Second Update, two days later: At Jim Romenesko’s media site, it’s reported that Murray Energy is suing a reporter in Charleston, WV, Ken Ward, Jr. for supposedly defaming CEO Bob Murray. Murray is the boss in the two posts below, responsible for docking the pay of workers and who were pushed to attend a pro-Romney rally on Aug. 14. Ken Ward, Jr. had written:
“renegade coal operator Bob Murray played a major role recently in a campaign fundraiser in Wheeling, W.Va., for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney” and that “the question for Governor Romney, of course, is whether he thinks criminal behavior by coal companies, especially when it kills workers and damages the environment, is acceptable. If not, why is he buddies with Bob Murray?”
H/t Jim Romenesko
First Update: I posted the story below at about 2PM this afternoon, and see this evening that ThinkProgress has already pushed the story beyond what I knew earlier. Bob Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, the coal company that in some fashion compelled their employees to attend an Aug. 14 rally for Mitt Romney, and then docked workers’ pay for the day, is a prolific denialist of climate change, someone who claims that scientists are trying to make money off climate change. That’s rich–a guy who’s made his own fortune digging and shipping coal is accusing other folks of trying to cash in on cleaning up his mess.
You may have recently seen this photo, taken near a coal mine in Beallsville, Ohio, with a story on Mitt Romney bashing President Obama’s energy policy. Turns out, according to a segment broadcast by West Virginia radio show host David Blomquist and a report by Sabrina Eaton in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, those miners were docked a day’s pay when the mine closed for the day so their employer, Murray Energy, could hand their facility over to the Republican candidate for the day. What’s more, the miners may have been compelled by their employer to attend the pro-Romney event–Blomquist heard from miners who told him this, while the company denied it with a perfectly Orwellian statement: “Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore . . .told Blomquist that managers ‘communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.’ He said the company did not penalize no-shows.”
Got that? “Attendance. . . was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” Aren’t people embarrassed to say stuff like this? According to Blomquist’s interview with Moore, which you can hear via this link to the show on radio station WWVA, the executive seems to want people to believe that after the event the company decided they wouldn’t enforce the rule, and would let any no-shows off the hook. Mitt and his minions commit crimes against language as handily as they exploit workers.
Eaton’s Plain Dealer article ends with this telling piece of information:
“Records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that Murray Energy has contributed more than $900,000 to Republican candidates in the last two years.”
Please share this story widely as possible among your social networks–it’s emblematic of the whole campaign and why the fate of the middle class is at stake in this year’s election.