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Beckley-born coal titan behind $1M Bush donation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Beckley-born coal billionaire Chris Cline is the man behind a Charleston-based company that gave $1 million to support Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign.

The company, Jasper Reserves LLC, gave $1 million on June 29 to Right to Rise USA, a super PAC supporting Bush’s campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

In the FEC filing, Jasper Reserves listed its address as 209 Capitol St., Charleston, a building primarily occupied by the law firm Bailey Glasser.

Last week, multiple representatives of Bailey Glasser and the building’s other tenants said they did not know anything about Jasper Reserves.

On Thursday, Brian Glasser, a founding partner of the law firm, emailed Bloomberg News to confirm that Cline was behind the company.

“Jasper Reserves is a Chris Cline company and Chris is proud to support Right to Rise,” Glasser wrote, according to Bloomberg.

Reached by phone Thursday evening, Glasser said, “We stand behind the statement we made to Bloomberg” and declined further comment. Glasser was not one of the Bailey Glasser employees the Gazette-Mail spoke to last week.

Cline’s Foresight Energy owns mines in the Illinois basin that have fared better in recent years than many coal operations in the central Appalachian coalfields of Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.

 In March, Cline sold a 50 percent stake in Foresight Energy to Murray Energy for $1.4 billion.

Glasser has served as counsel to Cline since at least 2007 and was the lead counsel for Cline in the Murray sale…

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