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Do Politicians Believe in Santa?

December 22, 2012
By MIKE MYER , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Most people don't know about it, but Santa Claus actually keeps three sets of lists from people who want visits from him on Christmas Eve. There's the naughty list, the nice list and ... the politicians list. I happen to have obtained exclusive access to this year's version of the third set of letters to Santa. Here it is:

- West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin: $200 million to close the gap in next year's budget and some way to please those tens of thousands of low-income voters who'd like Medicaid coverage and taxpayers who will have to pay much of the cost of it.

- Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Lessons from Clint Eastwood on how to say "Make my day" if former Gov. Ted Strickland asks for a rematch.

- Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie: Someone to pay for the East Wheeling recreation field and a deep-pockets developer for the now mostly vacant 1100 block of Main and Market streets.

- Bellaire Board of Education members: Same thing as last year, Santa - only really bring it this year.

- Mingo Junction officials: Someone in Washington to decide their village is "too big to fail."

- U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.: More engineers in Congress to cut through the politically correct baloney concerning issues such as the coal industry. McKinley is an engineer, but fewer than 1 percent of his peers hasve such training. About 40 percent are lawyers.

- U.S. Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va.: A West Virginia Republican Party unified behind her for the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

- Morgantown businessman John Raese: A way to resist the temptation to run for the U.S. Senate again.

- West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw: A happy retirement.

- Marshall County Board of Education members: A new Cameron Middle-High School with none of the post-construction problems that almost inevitably occur in such projects everywhere.

- Democrat Party leaders in Brooke, Hancock and Ohio counties: Promises by nominees for the state Senate seat vacated by Orphy Klempa that, if appointed by Gov. Tomblin, they won't used the non-elected post as a head start for running for it in the next election.

- West Virginia Board of Education members: Some way of reconciling all the competing interests who will have to work together if public schools are to be improved. Hey, you're Santa Claus. You can do it.

- West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne: A way to keep those pesky Republican delegates, more numerous than for many years, from building alliances with conservative Democrats.

- Monongalia County farmer and Marine Corps veteran Kent Leonhardt: Another shot at public office serving the people of West Virginia, this time with more name recognition than he had in his race for agriculture commissioner, lost narrowly to Walt Helmick.

- U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.: Relief from special interest groups concluding that if he isn't 100 percent, blindly with them, he must be against them.

- Members of the W.Va. Supreme Court: A year or two without being told they preside over a judicial hellhole.

- Ohio County commissioners: A theme park with water rides at The Highlands.

- U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.: Wisdom to make the right decision on whether to run in 2014.

- Several leading Mountain State Democrats: A decision soon from Rockefeller, so they can begin making their own decisions.

- The American public: A money tree in Washington, D.C. No, wait, Santa; they already think there is one.

- U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin again: Some way to get voters to understand the gravity of a $16.4 trillion national debt - more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. Perhaps a catchy phrase? How about a new and improved version of the late Sen. Everett Dirksen's sarcasm:

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon, you're talking real money.

Myer can be reached via email at:

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