Morrisey’s wife says political ad crosses the line

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The wife of state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says a political ad unfairly criticizes her for living in Northern Virginia.

Denise Morrisey says she lives there to take care of her elderly father, who is in a memory center.

The advertisement, called “Carpetbagger,” traces Morrisey’s movements from state to state prior to being elected Attorney General in 2012. It was released by the campaign of Delegate Doug Reynolds, Morrisey’s general election opponent.

“His drug lobbyist wife lives in Northern Virginia,” the advertisement notes. A West Virginia GOP statement says the ad was changed from its original claim that Morrisey and his wife live in Washington, D.C.

Denise Morrisey, a lobbyist for Capitol Counsel in Washington, D.C., released a Facebook statement in response. The response then was put out in press release format by the West Virginia GOP.

“Dear Doug Reynolds, how dare you talk about why I still own a home in Northern Virginia,” she wrote.

Denise Morrisey wrote that, at one point, she had bought two small cottages in White Sulphur Springs and planned to move her mother and father to West Virginia. But then, she wrote, her mother got sick and died in 2015.

“God had a different plan for all of us.”

She wrote, “It has been a terrible three years for my family and now you have the audacity to suggest that I have a home in Northern Virginia for work. I will always be there for my father, and no political spin from you will ever change that.”

Morrisey responded to the advertisement via his campaign’s Twitter account.

Patrick Morrisey
Patrick Morrisey

Patrick Morrisey has moved from place to place over his career.

Morrisey was brought up in Brooklyn, graduated from Rutgers, embarked on a law career, started in 1999 as the deputy staff director and chief healthcare counsel to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives from New Jersey in 2000 and went to work for the King & Spalding firm in Washington, D.C. in 2010.

He moved to the Eastern Panhandle in 2006.

Reynolds campaign spokeswoman Lynette Maselli claims Morrisey is an opportunist

“He’s not a West Virginian who wants to help our state,” Maselli stated in a release from the Reynolds campaign. “He doesn’t understand the unique problems facing West Virginia.

Doug Reynolds
Doug Reynolds

“He’s a carpetbagger who couldn’t get elected to Congress and moved around the country until he found a state where he could buy an election.”

Morrisey has faced scrutiny because his office inherited a pill-dumping lawsuit against Cardinal Health, the nation’s second largest prescription drug producer.

Earlier in his career, Morrisey did legal and lobbying work for some prescription drug companies including Cardinal Health. Denise Morrisey’s firm, Capitol Counsel, continues to represent Cardinal Health.

Morrisey says he has recused himself from the Cardinal case, but critics have raised questions about how much influence he maintains.

“West Virginia has the highest overdose rate in the nation, but out-of-state billionaires are once again trying to sell us their pharmaceutical lobbyist,” Maselli stated in the Reynolds news release.


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