Attorney general should quit job
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey should just go ahead and quit.
He can't maintain the Consumer Protection Division that won so much for West Virginia and West Virginia consumers under former A.G. Darrell McGraw. He can't separate his duties as our attorney general from his former lobby practice on behalf of drug and tobacco companies, the people responsible for so much suffering and death among our fellow citizens.
He can't understand or separate himself from the GOP's "war on women" and women's privacy, health needs and rights, instead taking his cue and carrying water for one of the most intolerant groups ever to grace our state's political landscape.
He can't do anything about the gun violence plaguing our state and nation. And now he can't see how we can implement the Affordable Care Act that will finally provide health insurance for thousands of West Virginians who have had to go without.
What can he do? The Aug. 25 Gazette-Mail reported on even more hand-ringing on his part in front of the West Virginia State Medical Association. There, he is calling for background checks for the navigators, the people who will be helping Mountaineers sign up for health insurance on the new health insurance exchanges. It scares him to death that these people may be scammers and identity thieves. Signing up Mountaineers for health insurance sounds really scary to me.
However, allowing criminals and those with mental illness to buy guns without background checks doesn't seem to bother Morrisey at all, since he adamantly opposes universal background checks for gun buyers. How's that for establishing priorities?
Back-alley, illegal abortions don't seem to bother him at all, either, since that would be the result of his "war" on West Virginia women. Drug companies flooding the state with ingredients to make methamphetamine seems to be just fine, as well.
Ratepayers being made into chumps
The transfer of the obsolete Harrison coal power plant from unregulated subsidiary Allegheny Energy Supply to regulated West Virginia subsidiaries strengthens the business position of parent company First Energy while making chumps of West Virginia ratepayers.
First Energy inflated the assessed value of the old plant to twice that stipulated under prior ownership, and according to the West Virginia blog "The Power Line" (calhounpowerline.com) jimmied capacity factor numbers to argue service needs would not be most economically met by purchasing power on the open market. First Energy gave no guarantee that West Virginia coal will be used at the plant. This is a First Energy bailout. West Virginia ratepayers would be better served by an energy-efficiency program offering jobs and savings, and buying time for West Virginia industry to adapt to an economy rocked by climate change.