CHARLESTON, W.Va. Fair. Open. Moderate. That’s how new House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley described himself in the moments after his selection as the 56th speaker in the history of the state. 

Miley, D-Harrison, was elected Tuesday afternoon on a 53-44 near partisan vote to replace former speaker Rick Thompson who recently took a cabinet-level position in the Tomblin administration. 

Miley says the way he operated the House Judiciary Committee as its chairman is the way he hopes to operate the House.

“I think I’ve earned the respect of people who have observed how I manage and run the judiciary committee,” Miley said. “I don’t think I’ve ever necessarily instilled my views on anything we’ve done up there, rather I’ve tried to seek consensus from the body of members of that 25-member committee.”

The criticism of Miley, though, came almost immediately after his selection.

“It’s no surprise that the incumbent liberal politicians truly chose one of their own to run the House,” said West Virginia Republican Chairman Conrad Lucas.

“Delegate Miley is right out of central casting for the left.  In spite of all the progress this state has made in tort reform, worker’s compensation fixes and conservative judges on the Supreme Court, the Democrats in Charleston clearly don’t understand what can repair our broken economy.”

Greg Thomas, executive director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, said it’s “unfortunate” that the House chose Miley.  “Delegate Miley has voted against many of the positive legal reforms passed by the House in recent years,” said Thomas.

Miley, who  was first elected to the House in 2004, seemed to take the criticism in stride Tuesday.

“Like with most elected positions that anyone holds you’re going to be subject to criticism,” he said. “I’m happy to put my record of openness and moderation and deliberative thought that I’ve given to any piece of legislation to anyone that wants to see it.”

Miley was described as “fair” being a “good guy” and having “a steady hand” during three nominating speeches. He described his election as “an incredible moment.”

Just a few short months ago Miley was considering a run for the state Senate having been passed over by Gov. Tomblin when a seat opened up in Harrison County earlier this year. But now he finds himself in charge of the 100-member House. He said during his acceptance speech the state needs to continue to focus on education, infrastructure and its natural resources.

When speaking with reporters afterward, Miley again said he’s made no promises to delegates on who will get the key leadership positions but did say, “I don’t expect any significant changes.”

Miley mother and father, who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday, attended Tuesday’s floor session along with a few dozen family, friends and supporters.

Delegate Ryan Ferns, D-Ohio, was the only Democrat, other than Miley himself, to vote against Miley. He said he did so in protest of the way labor tried to pressure delegates to vote for Miley. Ferns tweeted he voted his state not his party.

Three delegates were absent for Tuesday’s floor session, Troy Andes (Putnam), Ron Walters (Kanawha) and Amanda Pasdon (Monongalia), all Republicans.


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  • TrueModerate

    Miley's Judicial Committee is where meaningful reform went to die and is part of the reason WV remains in last place on so many issues. Tim Miley is beholden to the WV Association For Justice or anything that will benefit his practice. We now have our House lead by an ambulance chasing attorney and his stooge Manchin will undoubtedly get the Judicial Chair. Maybe this will be the tipping point for 2014.

    • liberty4all

      Can you provide some examples of this meaningful reform that died? I was unaware that someone, some party, or government for that matter, had all the answers to what is problematic for this state. I was also unaware that there was actually some proposed legislation that would change the topography of WV so that site preparation and infrastructure improvements allowed WV to compete with other states for business growth.
      No matter how many times the Republicans use the catch phrase "job creation", all they ever talk about is having the government give preferential treatment to big business - whether it is in the form of tax breaks, giveaways, or reforming our legal system so that there is no accountability. It always comes on the backs of tax paying citizens. And any comparisons to OH, PA, and VA are false analogies. In VA, the vitality of its economy depends on northern VA and the tidewater area. Nobody is looking to southwest VA, central PA, or southeast OH and wanting to emulate its economies. Those parts of the states most resemble ours - remote, rural, and mountainous.
      As a libertarian, I do not look to government as the solution, whether lead by Republicans or Democrats. I have no problems with an environment which encourages business opportunity and gets out of the way. I am a big fan of capitalism. I do have a problem with corporate welfare. This results in the government picking winners and losers, and results in crony capitalism. I also have a problem with the erosion of my 7th Amendment rights and any law which will seek to allow someone or something to avoid responsibility for their conduct.
      Recent statistics show that the vast majority of our courts' civil dockets consist of cases where businesses are suing other businesses. Yet, I never see any proposals attempting to limit their access to courts, limit their damages, or limit their rights to pursue claims. Does anyone else find this hypocrisy sickening? (my guess is from the tone of some of the comments, the answer is "no, the Kool-aid tastes great").

  • 2XLPatriot

    West Virginians keep voting these "Boobs" into office. When are people going to stop voting like their parents and grandparents? Not to mention that the majority of politicians are attorneys who have made their first fortunes filing frivilous lawsuits for personal injury cases that occured because of stupidity on the plaintiffs part. If it wasn't for warning labels, there would be far fewer stupid people to deal with.

