By VIC SPROUSE
CHARLESTON -- Leave it up to Senator Billy Wayne Bailey and the Democrats to push for a poll to answer a question they already know.
A little background.
Last week, Senate Republicans introduced a Resolution to urge Gov. Joe Manchin to take down the silly "Open for Business" signs and replace them with "Wild, Wonderful West Virginia" signs.
Of course, the Senate Democrats voted it down. Well, actually, there were about three Democrats who actually yelled "no," but Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin called the "no" votes the winner. Everyone got a good laugh. Of course, Earl Ray couldn't let Manchin get embarassed with a Senate Resolution, so he saved face by calling a no vote.
No big deal, right? Well, Billy Wayne (along with other Senate Democrats) rolled out a ridiculous resolution requesting the Division of Tourism commission a poll to determine whether or not the people want the 'Open for Business' signs. The Governor has said he wants to do a poll ... in September 2008.
Yo, Gov (as the WVU Mountaineer calls him on those ridiculous REAP commercials), it's FEBRUARY 2007. Why in the world are we going to wait until SEPTEMBER 2008 before we even do a POLL to tell us what we already know ... that everyone despises those nonsensical signs.
Look, I know the Senate Democrats want to protect Manchin from the embarassment of passing a Senate resolution that urged the Governor to go back to the Wild, Wonderful West Virginia signs. But ...
The whole issue is silly, but for some unknown reason, the Governor seems obsessed with not "losing" on an issue that he has already lost.
Even the biggest yes-men in the Administration couldn't possibly be telling Joe that people love the 'Open for Business' signs.
If someone was giving him an honest opinion, they would tell him the truth.
The signs are stupid.
They make no sense.
They are universally disliked.
They actually show off that the state is NOT open for business. You don't see Virginia having to put on highway signs touting that they are open for business. Why? Because the business community already knows Virginia is open for business.
So, instead of simply saying, "Look, buddies, I thought this would be a good idea and it just hasn't worked out, we're going to go back to the Wild, Wonderful West Virginia signs," the Governor insists on keeping these signs. If the Governor took down these signs, he would be praised.
Instead, the Governor and now the Senate Democrats are wanting to have the Division of Tourism be involved in spending thousands to do a poll.
Why take a poll when we already know the results? Instead of wasting thousands in taxpayer dollars on a poll, just take down the damn signs, for Pete's sake.
This is bordering on silliness. Well, wait, this is well beyond silliness. Its already taken up way too much time and discussion.
Let's once and for all end this issue.
Take down the stupid signs, Governor.
Your poll numbers won't drop.
Noone will laugh.
You won't "lose," if that's your worry.
It's OK to every so often not be absolutely on target.
It was a nice try, everyone will give you credit for that, now, let's just take down the signs that everyone hates and be done with it.
Sprouse has served in the Legislature since 1995 and resides in Charleston. He graduated from Penn State University with a Chemical Engineering degree and currently owns and operates several fitness centers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
By VIC SPROUSE