Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship made news just last week when he told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t plan to return to mining, and also doesn’t have political aspirations. But as Tom Loftus of the Courier-Journal reports, Blankenship also just contributed $10,000 to the Kentucky Democratic Party.
During his time in charge of Massey (he retired several months after the explosion at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 miners), Blankenship dabbled in politics. He spent more than $3 million in independent expenditures in 2004 to defeat incumbent West Virginia Supreme Court judge Warren McGraw, which was the subject of a film by Anna Sale at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Photos also emerged of Blankenship vacationing on the French Riviera with Spike Maynard, another state Supreme Court judge, as Massey was appealing a $50 million jury verdict against the company to the Supreme Court.
Besides the recent donation to the KDP, Blankenship has several active interests in the state, including a mining company, though as of a few weeks ago he had no pending mining permits.