What a great media picture it made! Mitt Romney was at an Ohio rally, standing at a lectern with his white shirtsleeves rolled up in that common-guy style he often adopts. The best visual, though, was a great-looking group of coal miners in overalls, work shirts, and hardhats gathered behind him. A sign on the lectern declared: "Coal Country Stands With Mitt."
What a great media picture it made! Mitt Romney was at an Ohio rally, standing at a lectern with his white shirtsleeves rolled up in that common-guy style he often adopts. The best visual, though, was a great-looking group of coal miners in overalls, work shirts, and hardhats gathered behind him. A sign on the lectern declared: “Coal Country Stands With Mitt.”
Well, actually, it’s coal executives who really stand with Mitt – rich guys in suits. In fact, the miners in the photo seemed downright sour, frowning at the Republican, as if they didn’t really want to be there.
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It turns out they didn’t. The sorry truth is that they were compelled by the corporate honchos of Murray Energy to be props at Romney’s staged PR event. Yet, in twisted language that would make Orwell cringe, a Murray official later told WWVA radio that while “attendance at the Romney event was mandatory… no one was forced to attend.” Huh? Okay, Murray didn’t use cattle prods to herd them to the rally, but it did make workers “pre-register” to attend – and it was clear that anyone who didn’t sign up risked getting fired.
That explains their glumness, but here’s why so many miners practically glowered at the multimillionaire candidate: They were being docked a day’s pay for the event! Yes, not only were workers compelled to be backdrops for a politician most don’t support, but they were also forced to contribute their paychecks – money that Murray simply pocketed, presumably using some of it to finance Romney’s hokey “rally.” Well, sniffed a top Murray boss condescendingly, the event “was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry,” so workers should’ve been happy to donate a day’s pay.
That’s a cold corporate attitude that would cause Romney, the Pain from Bain, to smile warmly.
“Coal miners say they were forced to attend Romney even and donate,” www.rawstory.com, August 28, 2012.
“Coal miners lost pay when Mitt Romney visited their mine to promote coal jobs,” www.cleveland.com, August 28, 2012.
“Energy: Solar, wind efforts wouldn’t fare well,” The New Mexican, August 24, 2012.
“Giving Reins To the States Over Drilling,” The New Mexican, August 26, 2012.
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