By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — At the United Mine Workers union’s annual Labor Day picnic in September, West Virginia state legislative candidates urged more than 100 UMW members and supporters braving an unrelenting rain to focus on labor and health protections in the upcoming election.
“It’s not about God, guns, gays and abortion,” said Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, seeking a fifth term in the Senate. “But that’s how they suck you in. They play you like a fiddle.”
Stollings, Sen. Richard Lindsay, D-Kanawha, and former Delegate Rodney Miller, D-Boone, urged the crowd to vote for Democrats, warning that the Republican supermajority in the West Virginia Legislature had strongly considered taking away nearly all enforcement authority from the state mine inspection office earlier this year.
“Do you think a coal miner’s life is important?” asked Miller, who was running to return to the House of Delegates. “The reason I ask that is, the folks in the Legislature right now apparently don’t.” …
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