There is a saying around here that "In West Virginia everything's political except politics and that's personal." I have a feeling that may be true of other places as well.
A political/personal shakeup has helped build momentum for an idea that I've been working with allies for years to promote, i.e. creating a permanent mineral trust fund, better known as a Future Fund.
The planets began to shift when House Speaker Rick Thompson resigned to take another post in state government. Former House Judiciary Chair Tim Miley was elected to take his post. The Future Fund was championed by Senate President Jeff Kessler but didn't gain traction in the House under Thompson's leadership.
(The fact that Kessler ran for governor against Thompson using the Future Fund as a platform plank may have had something to do with the former speaker's lukewarmness to the idea. Miley, by contrast, has no such baggage and is from an area where shale gas drilling has taken off. He seems to get it.)
We're a long way from there yet, but the tea leaves are encouraging. Here's some coverage from the WV News Service. Two other articles have recently run in the Beckley Register Herald. In chronological order, they can be found here and here.
ONE FOR THE ROAD. Here's a good item from WV Public Radio about Breece Pancake, my homey and IMHO WV's best writer.
NOTE. I'm trying to take some time off this week so posts may be irregular. Next stop...Montreal!
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED