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Miller Addresses Pain-Pill Wholesaler Stock Ownership

Despite being a congressional candidate, Carol Miller has almost entirely avoided answering questions from reporters. (Carol for Congress)
Despite being a congressional candidate, Carol Miller has almost entirely avoided answering questions from reporters. (Carol for Congress)
November 2, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – This week, Delegate Carol Miller, a candidate for Congress in West Virginia's Third District publicly answered charges that she is profiting from a company that distributes prescription painkillers in southern West Virginia.

Miller's opponent, state Senator Richard Ojeda, points to a required disclosure showing Miller's millionaire auto-dealer husband owns tens of thousands of dollars to stock in drug wholesaler McKesson. That company is accused of flooding the district with millions of opioid painkillers.

In an interview that first aired on WOWK TV, Miller said she doesn't know how much McKesson stock they own.

"But of course we do have retirement, as many teachers and any state employees,” said Miller. “People with 401ks don't go through them daily to see what they do or do not have investments in."

Miller has a leadership role in the House of Delegates, as majority whip. Despite her wealth and long time in office, she compared her stock ownership to that of a regular public employee.

Until now, she had repeatedly refused to answer reporters' questions on the issue.

Ojeda accuses Republican legislative leaders, including Miller, of opposing teacher pay raises and forcing a strike that closed schools across the state last winter. Since then, state GOP leaders have claimed credit for the pay increases, a claim some legislative Democrats have called "laughable."

In the TV interview, Miller dismissed the charge – and changed the subject.

"What a silly thing to say. I'm on the Finance Committee for seven years, and we worked diligently to get them a pay raise,” said Miller. “The teachers are, we could talk for hours about what the teachers do for our children and how important they are."

Miller also called protections for pre-existing medical conditions "important." But she didn't explain how that fits with repeated Republican attempts to repeal the protections in the Affordable Care Act.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV