Citizens United To Reform Bankruptcy Laws Blog

Friday, April 08, 2005

WV Legislature passes resolution in support of Reforming Bankruptcy Laws

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts Hails West Virginia Legislature's Passage of Resolution In Support of Horizon Miners

Roberts Calls on Congress to Act Swiftly to Reform Bankruptcy Laws, Strengthen Coal Act

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil Roberts praised the West Virginia Legislature's passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 58, saying that, "With this demonstration of its strong support for the active and retired Horizon miners, the Legislature is sending a clear message to Congress that quick action needs to be taken to prevent what happened to these coal miners from happening again to any other coal miners or any other working family anywhere in America."

SCR 58 calls on Congress to investigate the loss of insurance coverage for active and retired coal miners due to Horizon's bankruptcy and determine what changes need to be made to the nation's bankruptcy laws to "ensure that workers' health and pension benefits are protected."

"The UMWA has not wavered in its position that the decision of a single bankruptcy court judge should not be allowed to strip away the health care benefits the Horizon miners and retirees spent their lives working to earn," Roberts said. "It's especially galling that the judge ignored the will of Congress and paid no heed to the obligations Horizon or any successor company has to contribute to retiree health care benefits under the Coal Act. As U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd said so eloquently last week on the floor of the United States Senate, 'One judge overturned a sixty year-old promise that had been codified by the Congress and endorsed by three presidents. It was a disgraceful, shameful act.'"

"The emotional and financial impact on these miners, retirees and their families have been and will continue to be tremendous burdens for them," Roberts said. "The UMWA has helped where we can, especially with respect to providing temporary health care coverage. But it's incumbent upon Congress to act to make sure no other group of workers ever have to suffer like the Horizon miners and their families have."


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At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She claimed she didn't know that those Jack Abramoff contributions were tainted when she had to get shed of them after they were caught. Nor did she know about the source of all that Duke Cunningham blood money he "contributed" to her. And likewise she never thought to question fellow House of Rep. Bob Ney's sudden generosity.

We're to accept that that they all just felt like handing her a ton of cash and that she had no idea that they wished to buy influence over her House Rules Committee.

Because we have no evidence to the contrary.

But her actions tell us loud and clear that she's in full support of the way Don Blankenship shafted those Cannelton families out of their pensions. Regardless of whether he actually gave her cash or not.

On the other hand, perhaps Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV 2nd) just didn't know about her home state legislature's mandate. But is it possible that he's apportioned a percentage of the millions he made over the bankrupting of Cannelton for the sake of SHELLEY?

It is remotely conceivable that Ms. Capito really "didn't know" that West Virginians wish to protect coal miners' pensions from transnational corporate pirates. After ALL, she may somehow have been left "out of the loop" when both houses of her home state legislature passed a resolution specifically directing her to investigate the loss of pensions due to the buyout of the Cannelton mines. Perhaps her hometown newspaper was routed to the wrong address only on the days it carried articles about hard-earned pensions being robbed from her constituents through a joint venture buyout concocted by transnational corporate profiteer Wilbur Ross of International Coal Group (ICG) and Massey Energy (formerly known as AT Massey).

She somehow may have never known of West Virginia's Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 58. Or else she chose to ignore when BOTH houses of her WV legislature urged her to persuade her friends in the GOP-run Congress to enact pension protections against a clever bankruptcy scheme. They wanted her to stop corporate pirates from sailing around the spirit and intent of Congress' Coal Act of 1992.

But if someone were to ask her directly about WV Senate Concurrent Resolution 58 sent to her office well over a year ago, it is possible that Ms. Capito just didn't know about it. Her dog could have eaten her office mail that day.

Her local media seems to just naturally accept it every time she has claimed to be out of the "loop". Time after time after time.

Although again, it is possible that Ms. Capito was never aware that her legislature sent a clear message for her to use her influential position to leverage a bill for them. God only knows why her local media never questioned her about it.

And possibly Don.

