In electing Tim Miley of Harrison County as the 19th consecutive Democratic speaker of the House, the state Democratic Party let voters know exactly where it stands.
The election of a union-approved trial lawyer as the head of a legislative chamber it has controlled for 82 years sent the message that Democrats have no desire to change the status quo.
Democrats would rather rule over a state that is mired in 49th place in economics, 47th place in academic achievement, and is one of only two states where the death rate exceeds the birth rate than see
the state's economy grow so its children can stay and thrive.
This is no knock on the new speaker. Miley is the perfect choice from the perspective of the unions and the trial lawyers whose interests come first for the West Virginia Democratic Party.
Miley is author of the book "The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Will Wreck Your West Virginia Accident Claim" and wrote the chapter, "Seven 'Sneaky' Ways Insurance Companies Sabotage Your Injury Claim" for the book, "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing."
Democrats, by electing Miley, seem to be signaling that they oppose tort reform, medical malpractice reform and civil justice reform. Don't expect change in the legal or business climate.
Democratic delegates also clarified how beholden they are to unions, which sent questionnaires to legislative candidates asking if they would wait until unions chose a candidate before endorsing one themselves.
Miley said he anticipates few changes in chairmanships, a point House Republican Leader Tim Armstead of Kanawha County said argues against change.
Following the biggest gains for Republicans in eight decades last fall - 11 seats in the House of Delegates - Democrats signaled that they will serve their political allies. The calculation may be that without President Obama on the 2014 ticket, they'll be fine.
Sad. Democrats are for the interest groups that keep West Virginia as it is, no matter how disastrous that has been for West Virginians.
Only voters can change that.