Taylor Kuykendall has a funny story over at Grounded about out of state corporations’ little festival in Charleston last week. There was even a beauty contest in which the industry drag queens were paraded before the media. Five WV legislators, who were elected by their constituents to represent them, were tricked out in their flashy coal industry regalia. We got to hear from their own lips who they really represent – their lords and masters who run WV’s coal industry from places like Houston, St. Louis and Richmond, and maybe even Japan and Russia.
It was all pretty exciting.
We were treated to gems from the old experienced queens, Kevin Craig and Troy Andes. These are the two Delegates how showed just how anti-private property they are when they were the only people in the whole WV legislature who, in 2010, voted against giving land owners personal notice when a power company wants to build a high voltage power line across their land or take their home. Mr. Craig works for Natural Resource Partners of Houston, TX, a company that owns tens of thousands of acres of coal, mineral and timber land in WV. Mr. Andes worked for Massey Energy, now Alpha Natural Resources. That is enough information for any West Virginian to figure out whether he really cares about WV coal miners.
But pageant organizer Chris Hamilton saved the best for last. That was the star turn for this year’s rising new star, Del. Randy Smith. Mr. Smith must have been overcome by all the testosterone flowing freely in the room. He just let his inner beer joint bully rip:
“The good thing about environmentalists, is whenever they are one-on-one, they’re cowards,” Smith said. “I’m going to be straight with you. If they don’t have the press there to back them up and 30 or 100 of their buddies yelling and screaming, they’re like kitty-cats and they’re on my turf then…”
Mr. Smith’s constituents might be a little disturbed to find that Mr. Smith’s company man “turf” is companies based in Richmond and Russia, instead of their own Preston County.