Coal baron (present and past) updates
More on the Oliver/Murray suit and the Blankenship campaign
Robert Murray's "self-pitying" letter to the judge
A month ago, a West Virginia judge dismissed Robert Murray's suit against John Oliver. (I wrote about it here). Apparently Murray did not like the decision. According to Raw Story:
Coal baron mocked by John Oliver sends rambling, self-pitying letter to judge
The article explains:
The West Virginia coal baron whose practices were mocked by John Oliver and a giant squirrel sent a hilarious letter of protest to the judge who dismissed his defamation suit, according to the ACLU of West Virginia. . . .
“The jobs of our 6,000 coal miners depend on me and my reputation,” the letter said. “I am a dying old man, but our employees will suffer as a result of your decision.”
Murray also complained of getting mocked by the show’s fans in letters that said things like “consume defecation, Bob” and “congrats on having HBO make you look like a big fat lardass loser in court. Idiot.”
The judge noted that Murray’s letter constituted improper contact with the judge, and the judge warned Murray and his attorneys to not send another lest he face sanctions from the court.
By the way, here's John Oliver's response to the judge's dismissal of the suit:
Another take on Blankenship's appeal
Politico is out today with a long analysis by reporter Kevin Robillard of Don Blankenship's campaign for the U.S. Senate:
Can the Most Hated Man in West Virginia Win?
This piece is probably the best analysis I've read that accounts for Blankenship's surprising (for me) showing in the various Republican polls:
But the deceptively low-key candidate with a well-earned reputation as a political brawler has a pitch seemingly perfectly designed for a Republican electorate in the era of Donald Trump. Blankenship’s foils are the same ones Trump battered on his way to winning 68 percent of the vote in West Virginia. When Blankenship mentions Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, two of the most reviled Democrats in this deeply red state, it’s not just a gratuitous name-check. It’s a personal feud, one that many still-out-of-work coal miners feel just as bitterly.
“I don’t know that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and so forth hate anyone more than they hate me,” Blankenship says, noting Clinton even criticized him in her book, “What Happened.” Or, as his political consultant, Greg Thomas, put it to me: “Having the opponent’s Department of Justice put you in jail is the ultimate street cred.”
And then there is Joe Manchin:
Blankenship is predictably dismissive of the idea that he represents a threat to the GOP’s chance of beating Manchin—“I think anybody in West Virginia could beat Joe Manchin. You could move here tomorrow and beat Manchin if you could somehow get the nomination,” he says—but Democrats agree with the establishment GOP’s assessment. Blankenship could pull off an improbable primary win, but that will be the end of his run.
“It’s the best thing Joe Manchin could’ve hoped for,” [former congressman] Rahall says, hastening to add: “But I also thought Donald Trump was the best thing Hillary Clinton could’ve hoped for.”
The article details Blankenship's stops in Triadelphia, Weirton and other WV towns.