With politicians suddenly falling all over themselves to say something about Massey Energy and Marsh Fork Elementary School, I thought I’d check in with my friend Gov. Joe Manchin on this issue.
Recall that I asked the governor back in July 2005 if he would feel comfortable sending his grandchildren to the school, located just down the hollow from a huge slurry impoundment. Manchin answered:
I don’t know enough. I haven’t been there. I don’t know enough about the site.
So, I contacted Matt Turner, the governor’s communications director, and asked him to put the question to Manchin again. Here’s what he told me via e-mail:
I don’t think you can question Gov. Manchin’s record when it comes to the health and welfare of our state’s children — their health and safety are always the top priority.
That said, the governor would never send any child to a school that isn’t safe, sound or sanitary. We rely on experts to examine building conditions and to make those determinations.