House of Delegates member Tim Miley has a problem.

No, it’s not his campaign to become the next Speaker of the House. That’s moving along nicely for the Harrison County Democrat.

Miley says he has 37 votes, and even if a few of those are wobbly, he still has a safe cushion above the 28 necessary to win election in the Democratic caucus later this month.

But it will never come to an election.

Mingo County Delegate and fellow Speaker candidate Harry Keith White can also count.  Even if he thinks Miley’s totals are high, White knows the next rational step for him is to see what he can get for himself and his supporters for bowing out of the race.

Certainly that must have been part of the discussion when White and Miley got together last night in Charleston.

No, Miley’s problem now is figuring out how to keep the other 53 Democrats in the House happy.

Miley swears–and others back-up the claim–that he made no promises to any of his supporters.  It’s a solid strategy, if you can stick to it.  There are few secrets under the Capitol Dome, so the moment Miley promised a leadership position to one delegate, four others who believe they are entitled to the job would be mad at him.

So Miley stayed out of the commitment business, but as Speaker he will have to decide who goes where in the House.  Many of the delegates have strong feelings about where they should be in the pecking order.

White, as the current chair of the House Finance Committee, will want to stay in a leadership position, even though he’s on the losing side of the Speaker’s race.  Miley might be inclined to keep White, a conservative banker, in the upper echelon just so his lineup doesn’t tilt too far to the labor side.

However, that may not sit well with some members of his leadership team, such as Majority Leader Brent Boggs and Majority Whip Mike Caputo, who know that White would have replaced them had he prevailed.

After the Finance Committee, the next most powerful committee is Judiciary.  Miley is now the Judiciary Chairman so his ascendancy to Speaker will open that position.   Marion County’s Tim Manchin is the committee Vice-Chair and he would seem to be in line for the Chairmanship, but again, Miley says he’s made no promises.

Miley is not a scorched earth guy. He has no intention of relegating opponents from the Speaker’s race to the back bench. Meanwhile, there’s no way to make all those who support Miley believe they have been given their due.

But leadership isn’t about making sure everyone likes you. As former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes.  It is very easy to say yes.”

That means Miley has some hard decisions ahead.










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  • Coach

    Miley is a good and reasonable man and contrary to popular belief is quite moderate. He will do a very good job leading the House. It is a difficult job at best - kind of like herding cats. If anybody can do it, Tim Miley can because unlike many legislators, he will check his ego at the door and do what is best for the common good. WV's future is bright especially if other young leaders like Miley step up to the plate and participate in the process. As for Hoppy's commentary, Miley can't make everyone happy but I suspect he will do what it takes to make WV a better place to live. Good luck and Godspeed to him and to the rest of our leaders most of whom are doing what they think is right. Remember, this is WV not Washington. We really do take care of our own here.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    i am sure miley has no friends in morgantown after the tif battle between motown and b port

    • liberty4all

      The Mon County delegation is supporting him unanimously. Probably, at least in part, because he voted in favor of the TIF. I have seen others in prior comments indicate that while Miley voted in favor of the TIF he was responsible for the delay. Whether true or not, apparently no residual hard feelings among those representing Morgantown in Charleston.

  • FungoJoe

    One who knows the way,
    One who shows the way.
    One who goes the way.

    Under the Capitol Dome, there are many who know the way, only a few who show the way, and I am not sure if ANY go the way.
    A lot of "do as I say, not as I do".

  • mntnman

    Politics is like making sausage -- no one really wants to see how its made, what goes in is disgusting and all too often the final product produced is just way too much bull.

    Lets hope we get leadership and vision; someone who will fight for better governance; someone who will fight for WV's citizens.

    I'm not holding my breath; just hoping.

  • wirerowe

    Off subject and I am not going to blame Greg. but the subject is similar to his. My steam is about the ACLU that was formed to look out after our civil liberties. They barely raise a voice when NAS does what it wants to violate our privacy over the phone and eventually with drones and the Internet. They barely raise a voice when the President is given the authority to assassinate American citizens without due process if he deems them to be a security threat. They barely raise a voice when the Department of Justice violates freedom of the press by searching the press's phone logs. Again they barely raise a voice when the IRS targets specific political groups that are opposed to the current administration. But don't worry the ACLU makes up for it. They are devoting all of their efforts to removing crosses from military gravesites.The ACLU is a political hack job, a fraud and a disgrace.

    • mntnman

      Just another special interest, with their leaders making big dollars to run the joint.

      Down here, the ACLU is fighting us because a large church affords us the opportunity to use their building for a high school graduation. Huge building, one level, adequate parking, no limit on tickets for family, comfortable seats, great views, air conditioning, great location, video screens, great sound system. Everything you'd want for a graduation. The other options just don't measure up. Once inside, there are no religious icons, no crosses, nothing to suggest you are even in a church. It is a typical graduation. Not a religious ceremony. We us the church because of convenience. We (the Board) have made it clear that we are not affirming any religion, impliedly or otherwise. Its just a great place for a graduation.

