Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ohio Democrats allege Murray and his coal company illegally forced employees to donate to Republicans

The Ohio Democratic Party asked federal and state prosecutors Monday to investigate whether the CEO of the largest privately owned coal company in the U.S. illegally coerced employees to contribute to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, Jim Provance of the Toledo Blade reports. ODP Chairman Chris Redfern asked that Murray Energy Corp. and Robert Murray, left, be investigated for extortion, money laundering and racketeering.

The complaint claims Murray contributed $720,000 to Ohio candidates and millions to federal candidates through the company's political action committee, including Romney, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel and Gov. John Kasich. The Blade said it could not reach Murray Energy's attorney for comment. The complaint also alleges Murray and the company forced employees to contribute to the company's political action committee through automatic payroll deductions and required attendance at fundraisers.

Murray hosted a rally for Romney on Aug. 14 at his company's Century Mine in Beallsville in southeast Ohio. Romney was surrounded by miners as he spoke. Some of those miners later told a West Virginia radio talk show host that Murray closed the mine for the day and required miners to attend the rally without pay. The company said there was no requirement. (Read more)

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