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Last updated: May 28. 2014 3:01AM - 1383 Views
By Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com



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Nobody can say winners don’t know how to act like losers in Mingo County.


Who could explain the election night shenanigans that led Mingo Delegate Justin Marcum, the victorious Democrat seeking re-election, to behave like a juvenile on the streets of Williamson?


Because most stories could include the names of folks who are entirely innocent, I am going to omit some specifics from this item. As Jack Webb used to say on the old “Dragnet” TV show, “the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” In this case, I am leaving some names and locations out because the participants are apparently innocent. Otherwise, you would read it all here — and, actually, a good argument could be made that I should write it all. Let’s just say that some people may be getting the “get out of jail free” card for a moment, but that might not always be the case.


To generalize what happened, Marcum traveled down the street apparently headed to a “victory party” of sorts. The location of the party was a building inhabited by another winning Democrat candidate that night. On the way to the ball, er, party, Marcum allegedly saw two people dropping off a rental car at the Enterprise location. That is the vehicle that was the subject of some last-minute complaints filed by Mingo County Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith against his opponent, Lonnie Hannah. Spying the car, Marcum allegedly began taking pictures of the pair dropping it off.


Then, Marcum arrived at the victory party and later alleged that he was concerned that the two who returned the car were looking for him and might do bodily harm if they “found” him. Marcum took his complaints, apparently, to high-level police officers and a Mingo County state trooper looked into the charges. The trooper told me Friday he would not necessarily call his actions “an investigation.” Whatever, he said “at this point” he has decided not to press any charges against anyone. Although he said characterizing his investigation as “ongoing” would not be correct, he did say it was “possible” charges could be filed later.


… The battle for the second Democrat nomination in House District 22 may never end. Incumbent Josh Barker and challenger Gary McCallister finished the election canvass dead tied. Now, a recount will at least be held in most of Lincoln County. Odds are strong that McCallister will be ahead once the recount is complete.


… Those constantly asking about the building near the “second entrance” to Fountain Place Mall will soon be getting answers. I will be doing a feature on the new development within the next few weeks.


… How many times can one give this advice? One last time for me. Republicans should abandon the senseless rhetoric about the protect-the-unborn-baby bill until 2015. Abortion is a divisive issue; there is nothing close to universal agreement on it. GOP members need to forget a special legislative session designed, laughably, to override the governor’s veto. They have common values with West Virginia voters. Stick to those.


… The Morning Sick Call took five weeks from the time I first reported it to mention Democrat House of Delegates members using their free mailing rights to campaign for re-election May 13. Now they have also joined my years-long crusade about the Courtesy Patrol. That patrol is the biggest political boondoggle and waste of taxpayer money in a state that can’t afford to waste any taxpayer money. The Gazette recently opined that the CP director, Robert Martin, may be a bit overpaid with a $248,330 salary.


Oh really? You really think so, guys? My word.


Mike Queen, the Republican running for state senator in Harrison County, has called for an investigation of the CP. I can only say it’s about time.


I know. I know. Some of you love the CP because you “wouldn’t want to be stranded without help.” First, the CP cannot repair your car; second, they only patrol four-lane highways, where nearly everyone has a cell phone to call for help; and third, West Virginia is too broke to afford such a luxury, even if it wasn’t a political machine.


… Your comments, story ideas, rumors and criticisms are welcome. Even the one from the “pastor” who told me last week I would go to hell if I kept writing “bad things about Hootie.” Use my email or call my cell, 304-533-5185.


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