Charlotte Pritt asks: What is coming out of WV spigots?

Charlotte Pritt’s Op/Ed is as timely today as it was when she first submitted it to the Charleston Gazette, who rejected it apparently for being too “controversial.”


West Virginians are being served an untested and unidentified chemical cocktail with a dose of misinformation, half-truths and lies of omission on the side.  We deserve answers to our questions.

The first point of concern is the misleading use of the term MCHM as a substitute for Crude MCHM, deceptively masking the fact that it was not one pollutant, but a mixture of chemicals which were actually “spilled”.  This is an important distinction because of the

The Halliburton "Dirty Secrets" amendment values inductry's "proprietary rights" over your health

West Virginia’s political leaders have a dark legacy of passively poisoning entire communities.
THINK: Rawl, Merrimac, Sprigg, Lick Creek, Prenter and Seth.

negative accumulative effect that multiple simultaneous chemical exposures are known to have on human health.

The second point of concern, and even more disturbing, is the failure of the governor and the agencies he controls to admit that what is still coming out of our spigots is virtually unknown.

The public deserves to have access to what originally contaminated our water supply.  Relying on Freedom Industries to tell us what was actually released into the water is comparable to asking the proverbial fox how many chickens he ate.  Freedom Industries’ parceling out of what chemicals were originally leaked does not instill confidence.  First they told us that the chemical was MCHM, and then they admitted that it was a number of chemicals commonly referred to as Crude MCHM that leaked into the water supply and later still they confessed that PPH was also among the contaminates.  For all the public knows, those tanks could have been used to store hydrofracking fluids that seeped into the water. We may never know because the WV legislature passed an amendment last session to Senate Bill 243.  Known as the Halliburton “Dirty Secrets” amendment; it basically shields hydrofracking companies from the public discovering exactly what chemicals are being transported, stored, and injected within our state’s borders.

The third point of concern is the likelihood that new and potentially dangerous chemicals are being created as the contaminated water makes its journey to our spigots.  Panelist Bob Bowcock, an environmental investigator, on a recent WCHS town meeting broadcast stated that when Crude MCHM and PPH hit the purifying agents at the WVAW treatment plant, they morph into potentially thousands of other more dangerous chemicals than those which originally were leaked. He further explained that those in outlying areas whose water comes from large storage tanks may be at greater risks of toxicity because the stored water has more time to intermix and create other chemicals.

Scientists from South Alabama University are now examining what potentially harmful interactions may occur as this unidentified and untested chemical cocktail travels through the many various delivery and plumbing systems to arrive at our spigots.  What happens when the leaked chemicals plus purifying agents react to the long black rubber hose, copper tubing or the PVC pipes used in homes? Some scientists have theorized that once this particular chemical cocktail leaches into certain types of plumbing it may never be flushed out completely. 

Due to the unknown nature of the pollutants and the many variables experts can only guess what happens when the chemical cocktail is heated, and what ill effects the exposure to the gases and vapors might have upon us.

Anyone assuring the public that the water within the contaminated area is safe for human consumption and general use without first identifying and testing the “chemical cocktail” coming out of our spigots is willfully and knowingly lying to the people of WV.

We deserve better than contaminated water and misleading information.  The lives of West Virginia children, families, citizens and communities hang in the balance.  West Virginians deserve a Governor, who will serve them clean water and the truth

Mountain Party Chair Charlotte Pritt  is a former WV Senator and House member from Kanawha County, WV



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Never Normal Again

Weary of the national disaster in my backyard of Charleston which encompasses the lives of 300,000 West Virginians and the toxic unsafe, unusable water with which to drink, cook food, to keep basic sanitary conditions of my person and my home, weary of the toxic misinformation, slick spin doctors, and irresponsible politicians who don’t have the decency to admit the errors of their votes and correct them with new legislation that responds to the needs of the people rather than corporations, weary of my dirty hair and their dirty deals, weary to the bone of preventable and unforgivable consequences of corporate America run amuck with pathological greed, I rubbed my eyes this morning and heard myself moan “When will things ever get back to normal.” 

Then somewhere from my deep sleep and buried rage burst the realization that I NEVER want to get back to what has become “normal” in West Virginia!

