Ghost Writers in the Sky

Ever wonder how our busy elected officials ever find the time to write op-ed pieces for local newspapers? Sometimes they have the pieces written for them.

Last week, Sen. Phillip Puckett-D-Lebanon, distributed a public opinion column giving his reasons for stripping air pollution permitting power from citizen boards and giving it to the Department of Environmental Quality’s executive director. According to Kathy Still, a writer for the Bristol Herald-Courier, Puckett fessed up to not exactly being the sole author.

Writes Still: “The column was drafted in part by August Wallmeyer, a registered lobbyist whose job is to influence Virginia lawmakers on behalf of a handful of organizations, including the Virginia Energy Providers Association and the Virginia Independent Power Producers.”

“Augie is one of the people who helped write that,” Puckett said Monday. “We didn’t sit down in a room and write this. Augie is the one who brought it to me. I OK’d it. I take full responsibility for it.”

Turns out that Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, submitted an almost identical column to a newspaper in his district as well.

C’mon, guys, nobody really expects you to have your own opinions on arcane issues like this, but the least you can do is write your own stuff. Or give ol’ Augie a joint by-line on the column!

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


Leave a Reply