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EDITORIAL: Bill Maloney for governor


Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va.

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Sept. 15--West Virginians rank 49th among the states in per capita income -- and have been 49th in per capita income for 23 of the 32 years since 1979.

The Democratic Party has controlled the Legislature since 1933. It has adopted policies that serve political allies -- organized labor, plaintiffs' lawyers -- instead of policies that would improve West Virginians' economic prospects.

It's time state leaders acted in West Virginians' best interests.

The Daily Mail endorses Republican Bill Maloney in the Oct. 4 special gubernatorial election. He is the change agent West Virginia needs.

The Daily Mail endorses acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a responsible Democrat the Daily Mail has praised many times, as state Senate president. He has been a solid contributor to progress there.

Most of West Virginia's ills -- joblessness, outmigration, poor educational levels and a high level of dependence on government -- result from lack of economic opportunities. Half the babies born in the state are born to mothers on Medicaid.

The cure for poverty is a private sector that can create wealth and jobs -- not government that redistributes income.

It is possible, with policy changes, to change West Virginia. Officials in other states have and are.

Richard Vedder of Ohio University found that in states where politicians let workers decide whether to join a union, for example, per capita income grew at a rate 23 percent higher than in forced-union states. From 1977 to 2007, that difference amounted to a $2,760 larger increase in per capita income.

Corporations have told West Virginia leaders repeatedly that they want to do business in states with fair legal climates. This state does not provide that.

West Virginia law makes businesses fat targets for plaintiffs' lawyers. This state's joint-and-several liability law makes corporations pay damages far in excess of the degree to which they are responsible for damages.

Many other states -- neighboring Pennsylvania for one -- make corporations pay only that percentage of a damage award they are found responsible for causing.

Businesses also want assurances that they can appeal the decisions of circuit judges who cater to forum-shopping plaintiffs' attorneys.

In most other states, businesses have that protection. In West Virginia, they do not.

Where would you risk your money?

Maloney, a rig hand turned industrial engineer, has worked all over West Virginia, sinking mine shafts and working as a drilling consultant. He was co-founder and executive at North American Drillers and North American Pump & Supply Co.

Maloney knows mining, drilling and manufacturing.

And Maloney is very much pro-working people. He was part of the effort to save trapped Chilean miners.

Maloney simply wants to fix West Virginia as badly as most West Virginians want to have it fixed.

A vote for Maloney is a vote to get the lead out of the West Virginia economy.

After two decades at 49th in income, isn't it time?


(c)2011 the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)

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