Swampy

Corruption and waste habitual in Charleston

It turns out the worst swamp may not be in Washington. A regular quicksand pit seems to exist in Charleston, where corruption, waste and incompetence have become habitual.

State Supreme Court justices who cheat taxpayers, a $150 million flood relief program that can’t seem to help victims, active conflicts of interest in the Commerce Department and hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent paid for a building state government had vacated already were on the list of misbehavior last week.

Then, on Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice revealed a state agency allowed a company to miss 79 payments on a taxpayer-funded loan, potentially costing the state more than $1.5 million.

The firm, Corotoman Inc., had borrowed $3 million through the state to buy an office building. A tenant has been occupying the structure and paying rent. Yet Corotoman owes the state $1.539 million in back payments on the loan.

And apparently, no one in state government thought something ought to be done about that.

Action is being taken to recover the money, Justice said. The situation is being investigated by the State Police.

How could this happen? More important, how do fiascoes such as this keep occurring on a regular basis in state government?

What is wrong with these people? Why haven’t we done anything about it?

•••

A new online video game, “Fallout 76,” is set in West Virginia.

That is wonderful news for our state.

Video games, especially the post-apocalyptic sort, are not everyone’s cup of tea. This one, with survivors of a nuclear war battling ghouls, mutants, etc., in our beautiful hills and mountains, may be a definite turn-off for some people.

But realistic video gaming is big among the younger crowd (and some older enthusiasts). “Fallout 76” may appeal to the very sort of people we want to attract to our state as visitors and, perhaps, residents.

So, state tourism and economic development officials should use “Fallout 76” as a tool. The game may give people a taste of our state, and that is something for which we strive.

So by all means, milk the game for all it’s worth.

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