Enforcement provisions in the law include going to circuit court to obtain an injunction to overturn whatever action was taken in violation of the act. Public officials who knowingly violate Open Meetings law also can face criminal prosecution but, alas, conviction carries a maximum penalty of a fine of no more than $500.
Speaking of Tomblin, it has been said his strongest asset in both his 2011 and 2012 gubernatorial campaigns was his wife, Joanne.
Whereas Gov. Tomblin is not an especially gifted public speaker, she is a natural, having spent many years doing live stand-ups as a television reporter. And, whereas the governor can be somewhat aloof at times, the first lady is personable.
It could be argued that in the 2011 special election, two campaign ads made the difference in the race: One early on that featured the first lady, and one in the closing days featuring Sen. Manchin.
This fall, the first lady was on campaign trail for the better part of a month, effectively allowing team Tomblin to campaign at two places at once at any given time.
Which raised the question: Did she get a leave of absence from her day job as president of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College?
The answer is yes, with the college's Board of Governors approving Tomblin's use of 19 annual leave days to campaign, beginning on Oct. 15 though Nov. 9.
Tomblin returned to work at the college last Tuesday. (Monday was a state holiday.)
Finally, living in a house on California Avenue across from the Capitol served McGraw well in 1992, when then-Attorney General Mario Palumbo surprised everyone by filing to run for governor at 9 p.m. on the last day to file for office, simplifying McGraw's journey to the secretary of state's office to make a literal 11th-hour filing for attorney general.
However, as a reader pointed out, that location now offers McGraw the disheartening prospect of being able to watch rival Patrick Morrisey going to work each day at his old office.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.