  • Tag

    The irony is, most of our legislators know what needs to be done for the state to prosper, but the coal camp mentality of the leadership guarantees that a very small sector (unions, trial lawyers) will continue to prosper while everyone else suffers.

  • Realist

    I'm sorry but isn't this one of the men who almost cost North Central WV thousands of jobs when Morgantown wanted the TIF bill passed because he wanted pay raises for six of his judge friends? Yeah it really sounds like he has everyone's best interests in mind.

  • NorthernWVman

    So just a few short weeks ago this was a hotly contested "race" What happened? They all fell in line (except Ferns and I do not hold him to a very high standard but he was correct on this vote) just as they always do!! Will anything change? By his own statement NO!! I do believe he is lying when he says he has not promised anyone anything.

  • No_More_Mr_Nice_Guy

    Ha ha ha. The Capitol has more boobs per square inch than any place in.this state, and Miley, Tennant, Perdue and all the rest account for 9/10's of that boobery.

    • Wowbagger

      Elected, West Virginia state government is a net exporter of boobs including supplying them to Congress. Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller are prime examples.

      • No_More_Mr_Nice_Guy

        Can Manchin form one sentence that's not scripted? Nope. Truly, he could not. Does every sentence Manchin knows include the word "truly"? Yep. Still better than Tennant's mindlessness, though. A non-boob governor like Underwood doesn't get re-elected while Miley and Thompson run the farm. Standard fare in WV.

  • LaroldLinus

    congratulations speaker miley -- now do something about those tv commercials...

  • VH

    Good luck speaker! You will lead the state in a positive way. It shows how bad and dangerous the GOP is in spreading lies about a good servant of the state.

  • Tina B

    Good luck Speaker Miley. Regardless of the 'boobs' posting comments, I bid you good luck and pray you will do well for our state. (As every citizen should be doing.)

    Sadly, manners and common decency are as rare as diamonds anymore.

    • Wowbagger

      You obviously never have personally experienced legislators on the take, who also consider themselves our betters!

      Miley's ascension to the Speaker's chair is merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      • Tina B

        Sounds like you sit in a chair green with envy versus any experience. Sad, very sad to read your vitriol.

        • Wowbagger

          I get around, envy no one, and do quite well thank-you. I could go farther, but I value my anonymity.

          I am just tired of seeing a state that began 150 years ago tomorrow with great promise dragged into last place or nearly so by a one party system that ran out of ideas decades ago. I am not advocating a switch of ruling party. I am rather advocating a competitive political environment at a time when West Virginia has been given a second (or maybe third) chance to improve.

          Obviously I do not think this Miley person along with the current herd of state capital politicos is up to the challenge. I don't know this Miley, but I have met enough of his peirs under circumstances where I could evaluate their character and to an extent intelligence or lack of intelligence to realize that we need major changes.

          • Tina B

            I just BET you value your anonymity. Let's be clear: you are a coward.

            I will give you this advice though: anyone with the nickname 'wowbagger' and without enough education to realize 'peirs' is actually spelled 'peers' should stay anonymous. Especially when that person decides to begin judging others 'lack of intelligence.'

  • Jake

    Miley was the best choice for sure. Thank goodness the house got it right.

    As for Ferns, I guess he don't like working folks even though they bought his Daddy's cars and are patients at his PT practice. What a jerk, he needs to get a life.


    Omg, another Marylander who came to WV to steal his fortune as an ambulance chasing lawyer while pursuing personal injury claimants and their court or insurance settlement awards. Another carpetbagger and candidate for the Shakespeare list.


    Another agenda rich politician with no real experience to manage or lead anything other than a fruit stand. Our state is truly doomed for a long while to come.

    • Larry

      To live here, you just have to accept that nothing is ever really going to change, and WV will never compete with our bordering states, everything is harder to do here, and that will not change.

      • NorthernWVman

        Larry I understand your frustration and share in it but with that attitude nothing will change. I refuse to accept the status quo.

        • Larry

          Yeah, it just seems that all of the states surrounding WV are much more prosperous, and their populations have grown over the years, where WV has continually lost jobs and people.

  • Born_In_The._Rathole

    Boob, that's for sure, but name one in the Capitol that isn't a boob. The last non-boob was Cecil Underwood, and he was followed by some of the greatest boobs in WV history.

    • NorthernWVman

      I had to laugh at your analogy but sooooo true.

    • Wowbagger

      Agreed! Miley is only one boob amoung a crowd of many!

  • Wowbagger

    Three years out Rick Thompson can retire with a big pension courtesy of state civil service employees making decades of contributions to fund the state retirement system and we are stuck with this boob who will garantee that West Virginia remains in 49 th or 50 th place and a legal snake pit.

  • standing by

    Great News. Speaker Miley will do a wonderful job for the state of WV