This letter to the editor appeared in the The Charleston Gazette

April 25, 2005

Get coal cash out of politics


The people of West Virginia really do have the best politicians that money can buy. This was all too evident at the March 31 "Friends of Coal" rally in Charleston where Gov. Manchin, House Speaker Kiss and others took turns at the microphone sucking up to the coal company barons whose money put them in office.

Massey Coal's Don Blankenship contributed $2.5 million to defeat Warren McGraw, a judge who dared to defy the coal industry. The so-called "For the Sake of the Kids" Campaign was a sham, and the fact that it worked is a disgrace.

The idea that coal is good for West Virginia is ridiculous. Just look at the thousands of square miles of blasted landscape that was once forest in Southern West Virginia, and the perennial downstream flooding that results.

Then consider the devastating effects on the environment from coal-fired power plants.

Coal should be phased out for the sake of the kids. And it can be, using modern technology combined with old-fashioned conservation practices.

It's time to start working for a clean elections law and get coal company money out of West Virginia politics.

William Dwyer

Voter-Owned Elections

Citizens for Clean Elections P.O. Box 6753 Huntington, WV 25773-6753 304-522-0246