EDITORIAL: Out of State Contributors Worrisome in Governor's Race

EDITORIAL:  Out of State Contributors Worrisome in Governor's Race

"Money is the mother's milk of politics" and it has always been so, though today's campaigns certainly are cost-prohibitive to the average person. Currently, we are in the midst of a Special Election Campaign for Governor to fill the balance of former Governor Joe Manchin's second term. Though the race is shortened by a month, this one-year term is a costly proposition.

That may explain the desperate hunt for campaign dollars by some of the candidates in both major parties.  Take Betty Ireland and Bill Maloney in their Republican race for Governor.  Recent campaign finance statements filed with the Secretary of State indicate that both Ireland and Maloney have gone out of state in search of campaign donors.  Neither brought in a huge haul.

But the mere fact that they were comfortable finding donors outside their constituency in West Virginia is bound to raise eyebrows.  If elected, whom would Ireland and Maloney answer to first:  their state's citizenry or their out of state donors?

We know well the lines from politicians when taking money from controversial sources:  "It would take more than a couple of thousand dollars to buy me!"  But by giving such answers, the politicians are indicating that there is a figure out there somewhere--enough to buy their help.

We are sure that Betty Ireland and Bill Maloney are upstanding individuals who have no intention of being bought by anyone.  But the truth remains that perception counts for a great deal in politics.  If more Republicans start to learn that Maloney and Ireland are getting money from donors outside West Virginia, they may want some assurances from these two that they have no strings attached from the hands of theirr out-of-state friends.

West Virginians are particularly sensitive to the role of outside donors in our campaigns, perhaps because we have been run over roughshod so many times before by outsiders.  You know the kind, the ones who think us a bunch of rubes while they attempt to make a quick buck and then leave forever.

The best thing that Maloney and Ireland can do to stem the flow of support from their campaigns on this issue is to focus their efforts, both in campaigning and fundraising, right here in West Virginia.  We don't need any interlopers from out of state, trying to buy a share of our next Governor.



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