As a great blue wave washed over America with a new majority in Congress and ousted Donald Rumsfeld from the Pentagon, George Bush and the Republican Party aren’t the only ones who were rebuked on November 7th. On Election Night, Massey Energy and its CEO Don Blankenship were foiled at the polls as over $6 million was spent over the past 3 years trying to turn West Virginia from a blue state into a red one.
During the 2006 election, Blankenship targeted 40 Democrats in the West Virginia’s House of Delegates with $2 million. Their number in that body increased from 68 to 72—a stunning blow to someone who tries to rule like a feudal lord.
He has worked to create a legislative atmosphere favorable for his union-busting anti-environmental operations, not without success–
“Union leaders say Mr. Blankenship, 56, is the main reason that less than a quarter of the state’s coal miners are now organized, down from about 95 percent just three decades ago. And environmentalists describe him as the biggest force behind a highly destructive form of mining called mountaintop removal that involves using explosives to blow off the tops of mountains to reach coal seams.”
Blankenship attempted to transform West Virginia government into a “No Go Zone” for workers and the environment. While this struggle is far from over, it is inspirational to see West Virginia’s voters say “No” to Blankenship.