Our own Tom Marino had tongues wagging nationwide following a Washington Post and CBS 60 Minutes story over the weekend. It seems the 10th District representative (and Trump Administration “drug czar”-in-waiting) was a central character in a behind-the-scenes push to rein in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s power to police opioid manufacturers and their distribution systems. The Lycoming Co. Republican has received roughly $100,000 in campaign contributions from the pill-makers, and with the assistance of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch managed to push the blandly titled “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016” through with little fanfare or debate. The bill was consequently signed into law by then-President Obama. The results have exacerbated an already crushing epidemic of opioid addiction resulting death.
All this apparently was too much even for the ethics-bereft Trump team. Marino promptly withdrew his name from consideration for drug czar (the post is subject to congressional hearings, which would be very messy for him). True to form, he crawled into the nearest hidey-hole and refused all interview requests. An official statement citing his “lifelong devotion to law enforcement” and accusing the media, a former DEA official, “conspiracy theories” and so forth of having it in for him is all anyone outside his immediate circle as heard from him.
So, how about a town hall, Mr. Marino? You can hang your grievances out to dry there.