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West Virginia Politics in 1999-2009

West Virginia is a unique state of America. Its history and its creation are closely related to the most significant events of the American nation. Established during the Civil War, it became one of the first states with particular attention toward American values. Furthermore, the state is versatile in the natural beauty and acres of forests, hills, and mountains. This area is full of historical events. The natural resources of West Virginia are the wealth of the state. Politics played a huge role in the development of the state. The idea of the political approach is paramount in the paper. The main players, their goals, and accomplishments are critically described in the paper. Furthermore, the research props up against the period of West Virginia’s history since the administration of Gaston Caperton.

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First of all, it is necessary to admit that the politics of the state is considered with several main directions. The financial, economical, and educational growth is before the state’s development. This state is known to be the area of huge concentration of educational establishments. This is why it is fairly called the state of teachers (Rice & Brown 298). Since the administration of Caperton this field in the politics stays prior. Caperton since first years in office shared the idea of qualitative and quantitative growths in the educational sphere. The quality of education he saw in the quality of educators’ lives. This is why owing to his tries in the legislative domain on August 22, 1990 governor Caperton provided the changes to educational matters (Rice & Brown 298). Thus, the shaping of West Virginia’s educational reform was provided with increases in the salaries of teachers. Also the internal control and supervision were emphasized for the purpose of the bureaucracy decrease. Public schools and institutions were at the core of the renovation policy by Caperton.

The chain of changes for the analyzed period is presupposed with Gaston Caperton who was elected in 1988 and then reelected in 1992. He was succeeded by Cecil H. Underwood in 1996 who lost to Bob Wise in 2000 (Infoplease para. 1). Afterward the governor Manchin became the main person of the executive power. During this period the main spheres which were struggling for the power in the state were the administrations of governors, business leaders, legislative leaders, and Supreme Court of West Virginia. After G. Caperton the governor Cecil Underwood many times tried to persuade the population of the state to decrease gambling if he would be elected. However, in the period from 1996 to 2000 the number of video lottery coin drop machines and slot-centers increased dramatically (Charleston Gazette1 para. 2). This made negative effects on the society in the state. In this respect, the competition in election campaign with Underwood was taken by Bob Wise. This candidate succeeded in the elections in 2000.

Governor Wise’s main goals considered the increase of tax payouts for gambling and rational approach as of coal mining (the major industrial sphere in the state). In this respect, the situation for the owners of suchlike entertainment in the state was supposed with more regulatory mechanisms (Charleston Gazette2 para. 3). Moreover, Wise made it possible to raise the budget money with such a regulatory initiative. In terms of the coal-mining plan, Wise was apt to appeal to the Supreme Court. In April, 2001 the case concerned with the mountaintop removal coal mining was in favor of the governor’s administration: “Wise said that he welcomed an appeals court’s decision to overturn the valley fill limits ordered 18 months ago by Chief U.S. District Judge Charles H. Haden II” (Ward Jr. para. 2).

Such flow of political and business confrontations needed the man in the justice system of the state who will be able to favor the interests either of the politics or business. The business leader and the CEO of coal-mining company Massey Energy, Donald L. Blankenship, is said to spend $3 million of his own money for electing Benjamin to the state Supreme Court (Nyden para. 4). Here the corruption was obvious for the society. That is why the administration of Governor Manchin should act immediately. The triangle of main players, namely executive, legislative, and justice powers, was influenced by big business and its financial approaches.

The curious thing is that in each case of keeping or breaking the promises by above-stated governors the Supreme Court of West Virginia was full of work. In other words, since G. Caperton the political issues frequently confronted with business. Their evaluation was considered with the decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. The main scandal which grabbed attention of the federal power was concerned the case H. Caperton versus Massey (Nyden para. 5). In this respect the current policy by Governor Joe Manchin presupposes the agenda of three issues. Two of them touch upon the coal-mining development and use of mountaintop-removal sites; the third is a plan for third- and eighth-graders in schools (Knezevich para. 9).

To conclude, the situation in West Virginia is uneasy since the administration of G. Caperton. It concerns the involvement of politics, the justice system, and legislative leaders in business relations. The main goals of the governors presupposed appropriate educational reforms: second, proper tax policy, especially for the owners of entertainment centers. The third point concerns the significance of Massey Energy Company which still plays a great role in the industrial development in the state.

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Works cited

Charleston Gazette1. ‘Underwood’s ‘honor, dignity, class’ recalled at memorial service’. 2008. Web.

Charleston Gazette2. Wise Plan Would Tax Payouts From ‘Gray Machines’. 2000. Web.

Knezevich, Alison. ‘Manchin, legislative leaders continue talks on special-session agenda’. Gazette-Mail. 2009. Web.

Nyden, Paul J. ‘Caperton v. Massey returns to W.Va. Supreme Court’. Charleston Gazette. 2009.

Rice, Otis K. & Brown, Stephen W. West Virginia history. Ed. 2. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1993.

Ward Jr., Ken. ‘Wise praises appeals court ruling’. Gazette-Mail. 2001. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 13). West Virginia Politics in 1999-2009. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/west-virginia-politics-in-1999-2009/

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