Letter to the Editor: Blankenship's efforts appalling

By The West Virginia Record | Nov 6, 2006

Dear Editor:

I'm appalled at Don Blankenship's efforts to use his fortune to influence the election of our Legislature. He says he's worried about drunk drivers but it didn't worry him to allow illegal, grossly overweight coal trucks to leave his mines daily with bald tires and bad brakes.

Thanks to Mike Caputo for having the guts to stand up for the citizens (especially in the southern coalfields) and try to make an outlaw coal company obey the law.

Because of Mr. Caputo and other brave legislators that helped pass the coal truck safety bill, things are better for citizens and the truck drivers. Shortly after the safety bill passed I had several coal truck drivers tell me they were hauling for Massey and making more money than they ever made before. They felt safer driving their trucks on the highways.

Mr. Blankenship claims that frivolous lawsuits hurt our economy. But here are some examples of Mr. Blankenship's lawsuits:

* Governor Joe Manchin
* The Charleston Gazette
* West Virginia Supreme Court
* Boone County Court Reporter Jennifer Meadows
* The United Mine Workers of America
* Cecil Roberts, UMWA President
* Kenny Perdue, AFL-CIO President

It often seems Mr. Blankenship has a different view if he is the one suing.

The amount of money being spent on political ads is obscene while families in Mingo County suffer the effect of coal waste in the region's drinking supply.

Massey stores billions of gallons of sludge in the region as a major coal producer.

The Raleigh County children go to school next to Massey's 1849-acre mountaintop removal site. When it rains this site drains into a 2.8 billion gallon sludge dam above Marshfork Elementary School and a coal silo less than 300 feet from the school. I hope people remember the Buffalo Creek flood. According to MSHA's records this sludge dam is seeping.

I live in the southern coalfields and have personally spoken to the Mingo residents and also have seen the Marsh Fork site. I hope you are starting to see a pattern.

It seems that Mr. Blankenship wants everyone out of office that dares to stand up for the citizens against his company. So you can see why our politicians would be reluctant to say anything about the Mingo County people's water problems or the Marsh Fork School's problems. We need representatives that aren't afraid to stand up to anyone for the rights of everyone. No matter how much money they have.

We need to ask what has "For the Sake of the Kids" done for "kids" other than use them in commercials?

For the sake of all West Virginians, please let your conscious guide your vote on Election Day.

Patty Sebok
Seth, W.Va.

More News

The Record Network