Gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney speaks Wednesday at a town hall meeting at the Putnam County Courthouse. (Photo by Chris Dickerson)
Gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney talks to members of the crowd Wednesday after his town hall meeting at the Putnam County Courthouse. (Photo by Chris Dickerson)WINFIELD – Cleaning up West Virginia's court system is vital to improving the state, according to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney. "The court system is the number one thing we have to fix in this state," Maloney said Wednesday during a town hall meeting at the Putnam County Courthouse. "The court system affects every aspect of our lives." Maloney said "serious" tort reform could encourage more businesses to move into West Virginia or expand in the state. "There are huge opportunities for job growth here," he told the crowd of about 100 in the Old Courtroom. The event was part of his Blueprint for a Brighter Future Town Hall Tour. He told a story about a time he was in Germany working on a mining project. He noticed a small rope around the open mine shaft. "I asked them, 'What happens if you fall in the hole?'" Maloney said. "They said, 'Well, that would be your fault.'" In addition to seeking ideas from attendees about how to improve the state, Maloney discussed a variety of topics at the meeting. He talked about becoming energy independent, his plans to control government spending, encouraging private investment, fixing the state's tax structure, cleaning up ethical issues in state government, strengthening the education system, making the state healthier and working to fight the EPA and its "overreaching" and "job-killing" policies. "I'm ready to fight President Obama's war on coal," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd. "You have to fight." As for joining the fight against ObamaCare, Maloney was quick to say he disagrees with the current leadership's stance. "We should've been the first state to join the fight," Maloney said, again drawing cheers. "Or at least, we should be the next one joining the list. "We want people to know there is an alternative."