EDITORIAL: Shameless Self-Promotion (at our expense) a Way of Life for Attorney General McGraw

HNN Staff
Darrell V. McGraw
Darrell V. McGraw

Darrell McGraw.  The man's name evokes deep passions, pro and con.  To his followers in the Southern coalfields and elsewhere, McGraw is the last true Democrat running statewide:  an unabashed labor liberal who has stood up to business interests for a generation, whether on the State Supreme Court or as Attorney General.

But his detractors are growing in number, as more people question the real motive for McGraw's political career. 

Take a look at the expense McGraw has amassed at taxpayer expense--in addition to tens of thousands of dollars in trinkets bearing his name.

For example, the elevated election-year spending from McGraw's office is appalling.  On one radio station alone, McGraw's office spent $40k to advertise in 2010, $71k in 2011 and a whopping $183k in 2012. 

The self-promotion spending has skyrocketed in his office.  More than any other state officer, McGraw takes advantage of the taxpayers' money to promote himself, just in time for his re-election campaign.

No wonder Patrick Morrisey, McGraw's Republican opponent, has sworn off any future trinket buying if he is elected.   We doubt that he'd spend huge amounts of advertising to promote himself on radio stations, either.  Morrisey has shown in his first run for statewide office more respect for the West Virginia voter and taxpayer than McGraw has shown in his entire career. 

While all politicians are in the self-promotion business, McGraw belongs to a generation of West Virginia "leaders" who showed no conscience as they ravaged the public treasury here.  McGraw is the last in a long line of pillagers that started with Governor Wally Barron, then moved on through A. James Manchin's negligence and Arch Moore's deep shame, each of them taking West Virginians for quite a ride.

Well, in case we have forgotten, this is the 21st Century.  We're supposed to have put these flagrant ripoff artists back in their crypts, where they can no longer harm the people.

Darrell McGraw seems to think of his interaction with the voting public as less of a relationship and more of a game.   It's sport for him to see how much he can get away with at our expense.  He's been a clever juvenile delinquent over the years, pulling repeated fast ones on the substitute teacher.

But our state needs leadership more than ever before--not shameless self-promotion, glorifying individual officeholders at our expense.

Perhaps the worst of McGraw's actions is his keeping tens of millions of settlement funds his office receives for lawsuits done in our name.  By right, that money belongs to the taxpayers and should deposited in our state's general fund, for our elected legislators to decide best how to spend it--for roads, pension funds, or even a tax break for the weary citizens here.

Instead, McGraw--a kind of Big Government Robber Baron--keeps the money and distributes it as HE sees fit.  It takes a certain kind of arrogance to take other people's money like that and spend it on one's favorite charities.

This November 6th is West Virginia's chance to finally send Darrell McGraw back to Wyoming County.  We've already sent his brother, Warren, back there.  Now it's Darrell's turn.




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