Lengthy sentence is a statement - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Lengthy sentence is a statement

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  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
  • Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Friday, August 8 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-08 10:00:18 GMT
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.

West Virginia has a storied and sad tradition of political corruption. Our state's history is rife with vote buying, intimidation, rigged elections and politicians who act more like third-world strongmen, not duly elected representatives of the people. 

Thankfully, federal authorities have shown true leadership over the last few years, rooting out these scofflaws and showing them that they will be held accountable. Recently, disgraced former Mingo County Magistrate Dallas "Big Dal" Toler was sentenced to 27 months behind bars after he falsified a voter registration application in 2012. Audible gasps could be heard from Toler's family when the sentence was handed down. 

While we don't mean to marginalize their feelings, Toler did the crime and now he has to do the time. Political observers have said his sentence, which is longer than what is typically handed down for a similar crime, could be a turning point. For the first time in a generation, voters in Mingo County feel like their voices will be heard. 

Let's hope all are put on notice — when you degrade and defile the democratic process, you will face the consequences.