly: if you go back and look at my campaign finance reports, I've gotten very little financial support from trial lawyers," Miley said. "To be honest that's always disappointed me . . . but I mean, it's disappointed me in the sense that I don't know why they wouldn't support a lawyer, no matter what type of law I did."
The state trial lawyers association has given $1,000 numerous times to Miley's campaign, something he acknowledged. But he said he would have expected more support or public endorsement than he's received.
"Lawyers and lobbyists" and unions top the list of contributors to each of Miley's campaigns, according to the state politics watchdog website Follow
TheMoney.org. They've contributed almost $115,000 since he first ran in 2004, according to the site. The site derives its information from campaign finance statements no longer available on the West Virginia Secretary of State's website.
On Friday, Miley said he's aware of the criticism. It wouldn't have happened if he had lost to House Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White, the other leading speaker candidate: opponents were going to jump on the speaker for "partisan purposes."
While he says he's a moderate to conservative Democrat, Miley insists he looks at every issue differently. Since 2009, Miley has chaired the House Judiciary Committee. He pointed to his work with his counterpart in the Senate, Kanawha County Democrat Corey Palumbo, to explain the way he approaches different situations.
"On social issues, he leans middle left or middle liberal, I lean middle conservative. On consumer type, civil justice issues, he might lean middle right, I might lean slightly middle left," Miley said.
Generally, Miley thinks his views are in the middle. As judiciary chairman he listened to stakeholders from every side. During his nine years in the House, Miley is confident he's shown that he doesn't hold any "hardcore ideology" that could offend either side.
That won't change in his time as speaker. That also means staying the course of the Democrat leadership before him.
"I think we will maintain the democrat majority in the house if we continue doing what we have done over the nine years that I have served in the House, and get that message out," Miley said. "I'm very proud of what we've accomplished as a Legislature during the time that I've been here."
Republicans are quick to point to an 11 seat pick-up in the House following the 2012 election as evidence the state does not want business as usual. Miley pointed to the fact that before last year, Democrats have held an overwhelming majority in the House and accomplished positive results. He didn't elaborate, but said most major initiatives approved in the House during his time came as the result of both parties working together.
Immediately following his election, Miley said he would like to focus on education, improvements in infrastructure with a focus on Internet access and business entrepreneurship. He hasn't met with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to talk about any particular initiatives yet, but he has spoken some with Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall.
The weeks leading up to the election and the interim meetings directly thereafter "was perhaps the most distracting period of my life away from my job," Miley said. He's spent more time at the office recently, making Friday his first day at the Capitol as speaker since his election.
He's still trying to talk with the House staff and go through the administrative duties of his new role. That includes naming new leaders for House committee: Miley's pledged little change in the positions, and said Friday he'll probably announce his decisions before the July Legislative interim meetings.
Contact staff writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or david.
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