MUST-WATCH​: WVAH & WCHS destroy pro-Rahall attack ad, expose Rahall investment in Massey


Jenkins camp calls on Rahall to condemn ad Damning news reports detail Rahall’s financial interest in Massey Energy  Voter interviewed pans ad for “making political hay out of somebody’s death”

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In light of WVAH‘s and WCHS‘ damning TV coverage (video here and here) of Nick Rahall’s previously-undisclosed financial interest in Massey Energy Co. during the Upper Big Branch tragedy that killed 29 miners, Evan Jenkins issued a statement today echoing the sentiments of local voter Jill Cochran, who told WVAH, “I don’t think anybody should be making political hay out of somebody’s death.”

“Given his personal financial interest in Massey Energy and his secret sale of those holdings the day after Upper Big Branch, Nick Rahall is the last guy who should be trying to politically profit off the deaths of 29 miners,” Jenkins for Congress strategist Andy Seré said. “Kids lost fathers, wives lost husbands, lives were destroyed. Yet Nick Rahall is politicizing those deaths, all the while hiding from voters his first move after the blast — calling his stockbroker to mitigate his financial risk. It’s outrageous. Nick Rahall has a moral imperative to condemn this ad in the strongest possible terms and demand that the anti-coal billionaires funding this ad remove it from the airwaves immediately. Then he needs to give a full accounting of his financial stake in the very company he’s shamelessly used in TV attack ads against his opponents for years.”

The transcript of WVAH’s lead story on last night’s 10pm news can be found below:

ANCHOR: The political ads are picking up and tonight we’re doing some fact-checking.

One congressional race is getting heated, with one particular ad now being called into question.

Eyewitness News reporter Dan Matics has the latest.

REPORTER: The dramatic music and voice over of a political attack ad is all too familiar for Jill Cochran.

VOTER: “I will be happy when it’s all over.”

REPORTER: This ad targets Republican congressional candidate Evan Jenkins.    The House Majority PAC produced the ad and tries to tie Jenkins financially to Massey Energy.    Opponents are saying that that ad is throwing a pretty large stone while they’re living in a glass house.    Financial disclosure documents show that Jenkins’ opponent, Nick Rahall, held assets in Massey, corporate bonds in which he sold on April 6, 2010 — the day after the Upper Big Branch explosion. All facts, that Jenkins staffers are quick to point to.

JENKINS CAMPAIGN: “It’s just ludicrous and I think West Virginians are going to see through the hypocrisy here.”

REPORTER: The Rahall campaign is quick to distance itself from the House Majority PAC, the ad’s producer.

In a statement a Rahall spokesman says, quote, “Congressman Rahall’s disagreements with Massey Energy and its former owner Don Blankenship over their mine safety failings are well-known, as are his efforts to hold them accountable for the Upper Big Branch tragedy.”

End quote.

VOTER: “I don’t think anybody should be making political hay out of somebody’s death.”

REPORTER: Political bickering that has left a bad taste in this voter’s mouth.    So what do you think of that?

VOTER: “Once again, shading the truth.”

REPORTER: So, she does her homework.

VOTER: So I go out and I do some research on them.

ANCHOR: Dan Matics reporting. By the way, Dan did try to reach out to a staffer with the House Majority PAC to get a comment from them.

They told Dan that they were preparing a statement, but so far, no official word from that organization.