I never want to get back to stifling the rage, I’ve felt at the stealing of our freedoms by the collusion of  controlled media markets and politicians spinning  out misinformation to keep the truth of corporations and their “crimes against the people of West Virginia” silenced, hidden, minimized.  I never want to tolerate the bastardization of the voting process by voter machine fraud, the Manchin/Moore political machine, and the unwillingness of elected officials to protect the sanctity of the vote.  I never want to get back to lady justice winking as enforcement  of the laws becomes a selective process by inspectors, police officers, judges, and local, state and federal prosecutors who are owned and controlled by corrupt political machines.

I never want to get back to trusting that politicians or corporate heads will be decent and respectful of the lives of the workers in West Virginia.  I never want to hold my tongue again when the privileged few minimize the sufferings of West Virginians in the mines, in the chemical plants, in the timbering industry and in the small communities throughout West Virginia who have endured abuse for decades from extractive industries’ poisonous spills, air emissions, landslides and unmonitored dangerous working conditions and threats to public safety.

I never want to hear  another politician or the Chambers of Commerce or privileged ones who have not, until the recent toxic chemical spill poisoning our water been the victims of corporate crime say, act or imply in any way that  ‘we need the jobs’ at any expense.  I never want to experience their selfish opinions:  not on the corrupt corporate media or the politically controlled public broadcasts “programming us with double speak, half-truths, and outright lies spouted by equally corrupt politicians and decision makers” and so called “community leaders” who try to brainwash us to believe that doing business means that people’s lives are expendable because they are too lazy to look at innovative job creation that preserves the beauty of our state and the safety of our people.

I never want to tolerate the obvious lack of due diligence on the part of our elected officials (Secretary of State, County Commission, County Clerk) entrusted with overseeing the sanctity of the voting process if they are too incompetent, lazy or controlled to read and watch the abundance of research on voter machine fraud and the high tech ways in which the voting process is being hijacked. While other countries, states, and counties are going to hand-counted paper ballots with observers in the polls, WV politicians are buying more machines with citizen tax dollars to ensure their reelection regardless of their outrageous voting records reflecting disregard of the public interest.  There are some elected officials so bold who are scampering to remove even the hand-counted canvassing of the vote this very legislative session! 

I NEVER want to go back to this Normal in West Virginia! I never want to allow them and their propagandizing lies to dehumanize others and desensitize me into thinking ever again that their diabolical normal is normal!

Charlotte Pritt, Chair of the Mountain Party of WV (Green Party affiliate)

Former Democrat WV Senator and House member

Former Democrat Gubernatorial Nominee WV


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Verify your vote: DEMAND hand counted paper ballots.

Dear Friends

At the heart of the declared National Disaster in Charleston, WV where Freedom Industries poisoned the drinking water of 300,000 people is the “industry over people” voting record of the “elected” officials here in the state.

WV has had at least two federal investigations of the VOTING MACHINE frauds in its history. One in the 1970’s which resulted in conviction of the current governor’s father and another in the 1980’s when Congressman John Hutchinson called for an investigation of the machines.
Push Polling Paid For by the Charleston NewspapersInformed West Virginians DO NOT trust these machines and for good reason. When “elected” officials rely on voting irregularities to usher them into their positions, the result is the blatant disregard for the public health and safety and the outrageous consequences that have resulted from lack of proper regulatory enforcement of the extractive industries that have been killing the people of WV for decades.
It is time that WV went to hand counted paper ballots with Observers in the polls watching the counting process!!! Justice begins with bringing back the integrity of the vote!!!
Please share far and wide so that West Virginians can take back the integrity of the vote and can “flush out” the “contaminated elected officials” polluted by industry greed.  It is time for clean water and clean elections!!
 WV native and former WV state senator Charlotte Pritt is currently Chair of the Mountain Party. She quit the WV Democratic Party out of disgust for the political mercenaries who have turned her beloved state into a sacrifice zone for the extraction industries.
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The Axis of Avarice

by Cesco Estep

There is an unholy three-way alliance in West Virginia that threatens our very way of life. It began many years ago with an unspoken bargain between the local “mainstream” media and the corporations who gain the most from our abundant natural resources. Together they have undermined the political system to the point where the health,  safety, and welfare of the citizens of Appalachia are rarely even considered by the state’s main regulatory agencies if enforcement even remotely involves our extraction industries.  One of the earliest examples of the level of collusion by State lawmakers was when one West Virginia governor ordered his state militia to destroy the printing presses of certain newspaper editors who dared criticize his pandering to powerful robber baron coal owners. It has been lost to all but the most astute state historians that during that same period Governor Hatfield never so much as even blinked at Charleston’s “mainstream” newspapers. He obviously felt that unlike the newsprint from the labor press, Charleston’s “mainstream” media had been reporting the “right stuff” all along. Hatfield and his legislature were criticized by Congress, but in the end the sovereignty of the State of West Virginia ruled the day, and the historic Paint Creek strike was broken without giving in to the number 1 complaint by strikers: the removal of the brutal mine guard system. Eventually some fifty thousand miners and their families were thrown out of their homes across the Kanawha Field by the coal owner’s union, replaced mostly by immigrants from all over the world.

