"Attorneys General Work to Curb Drugs" and in others breaking news "Police Seek to Capture Criminals"
This morning's Intelligencer front page featured yet another non-story in support of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's re-election bid. Taking up one-third of the front page, we learn that he and Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine are:
seeking the help of churches and faith-based organizations to assist in counseling drug offenders as problems with heroin and opioid addiction continue to escalate in both states.
There is no "news" in this story. At best, it's a feature story worthy of a back page; at worst, it's a puff piece that should be relegated to Morrisey's campaign flyer. Yeah, same as it ever was but it doesn't matter to the Intelligencer - Morrisey's reelection is all that counts.
Ignoring Morrisey's drug industry problem
It's one thing to give free newspaper space, it's quite another thing to ignore his obvious conflicts-of-interest with the very drug industry he's supposedly concerned about. As a former lobbyist for a drug group, this has been an ongoing problem for Morrisey since he took office in 2013 and the locals have never said a word about it. Contrast that with the Charleston papers which have followed it closely. For instance, the Gazette-Mail wrote earlier this month:
Prescription drug wholesalers being sued by Morrisey’s office for their role in fueling the state’s ongoing opioid problem have indirectly funded a portion of Morrisey’s re-election efforts.
Since 2014, McKesson Corp. and Cardinal Health, both defendants in state lawsuits overseen by Morrisey, have donated a total of $50,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which has spent more money than any other organization in West Virginia to re-elect Morrisey.
What’s more, at least two lawyers representing drug distributors in the lawsuits have contributed directly to Morrisey’s campaign.
Former drug company lobbyist Morrisey has also taken campaign contributions from OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma.
According to House of Delegates Democrat Don Perdue, Morrisey has put the attorney general's office "up for sale.":
“Any argument that suggests these type of contributions are innocuous or have no effect defies logic,” said Perdue, a Wayne County Democrat and retired pharmacist. “Coupled with his strong personal ties to the drug industry and the legal gymnastics he has performed to slow down the litigation regarding the distribution of narcotics, it defies belief.”
This is not a minor story: Morrisey's drug connections and the state's ongoing problem with opioid addiction was the top story on the "CBS Evening News" back in June.
Given Patrick Morrisey's most-favored status with the locals, I doubt that they will ever touch this story. I would urge you to read the most recent Gazette-Mail article -- it brings you up-to date on Morrisey's drug company connections.
Who is Doug Reynolds and what does he have to do with this blog post?
Doug Reynolds is Morrisey's Democratic opponent in the attorney general's race. Has he ever been mentioned in any Wheeling "newspaper" story about the upcoming election? I googled "Doug Reynolds + Wheeling Intelligencer" and found nothing. I then checked the Intelligencer search engine on their website and found that he was listed under "West Virginia Election Filings" back in January and February. That's it.
Let's see, the locals completely ignore the Democratic candidate for attorney general as they write regular puff pieces for his Republican opponent while continuing to ignore his major conflict-of-interest. As is often the case on political issues, they're not informing, they're propagandizing. And yes, it's another reason why I call them "newspapers."