AND THEN AGAIN…….by Tamara Pettit

…………..My eldest grandchild was born in a snowstorm this month..    Efforts to get from Charleston WV to Charleston SC proved futile so I didn’t get to cast eyes on her  until that next Saturday when I looked up from my seat on the floor of the House of Delegates to the Gallery where her parents held her up for me to see.  Hillary not only attended her first House session at one week,, but made her appearance at a Finance Committee meeting.  That early exposure to politics has to count for something and we do need more women in office.  Someone needs to bring common sense to this process.!

……About common sense……Let’s see the way the Campus Carry bill worked out because it is probably the antithesis of the way our higher education was formulated to work.   The people elect a governor……the governor appoints board of directors for each university or college…….those  board of directors select a president.   That College President, backed by his/her board of directors, speaks and lobbies against legislation that is bad for higher education and its students like the bill allowing  students to armed on campus (thus Campus Carry.bill.   Legislators ignore wishes of the presidents of the colleges..   What’s wrong with this system?…..The people who know college kids best and their proclivity to act irriationally  are ignored, by our legislators.  Another reason for students to opt to go out of state and schools like Bethany College to have difficulty attracting a president so they’ve put their presidential search on hold,.  (Any of you seen “Animal  House”   Imagine them all with guns.

…..The expressions on the faces of public employees at the legislative sessions says it all.  They are experiencing a pretty drastic 80/20 cut to their PEIA insurance plus having to pay for their spouses if they want to be covered. No wander a lot  bolt for a neighboring state where  the pay is better at the first opportinity

……One of the teachers was heard saying “elections come around pretty quickly” in reference to retaliation for those who voted to up the premiums.   She’s right and I’’m living proof of that reatliation.  PEIA has always been historically underfunded.   We went twelve years without a premium increase while medical costs skyrocketed. Conversely, however, those were the years when teaches didn’t get raises and were told “but we’re not raising your premiums.” In the 2000 session PEIA was the focus of the  session and a Select PEIA Task Force was named to come up with solutions.   A member of Finance Committee, I ended up on the select committee on PEIA.  Yeah for me.  Not really.  There was no way we weren’t going to have to enact premiums.  No one was going to be happy.

      So when I went to my interview for endorsement of the WVEA and when the PEIA question came round I was loaded for bear.   Ain’t none of my opponents know was much as me.   After I painstakingly explained the numbers that made the premium  increase necessary; I turned the floor over to my opponent Joe Delong.  His Mom was a teacher and all the said was “I would be embarrassed to tell these hardworking teachers that I had upped their premium”   that’s it.   That’s all he said.    I lost the endorsement, Delong got it.   I then went on to lose the election.

,,,,,,Every politician should have a grandson like Addison at Election time.  at age six he’d gone door-to-door with me in Country Club Estates.  He had gotten on his bicycle and handed out brochures.   As evening approached and we walked to my car that Saturday before the election I said, “So, Addison, do you think I’m going to win this election.”    “Maybe, Maybe not, Nana” he said.  “A lot of people don’t like you.”  He was right.