While these days the deal between the our press and our political leaders over how to go about selling out the rights of citizens to the extraction industries is not quite as overt as it used to be, the more subtle modern alliance between the two has essentially undercut any natural competition between the two political parties which have been producing most of our lawmakers. The incentive for this long-lived corporate-driven media/ political confederacy has always been money, and I mean big money.  Money so big that even some of the state’s once most powerful trade unions have been compromised and all but brought to their knees. The secret syndicate formed by the extraction industry corporations to control the political will and dictate what the media reports is truly an Axis of Avarice.

Despite the incessant yet subtle propaganda that our local news organizations pump out, more and more West Virginians are rejecting the false paradigm that voting for “the lesser of two evils” is necessary. No longer is the thought of putting the alternative into office as nearly as frightening as it used to be, because folks sense that both essentially are driven by the same evil. There is much evidence that voters have begun rejecting outright the two party system, which, considering the lack of choice that those two parties have been offering, makes a lot of sense. Last general election’s turnout indicates that many, if not most, had been duped into boycotting their own right to vote!  If, indeed, that’s true, then most of the blame for that boycott is on West Virginia’s mainstream media.

Persuading voters to opt out of their duty to participate in our democracy on election day is one of the main strategies of the Axis of Avarice. For around a century the not so subtle persuasion of cash-on-the-barrelhead advertising has turned our local mainstream media into a virtual propaganda tool of the extraction industries. If you doubt it then consider this: It is beyond curious how West Virginia’s major news sources have collectively avoided letting the public know the real results of  our last statewide Special Election. The dirty little secret they don’t want you to realize is that Earl Ray Tomblin was put into office by a paltry twelve percent (12%!!) of all registered WV voters. Instead of reporting the incumbent’s failure to inspire even his own base as a shocking fact,  just last year the media collectively chose to misrepresent our last gubernatorial election as “exciting” by falsely reporting that it was a close race.  Had challenger Bill Maloney won by the same margin, then Mountain Party challenger Dr. Bob Henry Baber, would have been portrayed as a “spoiler” throughout the state and likely beyond. But the truth is that there’s no way that Baber could have been a “spoiler” for either of his two opponents because it really wasn’t a close race at all! Conspicuously unreported by allmedia outlets is the shocking fact that a SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT of all voters essentially chose to vote for “NONE OF THE ABOVE! That, friends and neighbors, is beyond simple voter apathy. It is proof of a silent conspiracy.

Unfortunately, the lion’s share of West Virginia voters had once again been scammed into thinking that there were only two candidates in the race, despite the fact that there has long been THREE major parties in West Virginia.

To most everyone who ever had bothered to register it was obvious that between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican challenger there wasn’t enough difference to bother to go to the polls on election day. Despite complete media saturation (and thanks to the millions-upon-millions thrown into full-blitz advertising by both corporate camps,) West Virginia voters realized the lack of a clear difference between what Tomblin and Maloney represent. Yet due to the blackout by stations and newspapers with whom their advertising dollars were focused, most registered voters to this day aren’t aware that the Mountain Party exists, much less that its platform allows only nominees who aren’t corporate sellouts.

In elections over the last dozen years voters have been purposely misled by the media’s push-polling to think that there are only two major political parties in West Virginia. Because of the pernicious industry-wide media blackout in corporate biased and corporate driven surveys year after year, voters go to the polls thinking that the two party system is broken. Worse yet, there is solid evidence indicating that voters actively choose not to participate because of the negative ads the two corporate-sponsored candidates run about each other, primarily because they really don’t have much positive to convey about themselves.  It’s through that cynical secret system that the media has long been paid to push the lie that there is no third party grassroots solution.

