WVGOV: Tomblin Schedules Fundraisers During Special Session
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By Steven Allen Adams
While lawmakers are in Charleston crafting redistricting bills and debating legislation Wednesday, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor, was on his way to Elkins, W.Va., for a 4 p.m. fundraiser for his gubernatorial campaign.
The Randolph event is one of three fundraisers scheduled while lawmakers are in special session. The House of Delegates and the State Senate are looking at redistricting legislation, as well as giving 5 percent of coal severance tax revenue back to the county of origin. Lawmakers were also looking at lowering the food tax by .5 percent, but they’re now being asked by Tomblin to phase out the food tax entirely by 2014 and raise the Randy Day Fund capacity to 15 percent of the general fund.
“In raising the capacity of the Rainy Day Fund, we will position ourselves to better respond to emergencies while also showing bond market investors that West Virginia continues to be a conscientious and fiscally responsible state,” Gov. Tomblin said.
Tomblin has two more fundraisers scheduled, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in Morgantown and 6 p.m. Friday in Glenville. The Tomblin campaign would not confirm the Acting Governor’s private schedule, but said that Tomblin was focused on the special session.
“(Acting) Gov. Tomblin remains focused on what’s important to the citizens of West Virginia,” said Chris Stadelman, spokesperson for the Tomblin campaign. “That’s why he’s pushing for legislation that not only will eliminate the food tax to help working families and seniors, but he’s doing it in a responsible manner that also ensures we’re protecting our Rainy Day Fund and planning for the future.”
Businessman Bill Maloney, Tomblin’s Republican opponent in the Oct. 4 special election for governor, called on Tomblin to cancel his fundraisers while lawmakers were meeting in special session in a press release Tuesday.
“We need leadership, not politics as usual. This special session demands the full attention of our ‘Temporary Governor.’ I call on Earl Ray Tomblin to cancel any fundraisers during the special session. He must place the people’s business above his own political ambitions,” Maloney said.
Michelle Yi, spokesperson for the Maloney campaign, echoed her candidate’s statement in an emailed statement Wednesday.
“By deciding to go to his own campaign fundraisers on the state’s dime while work on the special session agenda still has yet to be completed, Earl Ray Tomblin is choosing his own political ambitions over West Virginians,” Yi said. “The state should demand to know where the Acting Governor is during this critical time at the Capitol and what state resources he’s using to serve his campaign.”
Maloney, in a Wednesday press release, also called out Tomblin for being for the food tax before he was against it. Tomblin voted the food tax as a state senator in 1989 and again in 1999 as senate president.
“As Senate Finance Chair, Earl Ray Tomblin helped create the tax, and as Senate President, he ensured it stayed,” Maloney said. “Now he wants West Virginians to forget about his voting record because he’s running for statewide office? That’s not honest leadership. It’s political pandering from a career politician.”
- WVGOV: Maloney Criticizes Tomblin’s Legislative Agenda (with video) (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
Posted under Elections, Governor, Legislature, News, Politics, West Virginia.
Tags: Acting Governor, Bill Maloney, Earl Ray Tomblin, food tax, fundraising, Governor, House of Delegates, Rainy Day Fund, Senate President, special election, Special session, West Virginia, West Virginia Senate
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