This article originally provided by The Register-Herald

Aug. 3, 2006

A man of the people?

‘For the Sake of the Kids’ Blankenship should give back some of his millions

It’s been a couple of weeks now since Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship unveiled his plan to change West Virginia’s political landscape and it certainly came as no surprise.

Blankenship has been feeling his oats since he flexed his monetary muscle in 2004 to aid in unseating controversial Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw, and then again last year when he financed a campaign to derail Gov. Joe Manchin’s attempt at a bond issue designed to refinance some of West Virginia’s gigantic public pension debts.

Now Blankenship has “targeted” West Virginia Democrats in the upcoming November general election to try to shift the power in Charleston.

All of this is well within Blankenship’s right and we won’t criticize him for having a seemingly endless bankroll.

However, if Blankenship really wants to change West Virginia history and be a true man of the people, we have a plan for him and it’s called “For the Sake of the Kids.”

Spend what you will on backing your slate of candidates this fall, Mr. Blankenship, but reach a little deeper into that financial treasure chest, padded by the millions of dollars you have made for yourself and Massey in West Virginia and give some of it back where it will make a real difference.

The first thing we’d like you to do — “For the Sake of the Kids” — is to build a new, modern elementary school in the Marsh Fork area. Get it away from your silos. Do this and we’ll be glad to back an effort to rename the school Don Blankenship Elementary.

We also understand that over in McDowell County the athletes at Big Creek High have literally no outdoor athletic facilities. Drop a little of your booty over there (if you need some pointers on building playing fields for kids, call up Warren Hylton and the Friends of Coal — they can bring you up to speed).

Throughout southern West Virginia there are countless people living in poverty, worrying about how to put another meal on the table or how to get needed medication to survive.

Eliminating the 5 percent food tax is not the answer to this problem. Set up a food distribution system for the needy and while you are at it put up the $1 million needed to get West Virginia started on a Central Fill Pharmacy program that would provide prescriptions for those without insurance and the financial resources to obtain their medicine.

Now those are just a few of many things West Virginia REALLY needs.

So “For the Sake of the Kids,” why not be a real man of the people, give back some of the millions you have earned and cement your legacy as a power broker who really does care about the common folk.

Oh, and by the way, you might want to touch base with your company’s shareholders sometime soon — we understand they are concerned about dropping profits.


Voter-Owned Elections

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