Although it’s been widely ignored by the media, the dismal turnout for the last statewide primary (again, the Special Election of October 2011),  signaled a major tipping point. If, as the media would like us to believe, corporate advertising truly controls who wins elections, then it’s ONLY because that campaign cash has caused an industry wide local corporate media blackout of the facts regarding the growing influence of the Mountain Party. Mountain Party candidates are regularly kept out of the news and off the editorial pages because they staunchly refuse to accept corporate campaign contributions. Honest candidates with honest solutions are effectively blocked from addressing the public primarily because it is impossible for them to raise huge amounts of campaign financing without compromising their stance on major positions.

The silent conspiracy of blacklisting candidates for cash for over a decade is the only adequate explanation for the resultant boycott by voters last election day.

Grassroots campaigning across our rural mountain state on five and ten dollar contributions is arduous, but our gubernatorial nominees have been doing it for over a decade.  It is no mall coincidence that the lack of decent alternative telecommunications makes it even more so. Thanks to the political tentacle of the Axis, the Manchin/Tomblin syndicate essentially wasted $24 million in federal stimulus on gold-plated internet routers, most of which will sit un-utilized in their unopened shipping cartons until they’re obsolete. Last primary, enough low information voters (a.k.a. pissed off Democrats) turned out to select Keith Judd, a Texarkana prison inmate over Obama because Manchin and Tomblin had, through their well-greased media, successfully scapegoated the President for what their syndicate had been doing to us for years.

In the run-up to the last gubernatorial election, most potential voters believed that they could choose only the incumbent, whose platform was “Lower Taxes, More Jobs“,  or his challenger, whose platform was essentially, “More Jobs, Lower Taxes“.  Why is it both nominees are essentially running on the same plank as last year? Apparently both camps want us to swallow that Earl Ray’s year-long term in office somehow magically changed the way voters feel about their own nominee.

How can the press maintain credibility while acting as if it’s natural for two corporate tools really is a competition between “two major parties”? How can the press ignore the fact both camps apparently believe that the repeat of the same lower voter turnout will be an advantage for their own candidate while running against the same opponent? It is hard to fathom how any journalist worth his salt could swallow that either Maloney or Raese are anything more than high-paid strawman candidates. Perhaps most noticeable is how no one in the mainstream media ever gets around to pointing out how ludicrous the whole “Punch ‘N Judy” theme is between the Manchin, Raese, Tomblin and Maloney. All that lucre for “campaign advertising” is obviously money well spent. It’s essentially hush money.

Choosing not to report the facts is one thing. Leaving out information to keep folks from figuring out exactly why only 12 percent of all voters wanted Earl Ray Tomblin to continue to govern and even fewer chose Maloney is a direct threat to the mainstream media’s economy. Even the brightest corporate-employed journalists never dare wonder out loud why there was such a low turnout despite the fact that West Virginia has maintained the highest voter registration rate per capita for years. None dare publicly speculate why so few participated despite soaring voter registration rates previous to Tomblin’s Special Election. What I’m getting at is that if folks had enough of the truth and were able to weigh all those factors, they’d begin to understand the real reason why so many WV voters chose to boycott the last Special Election.

The misconception that there was no reason to vote is a ruse deftly propagated by the

Major evidence of the media repeatedly blocking out Mountain Party candidates is found in the political polling contracted and subsequently published by major newspapers in the state. As of this date, the most recent example was in the Charleston Daily Mail.

newsprint push polls. This year the WV Broadcaster’s Association will do its level best to keep the existence of a third party solution from the general public by barring the Mountain Party candidate from publicly debating Earl Ray Tomblin and Bill Maloney.

Despite the media’s concerted efforts, those of us who are politically astute do know that the Mountain Party of West Virginia exists, and recall that it had a gubernatorial candidate on the 2011 ballot. The fact that Dr. Bob Henry Profiteers Push Polled PropagandaBaber did not inspire people to come out to vote was basically because he couldn’t afford to buy access to the public through West Virginia’s avarice-driven media. Like all Mountain Party candidates, Baber rightfully shunned all corporate backing, so the media dutifully kept his name off their political polls and blocked him from the statewide TV broadcast of what was advertised as a gubernatorial “debate”. Note that I purposely placed quotes around the word because it was more of a snoozefest due to the lack of integrity presented by the “journalists” who paid to deliver their softball questions while acting as if it all was something more than a political ad for the syndicate’s corporate agenda.

