EDITORIAL: Goldilocks Porridge and the Governor's Race

The West Virginia Republican Governor's contest may come down to that famous refrain from the children's story, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."  You remember that when Goldilocks tried the three

different bowls of porridge at the Bears' house, she sampled each bowl:  one was too hot, one was too cold, but the third one was JUST RIGHT.

Well, we now have Republican candidates Bill Maloney and Betty Ireland, each saying that their particular work experiences are just what the doctor ordered for West Virginia's ailing economy.  Maloney has no use for public service, and he's been jumped on by his fellow Republican candidates for it at recent political get-togethers.

Essentially, Maloney wants us to believe that his private sector experience alone can save the day here, even though he has to know that getting consensus in government agencies is not quite the same ballgame as running one's own company. Going along with the Goldilocks analogy, Maloney's porridge may be too hot, yet undercooked without enough seasoning to help him understand how to get things done in Charleston.

But on the other hand, Maloney may have a point about political and state government careerists like Betty Ireland.  Ireland has not only been Secretary of State for four years, she's also been the Executive Director of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board.

Ireland seems to love government in an age where most Republicans are skeptical of what it can really do for them.  Her porridge may be too cold and overcooked for voters who have been wanting to see her draw direct parallels to private sector job creation from her background.  They're still waiting on that.

State Senator Clark Barnes, however, is more intriguing than both Maloney and Ireland. Barnes spends most of his time developing his two businesses in Elkins.  However, for the past six years he has taken time out of his businesses to serve in the citizen legislature from the nine-county area known as the 15th Senatorial District.

Barnes feels that he's been down there just long enough to know where to make the kinds of cuts necessary to get our state's priorities in order.  Plus, he never forgets the small business background that made him what he is, so he asks tough questions for the sake of added savings to the people's treasury.

As a result, having tried Ireland and then Maloney, many Republicans have found Senator Clark Barnes' porridge to be just right.  He has the private sector experience as well as the understanding of how the governmental process works. As a result, he can start working on Day One as our Governor and won't have to waste months getting acclimated to the statehouse.





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