In a state where many citizens live far away from the seat of state government, some statewide officeholders create local offices to extend services.
But whether such networks turn out to provide valuable services to the public or function more as branch offices of the Society for the Eternal Promotion of the Officeholder has always been a fair question.
Consider, for example, the "consumer protection advocates" architecture created by former state Attorney General Darrell McGraw 16 years ago.
As the Gazette's Eric Eyre reported recently, they work out of Charleston and field offices in Elkins, Martinsburg, Parkersburg, Kingwood and the Northern Panhandle.
As of January, there were 11 such functionaries paid from $35,000 to $48,000 a year, plus pension and health insurance benefits, no doubt.
These advocates "have traveled to senior centers, schools, libraries, post offices, fairs and 4-H camps across the state, educating West Virginians about consumer fraud," Eyre wrote.
Advocates caution people about identity theft, email and telemarketing scams and staying safe on social media; advise consumers of their rights; take complaints about local businesses; counsel students about student loan ripoffs; and counsel seniors about flimflam artists.
Speaking of which, these activities are usually accompanied by the dispensing of trinkets like keychains, magnets, pens, plastic banks and other ephemera carrying the name of the officeholder.
Often paid for by the taxpayer.
McGraw's successor, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is now taking a look at what McGraw's minions do and how they do it.
It's the first fresh look in 16 years. It's way past time.