To the credit of West Virginia voters and despite the media blackout, Baber received well over three times as many votes as there were registered Mountain Party members. At the same time, Earl Ray Tomblin received far fewer than than 1/6 of his “base” of 643,859 registered Democrat voters. The incumbent inspired only 102,234 voters out of 1,215,213 all registered. Big Bill Maloney lost because he failed to inspire 251,408 of his fellow Republicans to go to the polls for him. He received 99,013 votes despite the fact that there were 350,421 registered WV Republicans. How could both candidates have possibly been so dreadfully uninspiring even to their own “base”? And just why does the mainstream media choose to ignore each candidate’s obvious failure to garner votes?


According to final campaign finance reports filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, incumbent Tomblin spent $4,156,909.8 and Maloney spent $3,315,593.63. Incumbent Tomblin was able to completely finance his campaign through contributions, which is a LOT of money, especially considering that so many people in West Virginia are so poor. Most of it was funneled from the extraction industry’s corporate coffers directly into the mainstream media’s corporate coffers, with relatively little trickling down to local economies. Meanwhile, in West Virginia’s coal patch, where Earl Ray Tomblin is from, folks are so still poor that the children are known to suffer at a far higher rate than the rest of the State. One of Tomblin’s legacies as Senate President is that West Virginia’s kids continually suffered from poverty growing steadily at a higher rate than the rest of the U.S.,  so his “lower taxes – more jobs” campaign pledge rings hollow, even to his “base”.

Fortunately, for tools like Tomblin, Maloney, Manchin, Raese, and their international syndicate of ultra wealthy backers, the State of West Virginia is abundantly resource-rich, which is the only justification for shoveling millions upon millions of cash at our media. Considering West Virginia’s long, sordid history of graft and corruption by industry shills of both major Parties, it is no small coincidence that our State does not track the source of campaign contributors in the same way that other states do for their citizens. However, according to data compiled by the National Institute on Money in State Politics, the largest sectors to contribute to Tomblin’s 2011 campaign were lawyers and lobbyists, followed by mining interests. Maloney, a gas industry advocate who earned his fortune in the extraction industries, actually loaned his own campaign $2,450,000, or 74 percent of his total campaign expenditure. Unreported and untracked by our Secretary of State is how he’ll retire that earlier campaign debt to himself. It’s a pretty safe bet that Maloney will repay himself from the money he raises from “outside interests” this go-round for whatever deal he cut prior to his first run with the Koch Brothers. In Raese’s case spending campaign cash on advertising could be compared to the same way that folks move their loose change from one pocket to another, since he’s a multimillionaire media mogul. Joe Manchin’s fortunes were made from his coal and gas brokerage firm during his entire political career, assuring his political backers that his deadly personal policy of “Retail Government” will remain in place and insuring that his campaigns will be well financed by the extraction industries -for as long as he can stay out of jail.

It may strike some folks as odd that West Virginia’s Republican Party chose to run the same candidate who just last year lost to Earl Ray. It really only makes sense as long as the press continues to support the ridiculous notion that it was a close race. One might have assumed that since Governor Tomblin and former Governor Joe Manchin officially proved that they were “Friends of Coal Operators” by suing the EPA (for basically trying to protect citizens from radical mining practices) that Maloney, a gas industry man, might have been persuaded to use the lawsuit as a political bludgeon, since the surface mining industry has displaced so many deep miners. Besides, NON-political polls have strongly indicated that most West Virginians want MORE regulation, oversight, and enforcement over industrial excesses, not less. Yet Tomblin’s main challenger remains silent and the media even more silent (if that’s possible).

The disconnect between what the two major candidates are touting and what voters really want (and the state needs) is evidence of corporate-driven media spin, considering how that West Virginia’s major newsgroups avoid connecting the most obvious needs of citizens to the complete lack of concern by the major party candidates. It is solid proof of a conspiracy when the major newsgroups essentially silence Mountain Party candidates.

Neither West Virginia’s mainstream media nor Bill Maloney has ever gotten around to mentioning that while Tomblin was Senate President both he and Joe Manchin actually ran more small business out of West Virginia than any other state. The fact that the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce have endorsed both Manchin and Tomlin every time they’ve run lately isn’t surprising given the Chamber’s clandestine yet transparent history of endorsing only multinational anti-union shills. But if West Virginia is as “conservative” as our mainstream media’s political polling would have us all believe, then Tomblin’s dismal record certainly should have helped Maloney inspire far more than ten percent of West Virginia’s entire electorate. Although Maloney desperately keeps trying to run on a more conservative platform than Tomblin, both he and the incumbent spent millions upon millions to advertise how conservative they are. During Maloney’s last campaign he ran ads claiming that Tomblin is “no friend of coal” which didn’t inspire voters mainly because everyone knew that it was an utterly ridiculous claim. Unreported by the mainstream media was the fact that instead of attending the recent Democratic Convention, Tomblin attended a fundraiser sponsored by the new head of the West Virginia Coal Association, James Laurita, Jr., who reportedly has supported only the Republican party and a few select Democrats. So why would Maloney, a shrewd businessman,  keep advertising that Tomblin was no “Friend of Coal” way unless he was propped up to lose in the first place?

