EDITORIAL: At Least Big John Perdue Sleeps Well at Night

Big John Perdue
Big John Perdue

We're going to be upfront with you when it comes to Big John Perdue.  We have never heard anyone call the State Treasurer that nickname before this race.  But what of it?  He's about as tall as Paul Bunyan, and he's got a deep voice to match.  Let's just say that when Big John Perdue comes into the room, everyone knows it.

But Perdue faces the same dilemma many other statewide elected officials face when they run for Governor.  Former State Treasurer Larrie Bailey faced it when he ran for Governor in 1996.  Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass has felt the same sting.  These statewide elected officials wake up in the middle of a contested Democratic primary and discover to their horror that, despite years and years of dedicated service to the people of West Virginia, they simply aren't household names in every corner of the state.  This must be a letdown.

But of all the secondary statewide elected officials with this problem, Big John Perdue has had the best fighting spirit about his situation.  The man is everywhere, making his case that his kind of Executive Branch state government experience is far better than Earl Ray Tomblin's legislative experience.

True, Big John does not have the personal wealth that Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has on hand. However, he probably sleeps better at night for knowing that he never made millions off the backs of gambling addicts in his beloved Southern West Virginia like Earl Ray did with "Southern Amusements." 

Well, there wasn't much "amusement" for many Southern West Virginians who whiled away their time pouring their life savings into Earl Ray's gray machines.  Whoops, there goes the mortgage payment for this month.  Ouch, there goes the kids' college fund.  But who needs that?  The state will still pay for a Promise Scholarship, right?

For those in the Democratic Party who still value a man who makes his living in a way that doesn't hurt his fellow West Virginian, there's Big John Perdue, waiting to shake your hand.   For those Democrats in West Virginia who value the sanctity of human life, there's Big John Perdue.  And for those Democrats out there who like a man with a breadth of government experience, both at the Treasurer's office and in Governor Caperton's administration for several years, there's Big John Perdue again.

Big John Perdue may thunder his answers at candidates' gatherings to make a point.  But at least he shows by doing so that he has a bit of passion about him.  It's more than you can say for the rest of the sterile answers you get from other candidates running on the Democratic side.

And when you see all those TV ads running for Earl Ray Tomblin, just remember an important point. If any of those ads are paid for out of the Acting Governor's own money, then they were really paid by some poor sap in Logan County who went bankrupt and maybe lost his family playing those slot machines.

Only in West Virginia could the Acting Governor be the same guy who got you addicted to slot machine gambling.  If a guilty conscience seizes up Earl Ray, we might be on the hook for a lot more welfare payments to the folks he got addicted years ago.  

At least Big John Perdue hasn't shown an itch for expanded gambling yet.  He says he'd rather see real businesses grow our economy and contribute to the overall progress of West Virginia.




Comments powered by Disqus