Aug 24, 2011- Tomblin Starts TV Ads in W.Va. Governor's Race

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) started running statewide ads Wednesday.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D), who has been acting as governor since November and is running to complete former Gov. Joe Manchin's term, began airing statewide ads Wednesday.

His chief opponent in the race, Republican businessman Bill Maloney, started running ads a couple weeks ago.

So far, the candidates are focusing on reminding voters who they are and aren't going after each other in their ads.

Tomblin's first ad, which you can view here, touts the positive financial shape the state is in and Tomblin's efforts to lower taxes and fees, including the food tax.

One claim requires a little explanation, though.

In the ad, a narrator mentions Tomblin's veto of a plan to raise fees at the DMV. The move would have brought in an additional $40 million annually for the state's road fund.

Members of Tomblin's administration urged the Legislature to pass the fee increases, which would have applied to things like registering a car and renewing a driver's license.

I asked Tomblin about this very issue in April when he was running for the Democratic nomination.

Here's an excerpt from that story:

The Legislature passed $40 million in fee increases at the Division of Motor Vehicles.

That money was intended for the state road fund.

Tomblin vetoed the bill.

"And, I did not think that it was the appropriate time to put another $40 million of taxes on the people of West Virginia," says Tomblin.

But, members of his own administration pushed for it, saying a funding solution was needed. asked, "How come at some point you didn't go up to them and say, 'Wait a minute. This is not something that I think is a good idea?'"

“Well, I think a lot of that push came from the legislative end of it. Our [Division] of Highways will take money wherever they can get it," says Tomblin.


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