Despite having an extensive gas industry background, Bill Maloney has apparently chosen to never mention publicly why Tomblin’s Marcellus “dirty bomb” bill is responsible for so many job losses in the coal patch. More than anything else Tomblin has done to knock King Coal off the throne, the incumbent’s “anything goes” Marcellus bill that Tim Manchin helped wheedle through the legislature caused the price of gas to tumble to the point where coal can’t possibly continue to compete as an electricity source. Despite the blinders by the media, progressive voters know why Earl Ray, Joe Manchin and their Republicrat campaign has desperately been shifting the blame onto Obama by endlessly flogging their phony “war on coal” meme. Their culpability for their team effort to push the low standard regulations over hydrofracking in West Virginia is never mentioned by the mainstream media because it’s paid lots and lots of money to advertise for them. So that outcry about Obama’s “war on coal” all must be true, right?

Like the ridiculous “Clean Coal” campaign ads that ran over the last two years, what all the two corporate candidate’s feckless advertising really buys is silence. It’s essentially why the mainstream media will never reveal how Tomblin, Manchin, Raese and Maloney are all the same cadre of high-stakes grifters working the same racket from different angles.

Try wrapping your mind around it this way. Owning both jockeys insures that you’ll never lose in a two-horse race. In West Virginia’s gubernatorial two-party race the multinational corporatists (known as “ALEC“) not only own both jockeys, they’ve bought both political stables –lock, stock, and barrel.  ALEC’s biggest problem in our Great State is that there are THREE horses in every gubernatorial race. Because the Mountain Party owns its own stables, it is impossible for ALEC to own all of the jockeys. So the next best thing isn’t to board up starting gate #3, but rather to bar the Mountain Party entry from the track altogether. In West Virginia, ALEC operatives have accomplished it by indirectly taking control of the State’s media. Anyone even remotely familiar with the true history of West Virginia realizes that West Virginia’s major media was compromised long ago. It has always been instrumental in suppressing third party politicians who dared stand up for the people against excesses from what was once commonly called the robberbaron industries.

If any active politician today knows the true story of West Virginia’s history of suppressing grassroots party candidates it is Jesse Johnson of the Mountain Party. Besides tostate to town hall meetings as well as lectures all across the U.S. with elder statesman Ken Hechler for the last several years,

Jesse has run for Governor on the Mountain Party ticket twice before,  in 2004 and 2008. As a result, the corporate heads of West Virginia’s major media can’t help but understand Johnson’s stance on most major issues, especially the one that will most effect their own bottom line: campaign finance reform. They, more than anyone understand that true reform most likely would mean a major cut in their own income. If campaigns are no longer able to buy media silence through the giant campaign budgets that corporate-driven candidates spend on mindless attack ads engineered to make it look like there might be a difference between their two horses would immediately dry up. That’s why blacklisting Jesse Johnson’s campaign from fair and balanced West Virginia news coverage is basically all about the money. For the record, Johnson has gotten far better coverage outside of West Virginia in all three of his previous campaigns for office.

Despite what our local media wants you to believe, the Mountain Party is one of only three parties legally recognized by the Great of West Virginia. This feisty grassroots organization has grown in popularity because it has been running solid gubernatorial candidates for well over a decade. It’s the only way that third-party candidates can maintain the same legal right to be on the ballot as the two corporate-owned parties without getting literally thousands of voter’s signatures on a petition prior to every primary.

