Republican U.S. Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman were the official co-hosts for the event, but the surprise guest who reportedly stole the show was Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who was at ease in the "hostile" territory. Reportedly, Manchin drew a few cries of "welcome home" as he worked the room.
House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue's strong advocacy of making pseudoephedrine a prescription drug apparently is not sitting well with Big Pharma.
Word is that Consumer Healthcare Products Association (over-the-counter drug retailers) lobbyist Abby Sobonya has been trying to recruit a Wayne County Democrat to oppose Perdue in 2014 (or possibly more Democrats, on the theory that the odds for an upset increase in a multi-candidate primary election).
If reports that more than half of all pseudoephedrine sales are going for illegal methamphetamine production, then today's pharmaceutical industry has a lot in common with cigarette manufacturers, in knowingly putting profit ahead of public health and well-being.
I was chided by a reader for failing to raise objections to the Tomblin administration allowing acting Juvenile Services director Stephanie Bond to bill costs of meals, lodging and travel (roughly $550 a week) to the state, while commuting to Charleston from her home in Preston County, after taking issue with a similar arrangement for then-acting DHHR secretary Rocco Fucillo.
"Her job, like Fucillo's or any state agency is based primarily in Charleston, and like Fucillo she should not be paid to come to Charleston to do her job," the reader stated.
Frankly, I didn't write about it, because I didn't know about the arrangement until I read it in the paper. However, the reader's point is duly and well noted.
Finally, the best line of the week goes to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, after announcing this year's Appalachian Regional Commission grants during a presentation in the governor's reception room.
Noting that the 11 grants totaling $4.3 million was fairly paltry, compared to past years, Tomblin told the crowd: "I'm afraid that's it. You may have heard of the federal sequestration."
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.