A LOOK AT STATE POLITICS — Allen H. Loughry's "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," which looks at West Virginia's colorful political history, is going into its second printing.|
A West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism graduate's book on West Virginia's colorful political history has exceeded demand and is going into its second printing with updated information from 2007.
In 2006, Allen H. Loughry II (left) now a Charleston attorney, wrote "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," which discusses the state's history of vote buying and selling and other stories of election corruption dating back to 1861.
With the second printing, Loughry plans to market the book nationally in this election year. He said the reprinting of the book is particularly timely because reports of voting fraud have occurred across the nation from Florida to Ohio to New Mexico in each of the past two presidential elections.
"I want people to be thinking that it's not just important what happens in New Hampshire or Iowa," Loughry said.
"They better be concerned about what happens in West Virginia. This same book needs to be written in 49 other states, five territories and the District of Columbia."
The book, published by McClain Printing Co. of Parsons, has sold 7,500 copies and has been widely reviewed across the state.
Since the book's original publication, Loughry has been quoted in several newspapers as an expert on state politics.
"This book has been 10-15 years of work," said Loughry, a Tucker County native and 1992 SOJ graduate.
"It's been an important part of my life. As a former journalist, I've always had a fascination with politics and with wanting to see positive changes in West Virginia.
"I have received very positive reviews from left-wing, middle-of-the-road and right-wing organizations," he added. "It is completely nonpartisan and unbiased, based on the principles I learned at the School of Journalism."
Loughry said as proof of its nonpartisan take on West Virginia's history, the book includes forewords by U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and John McCain, a current presidential candidate.
"I wanted this book to be different," Loughry said. "I put on the blinders to document our history because I truly want to see positive change in West Virginia, and I am hopeful that young people pick up this book and learn the history of our state that isn't being taught in the schools today.
"The thing that makes it completely unique is that I came up with ideas for reform in the book, and I actually offer people solutions," he continued.
"In 2006, people were still going to jail in southern West Virginia for buying and selling votes for half pints of whiskey. What if a governor wins by a few thousand votes? What if a president wins by a few thousand votes? That's why it's an important book to read."
The 656-page book includes an examination of the 1960 presidential campaign in West Virginia as well as chapters on Mother Jones and the Hatfields and McCoys. It also contains 160 historical photos.
One story in the book deals with the book's title, "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide." That quote was uttered by Joe Kennedy during the 1960 West Virginia presidential primary.
"Many people think the Kennedy family was responsible for introducing vote buying to West Virginia, but that's not the case," Loughry said. "The Kennedys didn't invent vote buying; they were just playing by West Virginia's rules."
Loughry's book is available at www.reformwv.com and at online outlets such as www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com and regional bookstores.