Continuing my quad state round-up this morning (see Pennsylvania here) of election activities by Tea Partiers, here is a story from the New York Times about that close race for the WV Senate seat held by Democrat Bobby Byrd for 50 years.
LOGAN, W.Va. — Gov. Joe Manchin came here yesterday hoping to cement himself in voters’ minds as a supporter of the coal industry. But he was greeted by tea party opposition and left behind a trail of skeptics.
At a “Friends of Coal” rally in the Logan Grade School gymnasium, Manchin, the Democratic nominee in a special Senate election, promised a crowd of about 50 that he would be a voice for the industry and its miners.
Manchin has the endorsement of the West Virginia Coal Association and the United Mine Workers of America in the race to complete the term of the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D). He has also sued U.S. EPA over new regulations on mountaintop removal coal mining, and his campaign is running an advertisement in which he fires a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill the House passed last year.
But while that is enough to win a pro-coal label in Washington, D.C., it may not be enough for West Virginia.
Manchin’s Republican opponent John Raese, a business mogul and three-time failed candidate in statewide races, is telling voters that Manchin will sell out the industry when he gets to Washington. Raese says the governor will be a “rubber stamp” for the Obama administration’s attempts to regulate the industry’s mining and carbon emissions.
Those accusations yesterday followed Manchin to Logan, a town of fewer than 2,000 in the southwest corner of the state.
As Manchin’s motorcade arrived, he was greeted by protesters from the local tea party — here, the West Virginia Coalfield Tea Party Patriots. They said Raese was the real friend of coal and waved signs with slogans such as “Obama says vote Democrat,” “Obama, One Big Ass Mistake America,” and “Kill Liberalism.”
There is more, read it all.
West Virginia Coalfield Patriots Tea Party website is here.