Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 28, 2012

GOP hopeful brings ‘blueprint’ to Bluefield

BLUEFIELD — Bill Maloney, Republican candidate for governor drew a crowd of 39 people to the Steve Land Room of the Greater Bluefield Community Center Wednesday evening for a meet-and-chat session.

“I came to West Virginia in 1981,” Maloney said. “My first job was at Caples. I spent a lot of time in Keystone and Gary, working in the coal fields. I have a lot of fond memories and I met a lot of fine people.”

Maloney ran in the special election last year to complete former Gov. Joe Manchin’s un-expired term and lost Mercer County to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin by 85 votes. “I only lost the election by 7,000 votes,” he said.

“About 6,000 of them were in Logan County where I was defeated 14-1,” he said. “We’re going to stay positive in this campaign. All I can ask for is a fair and open election.”

Maloney said that as he travels around the state, he can sense a spirit of change that is building up from the grassroots. “We’ve got a guy at the top of the ticket who creates opportunities every day,” he said. “I don’t care to make Mr. Obama mad, and I will continue to speak out about the federal government’s overreach.”

Maloney explained that his, “Blueprint for a Brighter Future” included a commitment to cleaning up state politics. “There are so many inside deals that takes place, that it boggles the mind,” he said. “We’ve got so much bureaucracy, it’s hard to get anything done.

“We are so unhealthy in West Virginia,” he said.

“We need to create an environment that is healthy. We need to promote a healthy lifestyle.”

He said that, if elected, he would not put his name on maps, items promoting the state or even the state’s welcome signs.

“I won’t sign anything except a letter,” he said and paused. “Maybe.”

“In our state, coal is vital,” he said. However, he said that with large reserves of natural gas, opportunities for wind and solar power “and hydro,” he said the state should be concentrating on getting technology in place to develop coal and other energy. “In West Virginia, it doesn’t seem like we’re fighting our government’s overreach,” he said.

Most of the session was devoted to addressing several questions from the audience. Blaine Braithwaite pressed him on what he would do to curb the power of the states Public Service Commission. Maloney said that rate setting “is a very complex issue,” but he admitted that he had no immediate plan to address the situation Braithwaite outlined.

Pete Sternloff urged Maloney to address the problem of government waste, and the candidate agreed.

“It seems like we’re always adding overhead,” Maloney said. “We’ve got way too much government in West Virginia.”

The questions continued to flow, and the candidate responded, and even asked a staff member to write down a few of the suggestions.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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