Now, before jumping to any conclusions, let's get the facts up front: Republican lawmaker Pat McGeehan, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, denies any connection between the recent passing of a law to legalize raw milk, his drinking of that raw milk, and any subsequent sickness that followed.
"I highly doubt raw milk had anything to do with it, in my case," McGeehan told NBC West Virginia, referencing his recent stomach bug.
The evidence, however, is certainly there, if one wishes to draw such a conclusion.
Consider: Scott Cadle, another Republican lawmaker, brought some raw milk into the House chamber last Thursday for his fellow lawmakers to take a sip or even a full glass—for anyone who wished to "live dangerously," the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Cadle saying to his fellow constituents.
Live dangerously? Hmm.
Also consider: the Gazette Mail says McGeehan isn't the only lawmaker who drank the raw milk and got suspiciously ill. "A handful" of the milk consumers, in fact, report coming down with something. Cadle's excuse?
“It ain’t because of the raw milk,” Cadle said. “With that many people around and that close quarters and in that air and environment, I just call it a big germ. All that Capitol is is a big germ.”
Cadle also might have a motive for this obfuscation: there's currently an investigation by the state Bureau of Public Health to see if Cadle's raw milk party caused a sickness outbreak. Technically, the raw milk bill Cadle was celebrating didn't even legalize raw milk—it only allows "herd-sharing" agreements, giving people the right to "buy a share in a cow" in order to use its raw milk. You can't just go handing out raw milk to the public, willy nilly—that's still illegal.
“I might have been breaking the law,” Cadle told the Gazette-Mail. “Hell, I don’t know. I gave it away."
So there you have it—all of the facts. Draw your own conclusions, but I think we can all agree Mr. Cadle's behaving pretty suspiciously.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.