HNN Staff

GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney of Morgantown is making national news.  But this exposure was not what his campaign needed just now.  Politico, the well-known online political journal, ran a story by David Catanese on Friday that showed that Maloney has given quite a bit to Democratic candidates--and recently.

Here's the crucial part of the Politico story, one that is leaving the Maloney camp with a lot of explaining to do:

"But campaign finance records show that Maloney has donated nearly $7,000 to Democratic state lawmakers, $1000 to then-gubernatorial candidate Joe Manchin and has even cut a check to moderate former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Most of Maloney's contributions were made between 1998 and 2004, but as recent as 2010, he supported the congressional bid of Democrat Mike Oliverio with a $2,400 check."

There are two significant aspects to this story.   First, a key part of Maloney's message is how super conservative he is.  But we don't know many serious conservatives who gave $2400 to Democrat Mike Oliverio last year.  So perhaps Oliverio is really just a born-again conservative for this year's campaign only.

Certainly, none of Maloney's canned talking points sound like they are rooted in any deep, personal experience of his.  Perhaps now we know why.

But the second significant aspect to this story is how little he gave to the Republican nominee, David McKinley, during that same race with Oliverio.  Giving to Oliverio is bad enough for a Republican candidate running for Governor this year, but how about if he only gave the Republican nominee less than one-fourth of the amount given to Oliverio last year?  A nice pat on the head for McKinley with a $500 check from Big Bill.

If Maloney wanted to continue playing both sides as some business people do (even if that meant shortchanging his own party's nominee), then that would be fine--if he had no interest in running for office himself.

But Republican Party nominees are supposed to look the part.  Giving Mike Oliverio over four times as much as David McKinley in a race that is barely cold is an insult to the GOP primary voters this year.

For all his outlay of money, Maloney is having a very difficult time getting any serious traction with the grassroots this year.  But think what kind of good will he might have generated had he simply given a bit more money to Republican candidates last year.

Instead, the Maloney campaign is reduced to explaining how it is that their candidate, only a few months ago, was actively supporting a Democratic candidate more than his own Republican party's nominee.

Tough times in Maloneyville these days.