Welcome to PatsFans.com

So That's How You Rack Up 600 Violations and Not Get Shut Down

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Mrs.PatsFanInVa, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    The West Virginia coal mining disaster that took more than two dozen lives this week brought Massey Energy Corp., the nation’s fourth largest coal company, into the spotlight. The company and its CEO, Don Blankenship, have never been shy about involvement in the political process. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Massey’s political action committee plus individuals associated with the commpany have given more than $307,000 in all to federal candidates since the 1990 election cycle. The overwhelming majority – 91 percent – has gone to Republicans.

    Blankenship spent several million dollars on top of that in a 2004 West Virginia Supreme Court race, becoming a poster boy for those who oppose traditionally funded judicial elections and the conflicts that attach themselves to campaign contributions in such races. Blankenship’s favored candidate, Brent Benjamin, won the election, and proceeded to rule in Massey’s favor in a case brought by a smaller coal company. The smaller firm claimed that Benjamin should have recused himself, taking the claim all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. In June 2009, the Court agreed, saying in Caperton v. Massey that "the probability of actual bias on the part of the judge or decisionmaker is too high to be constitutionally tolerable.”


    Massey’s Mining Money | FactCheck.org
  2. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    17,242
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +20 / 3 / -0

    #91 Jersey

    Thats all i thought it was more..Anyways certain people c/o unions, the unionised mines have far far fewer accidents from what i've heard. In a unionised mine a worker can say NO i think its to dangerous, or thats to many hours consecutively etc, try that in one of Massey's mines ..by your fired. Now in short order they're will be some posters that are going to come along and defend Massey energy and how they run their co. but there is no excuse, not in this day and age.
  3. Roland

    Roland Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0


    So if this were a court case do you have any facts backing up your above claim. Any direct links to stories that directly connect the donations with favortism? Anything? or just simple ass-ump-tions?

    If patriot rain or harry or patsfan13 posted this you would want the facts.

    So - Do you have them?
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  4. khayos

    khayos Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    So I'm wondering... would the company have been able to employ all those people if it were unionized? Would the workers trade risk for employment?
  5. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    Dude, I linked to FactCheck.Org who publishes nothing without checking it first. It has a stellar reputation with both left and right, conservative and liberal, democrats and republicans.

    If I were Patriot Rain (sic) or Harry or 13, I'd tell you to do your own fact checking - and then, regardless of what fact was confirmed or denied, I'd tell you that the truth didn't matter anyhow.
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    Yep....I do. I don't make ass-ump-tions - and I've never once been known to make a claim I couldn't back up - unlike some of your co-horts here.

    But...just to keep you happy...(and to make you look like an even bigger azz)

    Re: Caperton v. A T Massey Coal Co.

    The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in March 2009. In June 2009, the Court found for Caperton and Harman Mining, remanding the case back to the West Virginia Supreme Court. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Justice Scalia also filed a separate dissenting opinion.

    Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy called the appearance of conflict of interest so "extreme" that Benjamin's failure to recuse himself constituted a threat to the plaintiff's Constitutional right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court also noted that "Not every campaign contribution by a litigant or attorney creates a probability of bias that requires a judge's recusal, but this is an exceptional case. We conclude that there is a serious risk of actual bias—based on objective and reasonable perceptions—when a person with a personal stake in a particular case had a significant and disproportionate influence in placing the judge on the case by raising funds or directing the judge's election campaign when the case was pending or imminent."

    "The inquiry," Justice Kennedy wrote, "centers on the contribution's relative size in comparison to the total amount of money contributed to the campaign, the total amount spent in the election, and the apparent effect such contribution had on the outcome of the election."


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caperton_v._A.T._Massey_Coal_Co.

    Re: Campaign contributions:

    In all, people associated with Massey Energy, along with the company's political action committee, have together contributed more than $307,000 to federal political candidates since the 1990 election cycle, the Center finds. Of that money, 91 percent went to Republican candidates.
    That's in addition to several million dollars the company's chairman and chief executive poured into a West Virginia judicial race in 2004.

    People and PACs associated with Massey Energy have collectively donated five-figure sums to three federal-level candidates since the 1990 election cycle: failed 2008 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gilmore of Virginia ($17,600), Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell ($13,550) and failed 1998 Democratic U.S. House candidate James MacCallum of West Virginia ($13,500).

