By VIC SPROUSE
CHARLESTON -- Not sure if anyone saw the article about Attorney General Darrell McGraw's new committee. One word. Absurd.
Does anyone believe this "Citizens' Advisory Panel' is anything more than a kickoff for the 2008 McGraw Re-election campaign?
And, I'm beginning to get more and more irritiated with the AARP. I'm sorry, but the AARP is allowing itself to be used by the Attorney General to give the AG some validity on the committee.
Never mind the committee is mainly made up of union heads and lawyer friends of the AG.
Never mind that this committee has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand -- the AG's doling out of public money that isn't his to dole out.
Never mind the AG's office has trouble doing anything that doesn't help their own cause, i.e. lining the pockets of his campaign contributors with lucrative contingency fees from these so-called consumer protection lawsuits the AG's office brings.
Despite all of this, the AARP allows itself to be pulled in to the AG's web and almost show support for it and, thus, his 2008 election campaign.
In addition to joining with the unions on the pharmaceutical issue, the AARP is now alinging itself with the liberal, trial-lawyer-loving Attorney General.
After they aligned themselves with the union leaders and loopy liberals during this past session.
And, anyone behind the scenes knows why the AARP is now becoming front and center of every liberal (or Democratic) cause celeb.
Unfortunately, those dues-paying West Virginia seniors, many of whom, are conservative and maybe even ... GASP ... Republican have no idea the AARP is now becoming the face that Labor and the Dems trot out when any issue arises where they need the help of the "seniors."
And, let's face it, anyone who looked at this new Citizens' Advisory Panel knows exactly what it is ... a PR stunt by the AG who won reelection by the skin of his teeth last time against Hiram Lewis.
The funniest part about this was this committee was supposedly put together to address the major concern of the Legislature -- the AG giving away money to every Tom, Dick and Harry where he could maximize his publicity. Of course, that silly little document called the CONSTITUTION, gives the power of the purse to the Legislature, not the AG.
So, to address the rising tide against him on both the Democratic and Republican sides, the AG promised to set-up a committee to help him address this issue.
And, of course, he goes out and gets all the political players such as the union leadership of both the AFT and WVEA on a Citizens' Advisory Panel.
But, the funny part? He quickly says this committee will have NOTHING to do with the finances.
Then, why in the hell did they set up the committee? Right ... 2008.
And, I mistakenly say, HE when I mention what the AG is saying or not saying.
But, let's face it, Fran Hughes is the de facto head of the AG's office. Who knows if the actual AG even exists anymore. I don't believe I've actually seen McGraw at the Capitol or at the Legislature in years. I'm not sure if he even gives interviews anymore.
The actual, acting AG is Fran Hughes (actually, she'd be much more capable than the current officeholder).
And, the rest of the AGs office is like a bad "Weekend at Bernie's" movie, tacking a pair of sunglasses on the AG and carrying him around to public events.
But, sunglasses or no, the new Citizens' Advisory Committee isn't going to be able to put lipstick on this pig that's called the Attorney General's doling out of public money to help get votes.
Sprouse has served in the Legislature since 1995 and resides in Charleston. He graduated from Penn State University with a Chemical Engineering degree and currently owns and operates several fitness centers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.