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House must choose true leader for progress

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  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
  • Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Friday, August 8 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-08 10:00:18 GMT
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.

As the jockeying intensifies for the speaker's position in the House of Delegates, factions seem to be lining up behind Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison. No clear-cut favorite has emerged and there is talk of a floor vote for speaker — something political observers tell us has never happened before.

While this certainly is interesting to watch, we must not let palace intrigue and backroom maneuvers distract us from the reasons why a forward-thinking leader of the House is so important. For far too long, the special interests have held sway in that body, often killing worthwhile reform legislation. We need a speaker with the courage and charisma to step up and put the true needs of this state and its people above all else.

We languish at the bottom of so many economic indicators; yet, we have such potential. Given just a half a chance, West Virginia could flourish in truly unimaginable ways. Our vitality, creativity and ingenuity have never been in question, but we've been beset by elected leaders unwilling or unable to move us forward. That's why the House needs true leadership, not someone who will kowtow to the special interests.