GOP's Bill Maloney: Failure to Launch

HNN Staff

Bill Maloney has been called "Raese Lite" by many political observers across the state.  After all, he's wealthy, he's from Morgantown, and he's done well in business.  But whereas John Raese has always had a whole other dimension--that of a citizen activist, taking on the powers that be in Charleston and Washington--Maloney just isn't there.

Nothing wrong with that.  But this lack of a third dimension to Candidate Maloney is beginning to show up during this, his maiden campaign for office.  For all the early hopes of a fresh face from Morgantown, his campaign reminds one of that recent Matthew McConnaughey movie, "Failure to Launch." 

Universally acknowledged as a nice guy, Maloney's campaign portrays him as the most stereotypical, cookie cutter of a GOP candidate.   You already know exactly what Maloney is going to say:  it's textbook conservatism.  The one time that he brings up something genuine from his own life--his experience in Chile--there's no real follow up, no relevance to the situation here in West Virginia.  

In short, Bill Maloney's narrative is missing a few beats.  How is it persuasive to say that, having sold a lucrative drilling business, that Maloney is ready for the entirely different world of dealing with the West Virginia legislature?  We never hear one word about Maloney's negotiating experience.  That might be helpful, but the image of a two-dimensional businessman that nobody knows is beginning to set like concrete.

As for those who insist on telling us that Maloney is "just like Raese," we are mindful of John Raese's long and dedicated public career.  Whether in serving as Chairman of the WV Republican Party, spearheading reform efforts like Voters' Rights, or decrying the federal education programs like "Schools to Work," Raese always managed to find time to contribute his ten cents to the public debate.

Where was Bill Maloney for the past thirty years in such efforts?  He was no doubt busy with his business.  But unless and until Maloney can show us how directly relevant his drilling ventures are to the state's economy, educational system, and budget, he seems to be someone who just wanted something to do in his retirement.   We need such citizens. But before we give them the top job, a little on the job training at a lower level may be in order. 

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