    Among the current Congress, 16 members -- 12 Republicans and four Democrats -- have at some point received campaign contributions from Massey Energy's employees or its PAC.

    The list includes $3,300 to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), $2,400 to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), $1,750 to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and $1,700 to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

    Already during the 2010 election cycle, Massey employees and PACs have donated nearly $37,000 to federal political candidates -- all to Republicans. That follows a Massey Energy trend started in 2000, in which all reported donations from the company's employees and PAC to federal political candidates went to Republicans.

    Don Blankenship, Massey Energy's chairman and chief executive officer, is a particularly active political bankroller, having in recent years donated tens of thousands of dollars to a variety of federal political interests.

    For example, Blankenship last year contributed the federal maximum -- $30,400 -- to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The federal political action committee West Virginians for Life also received a $5,000 contribution from Blankenship in 2004, the Center's research finds.

    Among candidates, Inhofe, U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and U.S. Senate candidate Rob Portman of Ohio are among recent recipients of Blankenship's money.

    (Download the full list of Massey-related campaign contributions to federal candidates here: masseyenergymoney.xls. When using this data, you must cite the Center for Responsive Politics.)

    Blankenship was also at the center for the Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. legal challenge in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a West Virginia state judge was required to recuse himself from a case involving Massey Energy.
    In 2004, Blankenship contributed $3 million to the campaign of Brent Benjamin, who after winning a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, provided key votes in overturning a $50 million judgement against Massey Energy.

    That same year, Blankenship contributed $2.46 million to a federal 527 committee called And for the Sake of the Kids, which opposed the election of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Warren McGraw with an aggressive media campaign.

    During the 2008 election cycle, the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics found that PACs and people associated Massey Energy contributed $27,100 to federal candidates and another $27,000 to state-level candidates, including two West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals candidates and Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate Ernie Fletcher.

    OpenSecrets | Massey Energy, Owner of Ill-Fated Coal Mine, Frequently Targets Politicians - Capital Eye

    You want the PDF breakdown so you can add it up yourself - have at it:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/masseyenergymoney.xls
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    15,672
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0 / -0

    Jeeeeziz, Roland! I bet it took Mrs. PFinV a whole 150 seconds to look that up!

    Ever heard of Wikipedia? It's for fast reference on virtually every topic on Earth. It's a good place to start when you find yourself in the dark. From there you can dig deeper and learn even more facts, but doesn't sound like you're very curious.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  8. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    15,672
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0 / -0

    Mrs. PFinV,

    You know this by now, prolly, but next time someone wants more links than the one you post, tell them to get off his fat arse (sorta) and use the internets or the Google.
  9. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    15,672
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0 / -0

    Really? That's what you derive from this thread? Your selective agnosia is really severe in this case. The clearly dominant theme of this case is corruption, plain and simple. You think this is a union issue?........REALLY?:confused:


    [​IMG]
  10. khayos

    khayos Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    One mans corruption is another mans business as usual.
  11. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    15,672
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0 / -0

    Is that a quote from the Godfather?
  12. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    Yeah, I know...but you're right, it took me about three minutes to find it, read it, cut&paste it, link it and post it.

    It might have taken poor Roland longer than that to figure out what words to google. If he even cared to - which I doubt.

    It was way more fun to call my credibility into question than it would have been to find out if I was right or wrong.....knowing how it is around here, he probably figured I'd simply say, "find it yourself" or "truth doesn't matter" or "no one cares if it's factual or not," so he might have thought he could diss me and get nothing but virtual rib-pokes, high-fives and knowing looks from his board buddies when I was unable or unwilling to oblige him.

    It's ok, tho. I actually like getting the truth out there - no one probably bothers to read it, but it's a satisfying little exercise regardless. I always end up learning way more than I started out knowing and that's never, ever a bad thing.
  13. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    15,672
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0 / -0

    ...unless, of course, you're Roland.
  14. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    Cripes, I wonder how much worse it's gonna get?

    Massey Mine Was Shuttered 61 Times in Last 15 Months

    By Mike Lillis 4/8/10 3:43 PM
    Massey CEO Don Blankenship has defended his company this week in the wake of Monday’s horrific mining explosion, arguing that Massey’s safety precautions “are typically in better shape than others.”

