Asshole coal boss: ‘I’m not an asshole’
Last time on Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, Is a Remarkably Sketchy Person, we discovered that he was facing potential investigations into his practice of coercing managers into making political donations to Republicans while simultaneously helping Mitt Romney shoot ads featuring coal miners who were forced to go to a Romney rally without pay.
But, Robert Murray insists, he’s the victim of persecution. Like Jesus, he’d probably argue, though he didn’t explicitly here.
From The New Republic, which broke the story about Murray’s coercion of his managers:
The company’s general counsel denied that Murray was pressuring employees to give or rewarding them in any way for their contributions, as … sources had described occurring. Now comes Murray himself with, as far as I can tell, his first public comments on the matter, in an interview with Erich Schwartzel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “It’s timed to shut me up. It’s a dishonest, totally false and fabricated group of charges to embarrass Gov. Mitt Romney, my family, our company and me.” …
Murray also denied an account that had emerged in the weeks prior to my article—that he had forced miners in southeastern Ohio to attend Romney’s speech at the Murray mine in Beallsville, Ohio in August. … Murray told the Post-Gazette he had shut down operations not to help build up the crowd but because of safety concerns: “Secret Service snipers had positioned themselves around the location, and the event logistics made it impossible to continue work, Mr. Murray said. ‘I’m not going to put anybody in a coal mine when I can’t rescue them,’ Murray said.”
The Secret Service is trained to shoot any first responders to industrial accidents.
At least one party would like to assure Murray that it will all be OK: Team Romney.
The Post-Gazette reports that Murray said that he had talked with the Romney campaign about the allegations and that “they assured him it would pass.” “They said, ‘We get a lot of charges, this will go away,'” Murray said.
I, for one, would like to hear more about the charges faced by the Romney campaign. Though if it’s about how they use unpaid labor in their campaign ads? I’ve already heard it.