Lawmakers show true agendas in Attorney General bill - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers show true agendas in Attorney General bill

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It's funny how a change in office can spur such a change in heart in a public body.

Democratic members of the West Virginia House of Delegates passed the Attorney General Ethics and Accountability Act Feb. 24, with the minority party members voting against it.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is the first Republican in that office in roughly 80 years, and now the withering majority is hell-bent on making him pay for sins he didn't commit.

When the previous attorney general saw the Legislature making moves to reign in his power a decade ago, he took the issue to court and the good ol' boys of the past saw it his way.

Lawmakers this time around are essentially destroying this Constitutional office in an attempt to keep things as quietly backward and partisan as they had been for the past 80 years, with requirements for Morrisey to hire outside lawyers along with other assaults on the state's stagnant business community.

Success is within our reach, but it's clear that our elected leaders would rather play politics and participate in screaming matches than actually do anything to move the state forward. Sadly, this most recent legislative session has been a waste of time and resources. 

Updating and upgrading our tax code, creating a judicial system that puts fairness over politics and making certain our students have the tools to achieve success in a competitive global economy were not even mentioned, much less given any room for debate. Time spent trying to send a message could have been better used finding a way to protect our water supply, looking for ways to cut government waste, addressing an expanding budget shortfall, battling the drug scourge or initiating new, creative ways to harness our natural resources and continue our status as the nation's energy leader. 

Playing politics is nothing new, but the missed opportunities are painful. As a true two-party system begins to emerge in West Virginia, it's clear some are wishing for the bad old days when a D after one's name pretty much assured success. As accountability becomes a greater part of the equation for those working under the dome, they can either change their ways and be part of the future, or they can stay rooted, and forgotten, in the past.