BACK PEW: The hard truth about child deaths in WV

By Stephen Baldwin Kyneddi Miller, a 14-year old girl from Boone County, was found dead and in a “skeletal state” inside her home this past April. Her mother and grandparents have been charged with felony neglect. She’d been homeschooled since 2019, and, according to reporting, had little connection to the world outside her home.  The […]

BACK PEW: What do the primary election results mean? 

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After fifteen months of covering the primary races in West Virginia, what did we learn? West Virginia continues to turn deeper red, as expected, with a few small exceptions. RIGHT TURN. The governor’s race was always about which of the four main candidates could best appeal to the right wing of state party voters. Patrick Morrisey […]

BACK PEW: Session ends tomorrow

Opinion by Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Tomorrow is the last day of the legislative session. While legislators  will adjourn “sine die” and head home to their families, a $465 million issue I wrote about last week will continue to loom.  EDUCATION SPENDING. Last week, delegates revealed that the US Department of Education wanted to know why […]

BACK PEW: A $500 million question looms over the legislature’s final week

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March 2, 2024 One week of the current legislative session remains. Here are a few looming issues to keep an eye on over the last seven days.  $500 MILLION QUESTION. A $500 million question looms over the legislature, governor’s office, and the future. This week, state officials disclosed that the federal government may “clawback” nearly […]

BACK PEW–Fake friends

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Ever had a “fake friend?” Someone who acts as if they care about you, but they are really just using you to further their own interests.  It’s the worst experience, because it’s disingenuous. We would rather just stay away from those who don’t have our best interests at heart. As preachers […]

BACK PEW–The Twilight Zone

Column by Stephen Baldwin, One time during debate on the Senate floor, I referred to the legislative session as “the twilight zone.” Because nothing makes sense there. This week’s news proves the point.  EQUAL DOES NOT MEAN EQUAL. The House of Delegates passed a “women’s bill of rights” that doesn’t appear to secure women any […]

BACK PEW–Do as I say, not as I do 

Feb 1, 2024 By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV The first thing long-time legislators told me about life under the dome was, “Your integrity is all you have.” That rang true to me, as a lifelong West Virginian. When an Appalachian gives their word, it means something important to them and the person to whom they give […]

THE BACK PEW–Contentious special session spends big bucks

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV August 9, 2023 The legislature just completed a three-day special session. It was…special.  If you haven’t heard about what happened, you aren’t alone. And it wouldn’t be your fault. Legislators were called into special session at 3:30pm on Sunday, given 44 bills with spending of around $700 million, and asked to […]

THE BACK PEW–Quick rundown of which bills passed & which ones failed

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV March 16, 2023 The WV Legislature adjourned at midnight on March 11. Here’s a quick rundown of several bills we’ve been watching the last two months, along with whether the bill passed or failed.  TAX CUT. Passed. Citizens will see a 21.25% reduction in income taxes. Rebates will also be available […]

BACK PEW–Breaking down the details

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV March 8, 2023 Last week, I wrote at length about how politics has become a performance. Right on cue, our leaders proceeded to hold a balloon drop photo op to celebrate a tax cut and pay raise for public employees…while quietly giving themselves a much larger raise and increasing employee insurance […]