      Yet, every year they fuss and complain. They haven't gotten a student to be a plaintiff yet, but I am certain it will happen soon enough. We will fight back.

      • GregG

        I'm sure my views on organized religion have already been noted, but even I don't see a problem with your use of a church for the graduation ceremony mntnman. I would fight them too should it ever come to that point. Just as our topic of yesterday, people need to get over themselves. Just as I suffer no pain from someones words or jokes, I also have no problem with a cross hanging in a school or a school ceremony being held in a church facility. I sometimes wonder if the word tolerance has gone the way of the dodo.

    • Shadow

      There is no correlation between the name of a law or organization to its real intent. The more high sounding the name, the more you should question it's intent. For example, Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act.

  • GregG

    Gee Hoppy, not a very lively topic today. Maybe you should have done your commentary on something like....... "The Spy Who Loved Me", starring President Obama. I'm sure that would have gotten many comments.

    • Shadow

      When the potential leader of the WV House is a Tort Lawyer, I think it may have serious consequences to the State. Hoppy has never reported on what his views are and those views may never have been spoken.

      • DonaldH

        That aint Hop's journalistic style!! If he were to do that Hop would run the risk the other journalist wouldn't include him in on all the other journalist games!! And Hop, like all luke-warm conservatives, wants so much to invited to all the journalist games.....

        One thing about Howard Monroe-- He's a democrat and he's a liberal and he tells you he is and tells you he's gonna act like and be one.

      • wirerowe

        While not optimal I am not as concerned as I would have been 10 years ago about plaintiff attorneys leading our legislature.. As Mntnman points out there have been a number of tort reform bills passed as well as the worker's comp reform bill and worker's comp privatization bill that would not have been supported by that side.Though to be fair most if not all of those were passed under the legislative leadership of Earl Ray and Bob Kiss. Also during that time period the Supreme Court has gone from a blatant partisan, grandstanding unfair and extremist court to a court that is known for its decorum, professionalism and i think moderation. Jeff Kessler is a fair and good leader and from what I have heard and seen of Tim Miley he is along the same lines. Speaker Thompson's most memorable moment was when he was baffled that anyone would question the propriety and ethics of him serving as Speaker at the same time he would be a paid lobbyists for WVEA.

        • mntnman

          Disagree about has gone from being a liberal activist court to a conservative activist court. Some of their recent decisions are mind-blowing. It is not a moderate court, but one most concerned about the business environment. Courts are supposed to be blind to who is before them -- they are supposed to rule on the law, not what is best for one side or the other. Our court is now blatantly pro-business. You may like that, I don't know, but it is not the way a court should be. Any court.

          • GregG

            I understand the eye rolling wirerowe. I too find myself doing the eye rolling thing when reading what some on here would consider "my side of the fence". Trust me, I don't believe either side anymore. I have my own views on most subjects. Let's just say I'm not as liberal as some like to accuse me of being.

          • wirerowe

            Thanks Greg. As you guessed the source made me roll my eyes. but it does appear that there is more and more corporate money in some state court races. I don't believe that was the case last year in WV. In fact the big money was from trial lawyers or spouse trail lawyers. But I will trust but verify the trend in some states of large corporate spending.

          • mntnman

            I'm pro everybody. Just give everyone the same opportunity in the courtroom. Don't weight everything in the eye of what's best for _____ or best for ______. Courts should base their decisions on what the law/constitution either require/permit. That's what courts should do. And that's all they should do.

          • GregG

            wirerowe, here is something to read. You may or may not find it worthwhile, but I found it to pretty much sum up the direction we are going. I'm sure just the source alone will send a few in to a fit of rage, but you can read it if you like.


          • wirerowe

            I am more pro business than I think that you are. I would be interested as appropriate that you might list one or two rulings that stand out as being too pro business. Not to argue about but for me to research for better understanding.

          • GregG

            That is a nice way of putting it mntnman, much nicer than I could or would have done.

      • mntnman

        Just more demagoguery. Trial lawyers have lead before (Thompson, Kessler) and we've had plenty of tort reform -- med mal reform, third party bad faith reform -- perhaps you just don't know these things.

        By the way, after all this reform have your insurance rates gone down? That was the promise from the insurance companies.

        • Shadow

          I guess these folks didn't get the message. They don't agree with you and they quote other sources of the same opinion about WV Tort Laws.

          • Shadow

            I believe their opinion is as valid as yours. However, I do think that the way business avoids WV is a pretty good indicator.

          • mntnman

            Their sources are corporate defense attorneys and businesses. You do understand that CALA is the chamber of commerce. Perhaps you don't. Always look to see who is financing something before accepting their word.

            Again, did your insurance go down? It was promised. Did it? Yeah, that's what I thought. Facts can be an inconvenient thing.