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Rob Portman is no friend of Ohio coal miners

The United Mine Workers of America got it wrong. Once again, Washington, D.C., insiders think they know Ohio, and once again they proved that they do not. While local mine workers cheer on and support (Democrat) Ted Strickland because they know he is their friend and will fight for them in the Senate, the UMWA seem to be making backroom deals on Capitol Hill that are hurting the people of the Ohio Valley.

The facts are clear. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, voted three times to slash funding for mine safety. Portman voted seven times to repeal legislation expanding access to black lung benefits for miners and their families. When you won’t support mine safety training, and when you won’t support funding for black lung benefits for miners and their families, it is clear that you don’t give a damn about mine workers.

And if you still need further evidence that Sen. Portman cares more about the interests of the coal barons instead of the coal miners you can look at the political contributions he has received. Portman accepted $1,000 from Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, who was convicted of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards. He also took $2,400 from Richard Whiting, CEO of Patriot Coal, who fought to protect millions in bonuses to mining executives while cutting pensions for mine workers. Sen. Portman should be ashamed of himself.

Thankfully Ted Strickland is from here and he’s spent his life fighting for our working families and he’ll stand up for us in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Portman has no idea what life is like in our community, and in Congress he’s pushing the agenda of the D.C. power-brokers and wealthy special interests he serves while working people are paying the price. So remember to vote for Ted Strickland on Nov. 8 because mine workers, and working people everywhere, cannot take six more years of D.C. insider Rob Portman.

Wallace is a local business owner and a Martins Ferry councilman. He was selected as chairman of the Belmont County Democrat Party in April.

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