More than 500 Ohio coal miners rallied Oct. 10 against President Barack Obama‚??s ‚??War on Coal‚?Ě and the president‚??s charge they were coerced to support Republican W. Mitt Romney at an Aug. 14 rally.
‚??I have a couple of letters that I would like to address today, regarding Mr. Obama‚??s stand on coal, as well as the current media and how they have represented us the coal miners, here at Century Mine and the coal industry in general,‚?Ě said Mitch Miracle, a coal miner at the Beallsville, Ohio Century Mine, operated by Murray Energy, a Pepper Pike, Ohio-based, privately-owned coal mining company.
‚??Standing behind me are proud Americans, proud coal miners proud citizens of this great country, proud members of the Ohio Valley, where we live in and I am damn proud of them,‚?Ě he said.
‚??Proud Ohio Valley workers, as you all know the economy has been tough for all of us, this is a great profession, these are great workers and we are proud to be a part of it, part of Murray Energy and we support our owner 100 percent,‚?Ě he said. ‚??We ask that the media, lets embrace coal, embrace what it does for all of us.‚?Ě
The first letter asked the president to stop running ads that claim miners were forced to attend the Romney rally and the second letter was addressed to David Bloomquist, a radio talk show host for Wheeling, W.V.‚??s WWVA, he said. Bloomquist claimed to various media outlets that miners told him they were pressured to attend the Aug. 14 Romney rally.
Reading from the letter to the president, Miracle said: ‚??You have approved and are running television and campaign ads about the Mitt Romney event that was held at our Century coal mine.¬† These ads state that we were forced to attend this rally and that is blatantly false. There are numerous false statements and absolute lies concerning our participation in this event, we the employees.‚?Ě
Here is the Obama TV commercial:
Miracle said the false statements were mostly started by Bloomquist, but the president must be held responsible for his own ads.
‚??Since your approval is attached to these ads you may not wish to support these mistruths. Why would you lie about the 500 working miners who have signed this letter? We the employees of Century mine would request that you immediately stop these false ads,‚?Ě he said.
Miracle next read from the letter to Bloomquist, which was cc:‚??d to the president, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D.-Ohio) and the Ohio and national Democratic parties.
In the middle of the reading, the coal miner looked up as if he was trying to find the West Virginia shock jock: ‚??I don‚??t believe I see him here today,‚?Ě he said.
From the letter he read, ‚??We voluntarily and enthusiastically attended the event and take great offense to the disingenuous reporting of the event by you and other media outlets.‚?Ě
Miracle said there were five points in the letter that needed to be acknowledged by media outlets, who have repeated the Obama narrative, and Bloomquist: 1. No workers were forced to attend the Romney rally, 2. No attendance records were kept at the rally for hourly employees, 3. There were no penalties or punishments for workers, who did not attend, 4. The Romney campaign advance requested list of names for security and transportation purposes.
‚??And number five: It was an honor to host this important event for Governor Romney,‚?Ě he said.
Unlike Bloomquist‚??s unnamed sources, the miners at Century Mine signed their names and showed their faces, he said.
‚??You see Mr. Bloomquist there is a war on coal and we do want to protect our jobs. Mining jobs are being eliminated and coal fired power plants are being shut down from the President Obama‚??s actions and policies,‚?Ě he said.
‚??This is our statement, our choices and our signatures,‚?Ě he said.
‚??Mr. Blomquist, your shock jock tactics offend the undersigned and I have attached our employees and their signatures,‚?Ě he said.
In his April 19 blog posting, Bloomquist wrote: ‚??”If I see one more sticker that says “Proud Wife of a Coal Miner” I’m gonna go crazy!!!!! Hey ladies…congratulations. I’m sure you’re proud of him….but I don’t care….and I doubt anyone else does either. Congratulations….you’re married to a guy who works a job that nearly every other walking…talking..breathing human being….this side of Stephen Hawking….COULD DO!!!!!!!!! Now I know this is going to come off as harsh….but I don’t care because it needs said. There is nothing special about being a coal miner! Period.‚?Ě [The ellipses are the Bloomquist‚??s.]
Cecil E. Roberts, the president of the Triangle, Va.-based United Mine Workers of America International, said those Bloomquist showed his ignorance of modern mining operations and contempt for coal miners.
“The comments from WWVA-AM on-air personality David Bloomquist about coal miners, their wives and the nature of coal miners’ jobs demonstrate a shocking ignorance about the work coal miners do and the highly-technical skills required to mine coal in modern America coal mines,‚?Ě Roberts said.
The blog posting is no longer available at the radio station’s website, but in his April 21¬†apology, he said he was just kidding.¬† “My mom also screamed at me and reminded me I come from a family of coal miners…and you know if you make mom mad….you really screwed up…and I did. Sorry.” [The ellipses are the Bloomquist‚??s.]
After media outlets and the Obama campaign started using his claims that Murray workers were forced to attend the Romney rally, Bloomquist posted Oct. 3 an explanation on his Facebook page.
‚??For the record….the Obama ad that is currently running using my voice…name and the call letters of this station was done without my knowledge,‚?Ě he said. [The ellipses are the Bloomquist‚??s.]
‚??The audio was taken….legally….from the WWVA website concerning a local story I was covering in regards to Murray Energy,‚?Ě he said. ‚??I am a registered Independent and would never endorse any candidate at any level due to my role as an objective talk show host who tries his best to cover every topic/story in a fair manner.‚?Ě [The ellipses are the Bloomquist‚??s.]