This article originally provided by The Register-Herald

September 16, 2006

Mike Green has spent over a quarter of a million dollars in state Senate seat race

By Mannix Porterfield
Register-Herald reporter

With less than two months left in the campaign, Mike Green’s bid to claim a seat in the West Virginia Senate already has rolled up some eye-popping numbers.

In his latest financial statement on file with the secretary of state’s office, the Democratic nominee acknowledges total expenditures of $254,260.61.

In marked contrast, the man now occupying the 9th District seat — Republican Russ Weeks — looks like a piker.

Weeks reported expenditures of $13,641.17.

In both instances, the money reported as spent by the candidates covers the primary period as well as the general election campaign. A seat in the Senate pays $15,000 a year.

Green told the secretary’s office he had collected $10,525 in donations since the primary, when he upended former Senate Judiciary Chairman Bill Wooton and four-term Delegate Sally Susman for the right to take on Weeks.

His outstanding loans — all made by him — were listed as $193,162.45.

The Beckley construction company owner reported $12,000 in new loans.

Green listed an ending balance in his campaign treasury of $1,439.08.

Both the Building and Construction Trades and West Virginia Laborers District Council chipped in $1,000 donations, and he also got some tobacco money — a $300 donation from R.J. Reynolds.

Among his contributors was Paul Nusbaum, the former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources who clashed often with Weeks over the operation of Pinecrest Hospital.

Weeks has championed a crusade against the state-run institution in Beckley, accusing it of covering up a series of inexplicable deaths, mistreating patients, mismanaging funds and exposing patients and employees alike to tuberculosis after an air conditioning unit allegedly compromised a negative air flow system.

The senator demanded once that Nusbaum be replaced, and the secretary responded by calling Weeks “a buffoon.”

Just a few weeks ago, Weeks found a measure of vindication when a judge in Beckley approved a settlement between DHHR and the family of a patient beaten to death at Pinecrest.

Three greyhound dog breeders, who, like Green, raise dogs for racing, are identified as contributors.

The candidate also picked up a $500 donation from Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, D-Logan.

Weeks reported an ending balance of $6,093.83, saying he had received $19,794.83 in contributions with the primary campaign included.

He attracted three $1,000 donations — from Sens. Sarah Minear, R-Tucker, and Frank Deem, R-Wood, and Ray Lambert of Sophia, president and CEO of American Airworks and a spokesman for Raleigh County Citizens for Decency.

Other donors included West Virginia Farm PAC, $250, and James Edmundson, a retired lawyer in Alexandria, Va., $500.

Another report is due by Oct. 28, with the post-general report to be filed no later than Dec. 8.

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