Williamson, W.Va. - Senator Joe Manchin continues to have his cronies speak for him. Belinda Biafore Chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party has released a press statement saying that "we lost 29 brave West Virginians because of Don Blankenship". She also says the television ads I am funding are lies. Ms. Biafore must not be aware that these are slanderous comments and that I will treat them as such.
The television ads are truthful and accurate. As the ad says the Mine Safety and Health Administration was adamant that the Upper Big Branch miners change their ventilation plan resulting in a 50% reduction in the mines airflow volume. This is not my opinion. This is the sworn testimony of U.S. Government witnesses in Federal Court. Not by one but by two government prosecution witnesses. One of the witnesses testified that he "begged" MSHA not to require the changes. He further testified that MSHA ventilation specialist Joe Mackowiac in the presence of MSHA District Manager Bob Hardman was "adamant" that the airflow changes be made.
Cecil Roberts, Ms. Biafore, and Senator Manchin can continue to deny the truth but it is still the truth. As someone once said "facts are stubborn things". Blaming a mine explosion on coal dust while the mine is being inundated with three and a half million cubic feet of natural gas is simply insanity. But if they are not able to apply commonsense they can always check the science; the forensics; and the government witness testimony.
If Senator Manchin truly cared about mine safety, he would read the testimony, review the government's gas samples and analyses, and learn the truth. Why does Manchin not deny that MSHA reduced the airflow? Why does Manchin not ask for MSHA to release the gas samples. Why does Manchin not release the missing emails?
Hiding while Ms Biafore and Cecil Roberts attempt to defend the indefensible is cowardly.
Below is an apology I once received which might be of interest to readers of this release.