At the same time our statewide mainstream press has downplayed the Mountain Party as a news item and summarily ignored its press releases, it regularly features fringe groups who make headlines by merely calling themselves a “Party”-when under state law, they’re not. The media’s coverage of such groups reveals its bias by treating them as political parties despite having never mustered enough voters in consecutive races to gain true party status here. Propped up by the media and financed by multinational corporations, wittingly or not, the members of these fringe organizations end up as little more than tools in a scam to trick the public into believing that their extremist views have far more political clout than they have followers.  In West Virginia, where this type of three-way racket has been going on since the Mine Wars around a century ago,  lawmakers nonetheless continue to choose to use all the hoopla trumped up by the media as political cover to justify being rewarded by lobbyists for their legislative favors. The appearance of a powerful coalition helps politicians dodge public scrutiny over self-serving and destructive lawmaking. Such obvious backroom deals can be made because in West Virginia the corporate sponsored politicians and their lobbyist pals have long understood that they could rely on the same well-greased press that propped them up in the first place.

Cesco Estep is the pen name of a Charleston resident who wishes to remind readers of a certain political activist that was murdered in his own home by order of Governor William E. Glasscock of the Great State of West Virginia. Estep’s house was riddled with bullets for aiding strikers by letting them camp on his property during a lockout.  On the night of February 7, 1913, the bloody Bull Moose Special, manned by Kanawha County Sheriff’s deputies and mine guards rolled up Paint Creek, then, according to congressional testimony, slowed down as it approached Holly Grove to strafe miners in their tents with Gatling guns mounted on an armored rail car. The Bull Moose Special had been armored for the specific purpose of transporting scab labor, and the coal operator was tired of having his scabs intimidated as they were being transported through Holly Grove.

Although Quin Morton, the coal operator who had requested the action, and Kanawha County Sheriff Bonner Hill, who was in command of the operation, were both on board the train that night, neither were convicted because at the time they were under protective orders from the West Virginia Governor.

Mr. Estep died in his own bed from a fifty caliber Gatling gun wound to his face.

Never forget the many brave men, women and children who were forced to revolt against the government of the State of West Virginia in 1921. Today’s politicians are compelled to destroy historic Blair Mountain rather than to preserve it,  for the same reasons that they’ve all but eliminated teaching in our schools the true reasons behind that uprising. Although the controversial mountaintop removal permit at Spruce Fork includes major portions of Blair Mountain, that fact is never included by mainstream journalists when they write about the lawsuit that former governor Manchin filed against the EPA for placing a moratorium on destroying its watershed. Blair Mountain stands as a solitary symbol of the dangerous amount of control outside extraction industries exert over our nation’s political system as well as our local media.

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WV Supreme Court Candidate Files Lawsuit Against State of WV to Force Compliance With Its Own Election Laws!

Despite being registered as a Republican, Dr. Allen H. Loughry continues to fight as hard as is legally possible to clean up West Virginia’s elections. He deserves the vote and full support of every true Progressive.


Loughry Also Adds Brennan Center for Justice and Huntington Attorney Marc Williams to Legal Team

Charleston, WV – Supreme Court Candidate Allen Loughry today filed a response to a federal lawsuit that attempts to block funding to his campaign.  The federal lawsuit was filed by another Supreme Court candidate’s campaign attorney.

In addition, Loughry filed a separate legal action in the State Supreme Court seeking to force the State Election Commission (SEC) to follow the existing laws and provide his campaign with the additional funding.  Loughry has been critical of the Secretary of State’s office and SEC during recent weeks for their handling of the pilot program and says that the SEC has been in direct violation of West Virginia law since at least the middle of July.

“The SEC’s refusal to abide by the law is not only a violation of its constitutional duties, it also is a slap in the face to the State legislators who passed the law, as well as to then-Governor Joe Manchin who pushed for and later signed the law,” said Loughry.  “This unprecedented decision not to follow this law has the potential of singlehandedly destroying the pilot project in addition to negatively impacting the entire Supreme Court election.  The SEC is not permitted to simply disregard laws any more than a private citizen could decide he or she won’t follow a law.”

Loughry is represented by The Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law and also by West Virginia attorney and lead local counsel Marc Williams.  The Brennan Center is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.  Williams, who is a managing partner at the nationally-known law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, has litigated hundreds of lawsuits in the state and federal courts and has earned a reputation as a leader nationally with issues important to the judiciary.

“I am so deeply honored to have the Brennan Center for Justice along with Marc Williams as a part of my incredible legal team,” said Loughry.  “These top-notch attorneys would not get involved in this case if they didn’t recognize the importance of this issue to the voters of West Virginia and to the entire country.”

Loughry said that since the SEC has failed to follow the law, he is anxious to take on this fight on behalf of all West Virginians who want fair judicial elections.

