By Philip Bump
You may remember last week when Fox Nation ran the headline “Ohio Miners Turn on Obama,” showing a photo of miners trooping into a Romney rally. Readers dubbed the article “Inspiring.”
We were kind of wet blankets, noting that the head of the company indicated beforehand that he would bus those miners in. Perhaps they weren’t there entirely willingly, we said! Just maybe!
Little did we know.
From the Plain Dealer:
When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the coal industry, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down.
The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.
Clearly another example of the insidious war on coal.
[Murray Energy CFO Rob] Moore told Blomquist that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows.
Because the company’s mine had to be shut down for “safety and security” reasons during Romney’s visit, Moore confirmed workers were not paid that day. He said miners also lose pay when weather or power outages shut down the mine, and noted that federal election law doesn’t let companies pay workers to attend political events.
Moore said he didn’t see anything negative in attending Romney’s campaign appearance with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
Murray Energy, you may remember, is run by Robert Murray — a big backer of Mitt Romney who told Soledad O’Brien:
These are my employees. I care for them deeply. Barack Obama and his Democrat followers are destroying entire segments of America. … Ma’am, it has nothing to do with politics. In the Eastern Ohio where these jobs are limited, it doesn’t make any difference whether you’re a Democrat or Republican. Everybody there wants jobs and he’s destroying them.
The “he” in the final sentence presumably refers to Barack Obama, not any of the various people who made a pro-Romney rally mandatory and then docked everyone a day’s pay.
Ohio miners turn on Obama? I can’t imagine they’re terribly happy with Romney, either.