By GINNY BLAKE
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The controversial candidate for U.S. Senate and former CEO of Massey Energy Company Don Blankenship hosted a campaign town hall at Big Sandy Superstore Arena yesterday evening. After twenty-nine men died in the mine explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine in 2010. Blankenship was convicted of conspiring to break federal mine safety standards and was later sentenced to spend a year in federal prison. Blankenship is now aiming to win the republican vote for U.S. Senate.
Blankenship’s speech began with commercials of former employees saying the former CEO was convicted of a crime that he did not commit and the Mine Safety and Health Administration should take full responsibility. Several ads compared Senator Manchin and Blankenship by saying Blankenship provided more jobs than Manchin has since the current senator took office.
The senate hopeful spoke of both West Virginia and Massey Energy’s history.
“This background, or this history, is critical to understanding why the [United Mine Workers] bosses and their friends, including their close friend Barack Obama, have been willing to attack me so viciously — including trying to put me in prison for life,” Blankenship said.
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