Hoppy’s Commentary Archives


WednesdayNovember 25, 2020

Capito Signals It’s Time To Move On

Senator Shelley Moore Capito tossed in the towel on the presidential election this week. Her statement was carefully phrased, and it included a hint of ambiguity, but the meaning was clear.  Consider this line in the prepared statement: “While some irregularities and fraud have been found and should be punished, there is no indication that

TuesdayNovember 24, 2020

So, Where Does the Governor of WV Reside?

It turns out that where the Governor of the State of West Virginia lays his head at night is a constitutional question. The State Supreme Court has ruled that a state lawmaker’s lawsuit to force Governor Jim Justice to live in Charleston should proceed in Kanawha County Circuit Court. Delegate Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton) brought the

MondayNovember 23, 2020

Manchin in the Middle

Joe Manchin is in the cat bird’s seat. The wily Democratic Senator from West Virginia was all the rage in the Washington political media after the election, bouncing from show to show, interview to interview. Why? The election left the U.S. Senate narrowly split. The balance of power hinges on what happens in the Georgia

FridayNovember 20, 2020

WVU Basketball Team Heading to Covid-19 Hot Zone. Why?

The West Virginia University basketball team travels to Sioux Falls, South Dakota Monday, where it will stay for five days while participating in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic basketball tournament. There might be a worse place to hold a basketball tournament right now, but you would be hard pressed to find it. Covid-19 is

ThursdayNovember 19, 2020

Capito, Justice Not Yet Ready to Accept Outcome of Presidential Race

West Virginia’s top two Republicans have yet to acknowledge that Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election. Senator Shelley Moore Capito has been mum, while Governor Jim Justice has continued to express support for President Trump and to call for patience while challenges to some of the results are being sorted out. Obviously neither

TuesdayNovember 17, 2020

Off For a Few Days

I’m off for a couple of days.  The commentary will return Thursday.

FridayNovember 13, 2020

The Politics of Grievances

Political campaigns today produce not only winners and losers, but also grievances.   For many, to be defeated is to be wronged in some way, an injustice that must be rectified. Grievances are personal.  They are wounds that can fester. They also inhibit our ability to change and grow. Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, said,

ThursdayNovember 12, 2020

Covid-19 Cases Trending Upward in WV

The number of Covid-19 cases across the country is rising, and they are going up in West Virginia as well. Nationally, the seven-day rolling average is over 100,000 new cases a day. That is pushing hospitalizations higher.  The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals reached nearly 62,000 Tuesday, passing the previous high from April. Hospitalizations

WednesdayNovember 11, 2020

Our Debt to Veterans

(Editor’s note: This is a copy of a commentary I have posted on Veterans Day for the last several years.) One-hundred and two years ago, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the fighting stopped along the battle lines in Europe, bringing an end to the hostilities of World War

TuesdayNovember 10, 2020

Richard Neely; Brilliant, Controversial Provocateur

Former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Richard Neely died quietly at his Charleston home Sunday, surrounded by family and friends.  Neely was diagnosed with liver cancer just a few weeks ago, and the disease took him quickly. He was 79. The first thing that must be said about Neely is that he was brilliant. He

MondayNovember 9, 2020

Some Lingering WV General Election Notes

You may be “numbered out” after the 2020 General Election but, with apologies, here is some additional data about a few of the races in West Virginia based on unofficial results. –Donald Trump carried all 55 West Virginia counties and won by 39 points. The closest Joe Biden came was in Monongalia County, where Trump

FridayNovember 6, 2020

The Democratic Party’s Long Road Back in West Virginia

The West Virginia Democratic Party needs to do some serious soul searching. The party of Robert Byrd, Jay Rockefeller, Joe Manchin, Earl Ray Tomblin and hundreds of other successful Democratic politicians over the years is on the mat of the political ring for a standing eight count, staggered and bloodied after Tuesday’s General Election. As

ThursdayNovember 5, 2020

A Republican Tour de Force in West Virginia

Tuesday’s General Election in West Virginia was a top-to-bottom rout of Democrats.  Let’s start at the top. –President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 42 points in 2016.  Could he repeat that performance?  Yes. He bested Joe Biden by 39 points Tuesday and ended up with 50,000 more votes than four years ago. –Jim Justice

TuesdayNovember 3, 2020

The Historic, and Necessary, Peaceful Transfer of Power

Early on the morning of March 4, 1801, John Adams quietly left the White House.  He had lost the presidential election of the previous year to Thomas Jefferson and Adams decided to leave the White House just prior to the inauguration. Historians point out that Adams was humiliated by the loss to his political rival

MondayNovember 2, 2020

This Is Our Moment

Here we are, on the eve of the 2020 General Election. The final in-person votes will be cast tomorrow and by tomorrow night, hopefully, the country will know in most of the local, state and national races who has won. But amid the celebration of the winners and laments of the defeated, it is also

FridayOctober 30, 2020

Early Voting Numbers Are Breaking Records In WV

West Virginians are once again taking advantage of voting in ways other than showing up at the polls on Election Day. The Secretary of State’s Office reported, as of yesterday, 298,226 votes had been cast either by early in-person voting or by absentee ballot. Of those votes, 173,764 were early votes and 124,464 were absentee.

ThursdayOctober 29, 2020

A Look Back At Presidential Elections In WV Over The Last 60 Years

This is the 16th presidential election since 1960, so I looked back at the previous 15 to see how West Virginians voted and what stood out about those elections. The presidential elections in West Virginia have not been very close over the last 60 years. The average margin of victory by the winning candidate is

WednesdayOctober 28, 2020

Voters Stick With Their Party In Federal Races

This will be the second presidential election in West Virginia where straight-ticket voting is not permitted. The West Virginia Legislature disallowed the option of checking one box to vote party-line down the ballot prior to the 2016 General Election. The move discontinued what had been a popular practice in the state. In the 2014 election,

TuesdayOctober 27, 2020

No, Mr. President, We Are Not ‘Rounding The Turn.’

President Trump consistently argues that the country is getting past the coronavirus. During campaign appearances, he proclaims that the country is “rounding the turn” on Covid-19. “Now we got to have spirit, our country,” he told rallygoers in North Carolina over the weekend.  “We’re doing great.  We’re rounding the turn.  Our numbers are incredible.” But

MondayOctober 26, 2020

Salango may not be out, but he sure is down

Another poll in the West Virginia Governor’s race indicates that incumbent Republican Jim Justice maintains a commanding lead over Democratic challenger Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango. The WMOV Radio Poll conducted last week by Triton Polling and Research found that 54 percent of likely voters favored Justice while 35 percent favored Salango.  Seven percent favored