Statehouse Leaders Bully their Way into Passing Charter Schools

We expect our local representatives to be strong and do what’s best for the folks at home, not give in to legislative arm-twisting. But that’s what happened when state legislative leaders bullied their way into passing charter schools against the wishes of many West Virginians, who polls show don’t want them.

Legislating shouldn’t require stealth, sleight-of-hand, intimidation, deception, arm-twisting and manipulation. Still, you’ve got to hand it to House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, who pulled one of the greatest bait-and-switches in legislative history.” commented Phil Kabler in the Sunday Gazette-Mail.

Delegates were misled on both process and procedures by the House Speaker, who wanted to box them into voting for a 144- page omnibus education reform bill. This included direct threats to punish individual lawmakers with demotion from committee leadership and assignments if they voted “wrong."

Our elected Delegates should be free to vote in the best interests of us, their constituents. They should not be required to march to the tune of leaders who take their orders from out-of-state special interests!

If your local Delegate succumbed to this bullying and voted against your wishes, you should call them up and let them know how displeased you are. And also ‘Remember next November’ when they come back around asking for your vote...

READ ON: Phil Kabler's column on arm-twisting legislating