New York Magazine reports:
Fresh Out of Prison, Reviled Coal Baron Don Blankenship Is Running for the U.S. Senate
Blankenship is not a charismatic figure. His business success was achieved more with brute force than a winning personality, but he has shown a flair for marketing that could help him as a politician. The Kentucky native was instrumental in crafting the bogus idea that President Obama was waging a “war on coal,” and he generously backed Friends of Coal, an organization that boosted the industry in and around West Virginia. The propaganda campaign, which equated support for coal companies to patriotism and brought people like Ted Nugent and Sean Hannity to rallies in West Virginia, was wildly effective at convincing the people who worked in the mines to side with the coal companies against the federal government and other regulators.
Still, there are plenty in West Virginia who refuse to see Blankenship as the hero he believes himself to be. His company didn’t just get 29 men killed by cutting corners in 2010, it also wreaked havoc on West Virginia’s waterways, busted unions, and extracted billions of dollars of wealth from the mountains in Appalachia while telling people they were lucky to have jobs that might get them killed.
Mr. Blankenship talks about jobs
Settin’ up there so mighty and high
But he’s not the one who goes down in his mine
And he doesn’t care if you die
Colleen Anderson, 11/30/17