Sunday, April 28, 2013
Voting Sane in Appalachia
Last week I was supposed to have lunch with Charlotte Pritt. She's Chairperson of the West Virginia Mountain Party...and former Democratic Candidate for Governor in 1996. She beat Joe Manchin in the Primary. But, our youngest Governor, Cecil Underwood, became our oldest Governor. Big Money and Big Lies doomed Charlotte. They said she wanted condoms in kindergarten, and that was the mild stuff.
I canceled my lunch and just drifted around the Capitol Complex. The first person I saw off the elevator was Sir Hoppy Kerchival announcing his Talkline show in the corner. During a commercial break, I walked over.
"Hey Hops..what's the Haps?" Big smiles. We do this little thing once a year during the last week of the Session. "Tell me something good, Rao".
"We'll Hop, last year I told you to put big money on Shelley Capito's Democratic opponent, Howard. You laughed and said she'd steamroller him with 75%. You were right on the mark."
After a little small talk, I handed him one of the Ray Lane stickers. He looked confused. "Ray Lane? I don't get it."
"You don't get it because you just read the news...you don't listen. A few weeks ago, your top story was this..."The Chairman of the Board of Hewlett Packard, Ray Lane, stepped aside today..."
"Oh...that Ray Lane" Then, the questions started. He thought he had a huge scoop. Ray Lane was moving back to West Virginia to win Jay Rockefeller's open Senate seat. Shelley Capito would have to raise as much as Ray has in pocket change.
"Yea, Hop, his resume is pure gold. Board of Governors of WVU. Chairman of the Board of Carnegie Mellon. Heck, their Computer Center is named after him and his wife. And..we can forget Co-Chairing the Special Olympics. But, his big fish was his long time Presidency at Oracle before Larry Ellison threw enough money at him to leave. Of course, being a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins...the primier Venture Capitalists...has it's perks, too. I understand he shares an espresso maker with another partner, Al Gore."
"So when's Ray going to announce?" Hoppy finally asks. Then, he takes a hard long look at me.
"Rao..you're bullshitting me. Ray Lane doesn't know anything about this, does he. This is one of your usual political pranks, isn't it?''
Hoppy busted me. I walked away and waved..."Hey...if Ray calls and asks you if you know me...tell him no."
I'll get Ray back. I'm almost positive he was in that gang that stole my lunch money at Carnot Elementary back in '57.