“This program was set up so that the voters would have a fair opportunity to know the candidates in the Supreme Court race in order to make an informed decision about the qualifications of the candidates and not just the ones with the most money,” said Loughry.  “The idea is that this program will eliminate the perception that Supreme Court seats are being bought by other attorneys who practice before the court, by wealthy individuals, or by large corporations, who spend thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars to elect certain judicial candidates.”

Loughry added that unlike any other campaign for the Supreme Court, the maximum contribution limit to his campaign was $100, that every contribution came from West Virginia registered voters, and that he did not receive a single dime in PAC money.  “It will be impossible for someone to argue with a straight face that a $5 contribution from my fourth grade teacher will impact the impartiality of decisions I make as a Justice on the Supreme Court,” said Loughry.

Loughry was critical of the federal lawsuit filed by one of his opponent’s campaign attorneys.

“The federal lawsuit filed by my opponent’s campaign attorney is nothing more than an attempt to protect the system of buying elections and keeping average citizens from participating in the political system,” said Loughry.  “You should not be able to buy a seat on the Supreme Court like you buy a candy bar at a convenience store.  This should be about fair judicial elections for all West Virginians.”

Loughry’s actions come after a recent 2 to 2 vote where the SEC failed to approve the additional funding to his campaign.  Loughry said the state law is clear in that the SEC is required to provide the additional funding once certain conditions are met.  The SEC voted 4 to 0 that the conditions had been met, yet failed to enforce the law.  Loughry said those actions are an encroachment by the executive branch into the judiciary’s function.

Loughry said that the SEC’s actions are exactly why average citizens are frustrated with many public officials.  “The SEC is sending the message to the nearly 700 people who contributed to my campaign, to the state Legislature that passed the law, and to all of the State’s registered voters, that their voices don’t matter,” Loughry said.  “People just want their elected officials and governing boards to strictly follow the Constitution and to represent them with honor, integrity, and high ethical standards.  Just like all West Virginians, I expect no less from any of our elected officials or governing boards in this state.”


post script: Upon sending the above press statement to a fellow journalist, Loughry noted:

Dr. Loughry literally wrote the book on The Sordid And Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia

I filed in the supreme court today.  Here is the press release.  I am not an “establishment” candidate so they will more than likely resort to what they do best, i.e., try to tear me down personally.  I didn’t get in this without that knowledge and I am just going to take the fight to November 6th and see what happens.


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Who’s REALLY Winning?

We can only wonder how it affected Manchin’s “BLIND TRUST”!

BACKSTORY WV Governor Manchin Sues Obama, EPA Over Mining Coal Regulations By PATRICK REIS THIS LINK

BACKSTORY: JUDGE RULES EPA Exceeded Authority in Permit Veto for Logan County Mountaintop Mine Reporter: Cathleen Moxley; Andrew Colegrove; Michael Hyland; The Associated Press Mar 23, 2012

BACKSTORY: “In June, three coal producing companies — Alpha Natural Resources, Central Appalachian Mining and Arch Coal — idled operations at a number of mines that resulted in more than 1,000 miners losing their jobs.” source

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THIS means WAR!

$5 billion in subsidies!?! With an "enemy" like Obama, who needs Friends?

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U. S. Senator Joe Mandarin (D-WV) and His Friends of Sludge

Are these Chinese characters the real political power behind former WV governor Joe “Manslaughter” Manchin?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, China was West Virginia’s eighth-largest export market in 2008, at $251 million, and fifth-largest in 2009 at $296 million. It just so happens that Manchin was leading a delegation to China at the same time that EnerSystems, his coal brokerage firm, was paying him more than he was making from his governor’s salary.

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WARNING: Chicory, sassafrass, and blackstrap is not meant for the young’ins, nor is the content of this cartoon series!

WV Secretary of State Sees Dead People …AFTER the Primary!

Can the West Virginia’s Governor’s Zombie Horde win the War On Coal by getting him RE-elected? Stay tuned

There are few things more bracing than sharing a brew of chickory, sassafrass and just a touch of blackstrap with friends who are close enough to discuss politics without falling out. It’s coffee talk for folks who can’t afford a vente mocha-latte. Chicory Talk comes to you straight from the heart of Appalachia.

We are pleased to present this exciting this new local slant on an old media form. This commentary was created exclusively for and it was regularly featured throughout last political season.

We’re also taking this opportunity to let readers know that we’ll be relaunching this blog very soon with a new look and some new and improved features!

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