Miners Say They Were Forced To Attend Mitt Romney Rally at Mine Owned by Romney Donor

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During a rally with Mitt Romney at a coal mine in Ohio earlier this month, “The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid.”

The mine was shut down for the day, the workers were not paid and employees “feared they'd be fired if they didn't attend the campaign rally.”

The mine, a subsidiary of Murray Energy, saw no problem with the arrangement. Murray’s chief financial officer said, "We are talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that's related to the coal industry in this area or the entire country.”

That’s not surprising. The company’s owner is a major supporter and fundraiser for Mitt Romney.

In May, Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray hosted a fundraiser in Wheeling, West Virginia that featured 700 donors and raised $1.7 million for his campaign. Right after that event, the Romney campaign reported $21,200 in contribution from Murray Energy employees and $10,000 from Murray Energy's PAC, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Bob Murray himself donated $2,500.

The Plain-Dealer goes on to note that “Records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that Murray Energy has contributed more than $900,000 to Republican candidates in the last two years.”