In what could be a 21st-century version of “Dragnet,” Virginia’s controversial attorney general wants to create his own police force. He wants to arm 40 of the 83 members of his Medicaid fraud investigative arm. They’d have badges, too. Cuccinelli may design them himself, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


And it’s not as if Medicaid fraud has no watchdog. The attorney general’s office has had an investigative unit just for Medicaid for 25 years, and the State Police could help with probes and easily handle any gunplay, should the situation arise.

What makes the idea even stranger is that Medicaid fraud usually involves wayward doctors or nursing home administrators — in other words, people not likely to pack Uzis in their closets.

Cuccinelli says that his pistol-toting cops would only involve themselves in fraud cases, but, of course, they would be on the lookout for other wrongdoing.

And, true to his conservative colors, Cuccinelli insists that the plan won’t cost Virginia taxpayers a dime. It could be funded from the $100 million the state is getting from a 2008 settlement in which drug-maker Purdue Pharma LP paid $634 million to states and the District for misleading the public about the dangers of OxyContin, a drug it makes.

Given Cuccinelli’s aggressive and hard-right conservative views, giving him his own unnecessary police force would be madness.

Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon’s Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.