EDITORIAL: Tomblin Begins Sad Business As Usual as Governor

The word has gone out:  the Tomblin Administration, if one can call an interim Governor's team that, wants to know what Exempt positions are available throughout the sta
te's bureaucracy.

Well, Tomblin's people will never put it this way, but it's clear to those getting the Exempt position requests what's going on.  Tomblin wants to fill some of those unfilled positions with his political supporters.
In short, cronyism is alive and well in West Virginia state government.
Despite some good efforts to make state government work more professional in recent years, some patronage positions remain for those who, for one reason or another, are close to the current Governor.  In sensitive and particularly important departments, we can only hope that the Governor will award slots to those who really are competent to do the job.

Tomblin has stated that he wants to continue the policies of his predecessor, Joe Manchin.  Manchin wasn't afraid to let many Exempt positions go unfilled for a long period of time, so as to make some needed cost-savings in the state's annual budget.

Why can't Tomblin continue that policy?   The short answer is that Tomblin wants to be elected to a full term soon and feels that patronage--at state taxpayers' expense--is the best way to win some new friends to his banner.

Between these patronage job hires and Tomblin's hope for a state employee pay raise, one wonders how long it will be before Tomblin calls for a tax hike in the middle of a recession.   After all, so far, Tomblin's entire agenda seems to be one of befriending the statehouse crowd--not the average West Virginia taxpayer.