The question has been asked of me by this newspaper whether I know Judge Thornsbury? They’ve also asked whether I’ve seen or sat with him at the Williamson restaurant “Starters?” and whether I have business relationships with him?

The fact is I do know Judge Thornsbury. I also know other politically active Mingo Countians. I know Bill Davis, Hootie Smith, Michael Sparks, Sam Kapourales, David Baisden, John Mark Hubbard, Jerrod Fletcher, Harry Keith White, Truman Chafin, Dee Sidebottom, Johnny Fullen, Sheila Kessler, and most every other politically involved Mingo Countian. I don’t have any business dealings with any of them that I recall. I have probably been in Starters at one time or another with all of them. Bill Davis was fired by Massey in the 1980’s. Dr. Beckett is my personal doctor. He also did work for Massey, but I don’t know the details of that or his other business dealings.

I do have some bank accounts at the Bank of Mingo. I have been to Truman and Tish’s house for a party, helped Johnny Fullen with an issue at Matewan and been a customer at locations rumored to be owned by Thornsbury. But I don’t know for sure because I don’t know the business dealings of any of these individuals.

Judge Thornsbury’s son Matt once sued my brother George. The Judge also did some work (while in private practice) for Massey 25 years ago. In summary I know most Mingo County politicians, and Thornsbury is one of them.

As for why this is so important to the West Virginia press, I’m not sure. As an individual that grew up in Mingo County, I know lots of fellas who are in jail or have been. So too does most any Mingo County resident.

I also know Richard Trumka (head of the most violent union in America in the 1980’s); Cecil Roberts (Trumka’s sidekick), and Davitt McAteer (UBB investigator recently under investigation for frauding MSHA). I also knew John P. McCoy (the famous mad tacker), Boonie Runyon (last I heard he was in a California prison), and I have met Diane Shafer (the Williamson doctor who I believe also went to jail).

Maybe this will answer the presses questions and we can move on to more important things – For example, why the coal industry is being put out of business; why our country is being bankrupted; or why our politicians continue to give American taxpayer money to the enemies of our country; or why coal miners are being required to work without their dust scrubbers operating.

We all wish the press would try to help West Virginians by spreading meaningful truth rather than meaningless untruth. We certainly need some truth if we are to move our state and country forward. In that regard I will be penning several other op-eds for this newspaper over the next several weeks and months.

It’s a little early, but I hope each of you have a wonderful holiday season.