Coal Tattoo

More on coal, money and politics

In case you missed it, my buddy Dr. Paul Nyden had another story following up on the coal industry’s efforts to put together an all-out effort to defeat Democratic candidates that they believe are “anti-coal.”

Dr. Nyden explained:

The “Citizens United” decision released by the U.S. Supreme Court in January could have a major impact on upcoming congressional elections in West Virginia and Kentucky, to the possible benefit of Republican Party candidates.

Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in June, wrote a dissent in the court’s 5-4 decision warning that the “majority’s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past.”

He also reminded us:

This year, ICG and Massey are backing Elliott “Spike” Maynard, a former West Virginia Supreme Court justice who lost his seat in the 2008 Democratic primary, in his race against [Rep. Nick J. ] Rahall.

Maynard, who switched his party registration in Mingo County to Republican earlier this year, lost his 2008 campaign after photographs surfaced showing him vacationing with Massey CEO Don Blankenship on the French Riviera. (See photo above)

Sunday’s paper also included a story from Alison Knezevich, explaining the tight deadlines for West Virginia’s special Senate election and how it might affect voters’ ability to know the candidates’ positions and understand who is funding their campaigns.

Dr. Nyden’s story included some discussion of West Virginia’s new Republican party chairman:

Mike Stuart, elected chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party on July 24, said he is excited about the upcoming elections.

“The International Coal Group is a great company,” Stuart said. “I am a ‘Friend of Coal’ and looking forward to doing all we can to preserve as many jobs as we can.

“We have a terrific candidate in the Third District with Spike Maynard and a great candidate in the First District with David McKinley.

“I am pro-coal. It has been important to West Virginia and to the country. I am looking forward to working with those candidates and sending some help to Shelley Moore Capito in Washington,” Stuart said Friday.

And the Gazette’s Phil Kabler wondered in his column, “Is Stuart too far right for West Virginia GOP?

The coal industry’s political efforts were the subject of a segment Friday evening on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, but stand-in host Christopher Hayes mispronounced Rep. Rahall’s name (twice). And guess Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones got Spike Maynard’s name confused … you can watch it here: