CHARLESTON – The chairman of the state Republican Party is calling out state Attorney General Darrell McGraw for radio ads that he says are a "shameful waste of money at taxpayer expense."
"Darrell McGraw is shamefully wasting taxpayer dollars in what is a thinly veiled effort to build his name ID in advance of next year's election," Mike Stuart said Thursday. "We want the Attorney General to pull the radio ads immediately and for him, personally or through his campaign, to reimburse the taxpayers and the state treasury for his shameless and embarrassing self-promotion.
"No one can possibly argue that the radio advertisements are for the benefit of our citizens or the office of Attorney General."
Stuart said McGraw needs to provide a full accounting to the taxpayers of the tens of thousands of wasted dollars associated with his personal radio campaign including the dollars used to produce and develop the advertisements.
"For too many years, Darrell McGraw has skirted or outright thumbed his nose at the laws he is charged to uphold," Stuart said. "Our legislators – Republicans and Democrats – need to begin a thorough review and oversight of the Office of Attorney General so that we may begin the process of restoring confidence to that important office.
"If taxpayer funds have been used improperly, then Darrell McGraw should be held accountable."
Stuart continued his attack on McGraw and his office's practices.
"Here's the problem with the Attorney General's office," he said. "Because of the record of this attorney general, we have ended up with, effectively, a neutered attorney general from the standpoint that it's important for West Virginia and West Virginia families that we have an attorney general that has the ability to step up to the plate and to have the authority from the Legislature.
"West Virginia is viewed as so unfriendly to business. And with the lack of the attorney general driving issues such as important tort reform and failing to join in the Obamacare suit, I sometimes wonder who this attorney general is fighting for -- the people of West Virginia or Darrell McGraw?"
Stuart railed on the radio ads again.
"I say shame on him for running these ads," he said. "He ought to be spending his money on building a department aimed at fighting for West Virginians rather than signing his name on radio ads. These dollars ought to be spent fighting for working families.
"They're a shameful example of what politicians do when they lose touch with the people of West Virginia. West Virginians deserve to know more about these ads and the motivation behind these ads.
"The priorities in the Attorney General's office are misplaced, to say the least."
Stuart said the GOP will have a candidate to run against McGraw next year.
"In 2012, there will be a Republican Attorney General elected who understands that his or her first duty is to the people of West Virginia and not to his or her re-election," Stuart said. "There is probably no worse example of a public servant than Darrell McGraw. The price West Virginia has paid in present and future jobs as a result of his leadership, or lack thereof, as Attorney General is sickening."
Calls to McGraw's office were not returned.