    He’ll have a tough time explaining this.

    The Upper Big Branch Mine, the site of the explosion that’s killed at least 25 miners, was either fully or partly closed 61 times for safety reasons in 2009 and 2010, the Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. is reporting this afternoon, citing Labor Department documents prepared for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

    Officials from the department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration issued 54 withdrawal orders to the Upper Big Branch Mine in 2009 and seven so far in 2010, according to the documents.

    Fifty-four of those withdrawal orders “were issued when inspectors found Massey subsidiary Performance Coal exhibited an ‘unwarrantable failure’ to comply with federal health and safety standards,” Ward writes.

    There’s a distinction to be made here. Issuing withdrawal orders is different than closing the mine altogether, which would require MSHA to get court approval first. In cases of closure, officials would have to prove that mine operators showed “a pattern of violations” — a step that’s been complicated by the skyrocketing number of appeals being filed by mining companies to protest citations. (After all, how do you prove a pattern based on violations that are in dispute?)

    Indeed, MSHA never even tried to cite the Upper Big Branch for such a pattern, despite the fact that more than 1,300 citations were filed against the mine in the last five years.

    The sheer volume of citations seems to have shocked even those lawmakers who follow the coal industry most closely. “This mine has certainly exhibited a pattern of violations,” Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) told Fox News Wednesday.

    Asked by Fox if Congress “needs to change some laws” to empower MSHA to close mines more easily, Rahall didn’t hesitate. “Without a doubt,” he said


    Massey Mine Was Shuttered 61 Times in Last 15 Months The Washington Independent
  15. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    I'm sorry. They need to shut all these Massey Mines down until someone figures out what the he!! is going on - and why it continues.

    Massey Mine in Kentucky Hit With 54 Safety Violations This Week

    By Mike Lillis 4/9/10 2:31 PM

    Massey CEO Don Blankenship said this week that piling up safety violations is simply a part of mining coal. He wasn’t kidding.

    The Freedom # 1 Mine, a Massey-owned project in Pike County, Ky., has been cited with 54 safety violations in the four days since Monday’s explosion in West Virginia killed 25 miners, according to the Mining Safety and Health Administration.

    Twenty-two of those violations were deemed “significant and substantial,” meaning they are “reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness under the unique circumstance contributed to by the violations.”

    Of those so-called S&S violations, four are related to preventing roof falls; two involve problems with ventilation; two target maintenance of machinery; and one indicates a failure to maintain methane sensors.

    Since the start of the year, the Freedom # 1 Mine has racked up 233 safety violations — tops among all Massey-controlled tunnel mines.

    The district housing the mine is represented by Rep. Hal Rogers (R). Rogers’ office hasn’t responded this week to repeated calls and emails requesting comment.


    Massey Mine in Kentucky Hit With 54 Safety Violations This Week The Washington Independent
  16. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    26,725
    Likes Received:
    124
    Ratings:
    +248 / 3 / -2

    Every company on the planet donates to politicians in some capacity. The fact that they do, does not automatically mean that they're able to escapte rhe penalties attributable to certain violations. I'm sure there are instances where it happens, but to certify so, simply because one has donated, is flawed.

    Anyone that has had OSHA visit a job site knows that a violation isn't one size fits all. A single visit can tally up innumerable violations that range from having a railing 2' from a roof edge, instead of 4', to not having cups next to the water bubbler (or not having a water available at all), to the more serious stuff like leaving a load suspended 25' in the air, on your boom, without an operator in the cab. The point is, they vary greatly, and a lot are the kind that will make your blood boil over their pettiness. Now, let me be clear here. I'm not in any way exonorating, or excusing the mine company. My general opinion is that they probably run a very sloppy operation, and it cost lives. My point of contention is the premise that donating money automatically means X happened, when there is absolutely no proof. Further, is the notion that a violation, is a violation on a job site. Every violation is different, and without knowing what they are exactly, it's hard to say how bad a specific site may be. Again though, it looks as if this company ran a sloppy operation, and it cost lives.
  17. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    221
    Ratings:
    +311 / 7 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    And what about the buying of the judge? Or is that something every country on the planet does, too?

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>