Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

WednesdayNovember 23, 2022

A Holiday of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is deeply rooted in American tradition, beginning with the European settlers. It was first formalized in 1789, when President George Washington issued a proclamation for “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.” In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called on

TuesdayNovember 22, 2022

Teacher Exodus in WV Worsening

West Virginia’s teacher shortage is getting worse. Figures released by the state Department of Education show there are 1,544 non-certified teachers in classrooms this school year.  That is up from about 1,200 last year and more than twice the number from 2015, when West Virginia hired approximately 600 non-certified teachers. These non-certified teachers may be

MondayNovember 21, 2022

Happy Hunting

It is a holiday in West Virginia. Okay, not really, but it may as well be.  Today is the first day of the two-week-long buck firearms season. If your spouse eagerly jumped out of bed before dawn, if the schools are closed, if half of your co-workers are absent and if the sound of gunfire

FridayNovember 18, 2022

How Much Can WVU Pay for the New AD?

As West Virginia University embarks on the search for a replacement to Shane Lyons as Director of Athletics, there is a lot of emphasis on who would be a good fit. Interim Athletic Director Rob Alsop spoke to that in general terms earlier this week. “When you think of any type of leader, you want

ThursdayNovember 17, 2022

Donald Trump Is No Ronald Reagan

Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday night announcing his candidacy for president in 2024 was dark, depressing and delivered in such a low-energy style that it left one wondering whether even he has grown tired of his shtick. Trump at once glorified and embellished his accomplishments while also painting a dystopian view of America. He said we

WednesdayNovember 16, 2022

Mooney Enters Senate Race. More May Follow.

The race for the U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia in 2024 is already underway. West Virginia Republican Second District Congressman Alex Mooney announced on Talkline Tuesday that he is running. “It’s been talked about a lot, but I’m going to announce,” Mooney said. “I’m announcing right now that I’m running for the U.S. Senate.

TuesdayNovember 15, 2022

How WVU Football Losses, NIL, Sealed Lyons Fate

West Virginia University’s announcement Monday that it was parting ways with Shane Lyons as Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President was a stunner.  Speculation in recent weeks had focused on the fate of football coach Neal Brown, but there were no hints that Lyons was on the hot seat. That changed Saturday when ESPN’s

MondayNovember 14, 2022

Red Wave in WV Included County Races

Republicans expanded their majorities significantly in the West Virginia Legislature in last week’s General Election. Republicans will now occupy 88 of the 100 seats in the House of Delegates and 30 of the 34 seats in the Senate. The wave that gave the GOP historic wins in the Legislature extended to county offices. Here are

FridayNovember 11, 2022

Thank You, Veterans

(This is a commentary I have posted previously on Veterans Day.) One-hundred and four 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 I.  The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November

ThursdayNovember 10, 2022

West Virginia’s Red Wave

West Virginia voters have propelled the Republican Party to historic numeric advantages in both the state Senate and the House of Delegates. In the Senate, Republicans won 16 of 17 seats up for election and, in the process, defeated four incumbent Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin and four-term Senator Ron Stollings. The Republicans

TuesdayNovember 8, 2022

Election Day 2022

(Editor’s note: This is a commentary I posted on Election Day 2020, with a few changes.) This is General Election Day in America. The final in-person votes will be cast today and by tonight, hopefully, the country will know in most of the local, state and national races who has won. In West Virginia, voters

MondayNovember 7, 2022

Americans Agree on One Thing: They Fear Political Violence

Tuesday will make the 44th election I have covered.  I have voted in each of those elections, so naturally I have my preferences—candidates I want to see elected or re-elected, and candidates I hope lose. But this is the first General Election where my primary interest is that nothing bad happen. I don’t believe we will

FridayNovember 4, 2022

West Virginia’s Clean Elections

  A friend of mine who is originally from West Virginia, but now lives in Virginia, just early-voted there. It was a much different experience. He was met by both Republican and Democratic representatives as he approached the polling place who wanted to give him information. He described a “sea of signs” just outside the

ThursdayNovember 3, 2022

Money, Money, Money

The surplus money just keeps piling up in West Virginia’s treasury. The just-released revenue figures for the first four months of the 2023 fiscal year show the state has collected $575 million more than estimates. Add in the $460 million carryover from last fiscal year and West Virginia has a surplus of over $1 billion!

WednesdayNovember 2, 2022

Biden Dredges Up Windfall Tax Threat

With the election just days away, President Biden has scraped the bottom of the political rhetoric barrel to try to generate enthusiasm among Democratic voters. He wants Congress to bring back the windfall profits tax on oil companies. “Their profits are the windfall of war,” he said Monday at the White House. “At a time

TuesdayNovember 1, 2022

Public Education’s Inflection Point

The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) student tests released last week were bad news for West Virginia. The math and reading outcomes for fourth and eighth graders were the lowest ever, and next to the bottom nationally. There was no way for education or political leaders to spin the results to

MondayOctober 31, 2022

Babydog is Having a Moment

Do pets belong in politics? Gov. Jim Justice seems to think so as he barnstorms around West Virginia with his bulldog, battling against a constitutional amendment affecting personal property taxes. The governor has hit at least 25 communities around the state to try to win friends and influence people. His constant ally has been Man’s

FridayOctober 28, 2022

Where’s the Love?

Political commentator Chris Stirewalt likes to say, “I think if you love America, you have to love Americans.” It sounds so simple.  People of all political, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds love this country. They typically have widely different views about what the country’s policies and practices should be, but at the heart of it all

ThursdayOctober 27, 2022

“They Suck”

West Virginia State School Board President Paul Hardesty, during an interview on Talkline, was blunt in his assessment of the just-released National Assessment of Educational Progress test results for our state. “They suck,” he said. “I mean, they’re dismal. They’re not good… the worst in the history of the state.” Others may choose less graphic

WednesdayOctober 26, 2022

Voting is Underway

It is Election Day in West Virginia! Okay, it isn’t the Election Day, but in-person early voting starts today.  If history is any indicator, a large percentage of West Virginians will take advantage of the opportunity. In the 2018 off-year election, 176,359 votes were cast early and in-person. That represented 30 percent of all the