Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Favorite Things West Virginia: Bonker Politics

Governor: Let's start with Phillip Frye, 2003 West Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate. Why did Fry run? Because incumbent Bob Wise had slept with his wife, and he wanted to be a nuisance to him.

Most surprising special interest group: West Virginia University Rifle Team
I did not know schools had rifle teams before I came to WVU, or that it is actually an NCAA sport. However, when the school tried to 86 around the time of my arrival, the state legislature stepped in with line-item appropriations. Since then they have been a political force and even though they don't make explicit endorsements, they have an audience around the state that takes a great deal of pride in them and want to know if they are unhappy.

Favorite Conspiracy Theory: My favorite conspiracy theory from the townies is the belief that Manchin (governor), Rockefeller (senator), and David Hardesty (former WVU President) have a standing agreement to ensure that they get to take turns as leaders of the most prestigious public positions in the state (governor, senator, WVU president). The names of the conspirators change depending on who you talk to, but I love the fact that a university president is near the same plane of power as the governor in the minds of the locals.

Favorite Act of Legislature: "The Friends of Coal Bowl." What do they get if they win? The Governor's Cup.

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