Because in this case the legislation was clearly fashioned to get her to prevent a reoccurrence of what was legally shoved onto the coal mining families at Cannelton Hollow, just a couple of years ago. But West Virginians may never know why she never acted, nor why she never publicly acknowledged any tenet of WV SCR 58, because the media in her home state never asked.

And if the media never presses the question, she'll likely never get around to advancing home spun legislation in the U.S. Congress. By NOT acting, she will actually pave the way for greedy Enron/ Silverado Savings and Loans pirates to screw even more working American families out of their pensions.

During a recent debate, Ms. Capito boasted that as a member of the vaunted House of Representatives' Rules Committee, she has the power to affect every piece of Congressional legislation. That GOP-run committee is literally in direct charge of setting the agenda regarding what legislation gets considered as well as what doesn't on the floor of the House. It is a matter of record that no form of WV SCR 58 has ever funnelled past her committee onto the House of Representatives' agenda for either debate in other committees or vote on the floor.

So has Ms. Capito misused her vaunted position to essentially nullify the clear intent of a resolution concurrently passed by both houses of her home state legislature and signed by her governor?

Or did someone simply forget to fill her in?

How can it be conceivable that she could never have been aware of her state's petition dated March 21, 2005? She's claimed to be "unaware" that former House Whip Tom Delay's ARMPAC cash was tainted by his partner Jack Abramoff as it kept pouring in - over several years. Even while she and her fellow Republicans were hacking away at the House Ethics Committee in their attempt to let Mr. Delay stay on as Majority Whip despite his 3 indictments, she never noticed the stench coming from the large sums of ill-gotten money that her office kept stashing away.

And how about that time fellow House GOP member Bob Ney was spreading around yet more Abramoff-connected influence peddling cash. When "her office" accepted it she again claimed to have been unaware of any problems connected with the cash, but later donated it to charities after realizing that it might eventually give a wrong impression to constituents.

One Oct. 13, Mr. Ney entered a guilty plea and began serving a 27 month sentence.

And it's reminiscent of the time when Ms. Capito remained totally oblivious to the fact that fellow GOP congresscritter Randall "Duke" Cunningham was being investigated, indicted, convicted and sentenced amazingly without ever being asked to appear before her House Ethics committee.

She just "didn't know" when "her office" accepted his generous war profiteering contributions. How could she have known when even her House Ethics committee didn't have a clue?

So there may be a pattern of her being "out of the loop" when it comes to connecting contributions with convicted influence peddlers.

And now her hometown media automatically assumes that she's completely believable when she once again admits to have been left totally "out of the loop" while fellow GOP House Member Tom Foley was caught "Hasterbating" her very own House Pages over the Internet.

So given her record for being "out of the loop" time and again, how could anyone reasonably expect Ms. Capito to have known that West Virginians wished to protect coal miners and their families against corporate profiteers hell-bent on plundering their peons out of their pensions?

The real question is how "out of the loop" can the media assume she really is? Do they naturally assume that she so out of touch because because she's NOT a Washington "insider" even though she's up for re-election for a FOURTH term? Are we really to just accept her word for it that she doesn't know Jack?

Or Duke? Or Bob? Or Tom?

But then just how well does she know Don? If she's NOT a Washington insider, then just how can she NOT know that local Blankencheck fellow spending hundreds of thousands in advert bucks with local media to smear the West Virginia Democrats up for re-election who voted for WV SCR 58? Because if Shelley's really just a West Virginia home gal, how can she then have no clue as to what Massey and the International Coal Group did to the West Virginia miners who'd faithfully put in so many tough and dangerous years at one the most productive coal mines in the United States?

Just why hasn't Shelley Moore Capito even tried to stop Don "the sake of the kids" Blankenship and his partner Wilbur "transnational vulture" Ross from doing the same to more Americans?

And will the media ever get around to asking before she's re-elected?

Shelley may not know Jack, but they ALL must surely know Don.

Read WV SCR in its entirety HERE

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