Political ad goin’ viral!

Isn’t that what every politician wants? Maybe not if you’re a coal executive convicted for conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and securities fraud, or if you are a mannequin of a man carved out of marshmallows with a monotone.

He’s running for the senate representing West Virginia, against Manchin (a conservative Democrat who is no prize himself), and for some reason he thinks his opponent is Mitch McConnell, the senator from Kentucky, who he’d have to work with if his charisma did somehow get him elected.

I’m sorry, West Virginia. Your politicians all suck.


  1. says

    I wouldn’t go out of my way to dis Manchin. He managed to get elected to the Senate as a Democrat from West Virginia. It is extremely important that he win reelection.

  2. quatguy says

    Wow, who would vote for this guy? Where to start? I can’t believe he said “China people”. Try moving your face dude.

  3. says

    McConnell’s father in law owns a shipping company, and coke was discovered on one of his freighters. No indication that company had anything to do with it. That’s it. Also his wife is Chinese which why Blankenship is doing the racist thing.

  4. jrkrideau says

    He’s that lacking in affect or just heavily tranquilized?

    He is almost as scary as Doug Ford, though without the crazed look.

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Blankenshit [sic] is truly evil (in all sense of use of “truly”) His commercial tries to spin the truth into a lie and doubling the lie to sell himself as the guy who could “fixit”.
    WV really needs to be weened off coal, being the toxic drug, and shift over to solar panel production and forming installations of solar to supply their energy.
    I know, easier said than done. Only, saying it over and over, may get some in authority to consider the move as a way to excel in the changing energy supply economy, which would benefit the entire population of WV.
    I know I’m talking into the ether, I only need to write it down and get it out of my frustration.
    Thank you for reading.

  6. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    He’s running for the senate representing West Virginia, against Manchin (a conservative Democrat who is no prize himself), and for some reason he thinks his opponent is Mitch McConnell, the senator from Kentucky

    Right now he’s running for the gop nomination, so it makes some sense that he’d make this about McConnell (who’s run ads against him). But notice the not-so-subtle racism in his mention of China people and McConnell’s China family. McConnell’s wife is Elaine Chao, current Secretary of Transportation, who was born in Taiwan.

  7. blf says

    (1) West Virginia Coal Baron Won’t Stop Saying China People in His Senate Ad:

    Republican West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship’s latest political ad has stirred controversy for its use of terms like China people and references to Sen Mitch McConnell as cocaine Mitch and his China family.


    He’s defended his use of the phrase China people to news outlets saying the term was not racist.

    There’s no mention of race. I’ve never used a race word, Blankenship said in an interview where he added races are Negro, white Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian.

    In an explanation Blankenship gave for the ad on his campaign website, the candidate says that McConnell’s father-in-law founded and owns a large Chinese shipping company and claimed he has given McConnell and his wife millions of dollars. As for the cocaine Mitch reference, Blankenship is referencing an article from the Nation that claims that McConnell’s in-law’s company was found with drugs on one of its ships.

    However, the shipping company is actually American and based in New York, the Washington Post notes. James S C Chao, McConnell’s father-in-law and owner of the Foremost Group (the shipping company in question), is Chinese. The Post also notes that there’s no record of the McConnell getting millions from his in-laws and no charges were filed for any drugs allegedly found on board a ship.

    (2) This kook has a distinct problem with the truth. For instance, other ads, The GOP Candidate Testing the Limits of Trumpism:

    The ad that tells you all you need to know about Don Blankenship’s renegade US Senate campaign has the distinct amateur look and sound of the kind of furniture-outlet promotion you’ll invariably stumble across if you watch enough local news. But it gets a job done: Over the course of one clumsy minute, the spot neatly traces Blankenship’s path from infamous villain clawing to reclaim scraps of his reputation to semi-viable GOP candidate.

    First, the clip, which is set entirely within a kitchen: Did you know Don Blankenship’s trial was not about the mine explosion? a woman asks a man, apparently feeling no need to provide any context. Everyone in West Virginia knows the story of 2010’s Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that killed 29 miners, setting off a saga that landed Blankenship — the mining company’s CEO, and perhaps the state’s most-hated man at the time — in jail for a year. Six seconds into the video, it’s already clear to viewers that they’ll be treated to part of Blankenship’s preferred, and rarely supported, version of the story — in which he’s a victim of Democratic overreach, despite having eventually been found guilty of a misdemeanor conspiracy to willfully violate mine-safety standards.

    “Really? You sure?” the man responds, perplexed. Oh, yeah, the Obama judge wouldn’t even let Don mention the explosion, and the Obama prosecutors knew Don had nothing to do with the explosion, the woman insists, prompting her interlocutor to ask the obvious question: “Then what was the trial about?” Looking disappointed, she explains, Mostly about a letter Don didn’t even write. That information is just too much for the man to take. He explodes with an incredulous, “Obama prosecutors tried to put Blankenship in prison for life for a letter he didn’t even write?!”

    The video continues in this vein — complete with a flashing line of text reading Blankenship Innocent at one point — before tying a bow on itself. West Virginians knew that Obama was against them and coal. Now they understand what happened when Don fought back, intones the man, newly earnest and now thoroughly convinced. […]

    The ad organically captures how Blankenship’s longtime personal-reputation rehab project has morphed into a full-fledged political campaign. Not quite explicit in the ad, but known to many West Virginians, is that Blankenship blames Democratic senator Joe Manchin, the governor at the time of the explosion, as much as he blames Obama for the conspiracy against him — and that’s exactly whose US Senate seat he wants in November. But even more than other recent Trumpist candidates with a disregard for political convention and the basic rules of factual representation (see Alabama’s Roy Moore), Blankenship is now testing the outer edges of Republican voters’ openness to a right-wing, bombastic populist whose past would be disqualifying under the old rules. Blankenship’s rise to electoral threat status has been packed with lessons about just what kind of figure can attract a following in today’s Republican Party, and what the party Establishment can do to effectively set the limits of personal celebrity, conspiracy theorizing, and anti–status quo rage even in the heart of Trump country.

    Democrats and Establishment Republicans in Washington alike regard the self-funding coal executive as an unhinged figure whose thirst for revenge against Manchin could, if he prevails in the GOP primary, almost certainly hand the most conservative Democrat in DC another term in the Senate. […]

    Blankenship — whose time in prison was punishment for the latest in a long line of violations, including accusations of poisoning drinking water and forcing employees to underreport their injuries — had been trying to salvage his brand for years. In 2014, he posted a 51-minute video to YouTube offering his own explanation for the explosion (which clashes with official reports). In October of 2016, while incarcerated, he had 250,000 copies of a 67-page pamphlet called An American Political Prisoner printed and distributed, laying further groundwork for his contention that he’s a victim of Obama administration judicial warfare.


    He’s run ads claiming, against the available evidence, that the explosion was Obama administration regulators’ fault. And even the bio section of his campaign website begins: Over the past 30 years, I have been threatened with death several times: had urine thrown on me: had eleven bullet holes shot into my office: had two cars smashed with ball bats and clubs while I was in them: been continually lied about: been the subject of several false books: been branded with multiple derogatory names: been sued numerous times: been slandered on national television many times: been subjected to continued ridicule by newspapers: been falsely accused of causing the Upper Big Branch (UBB) tragedy: been falsely arrested: endured a trial where I faced 30 years in prison for made up charges, and been put in federal prison for a misdemeanor.

    […] Recently, Blankenship started to turn his sights more directly to the man he believes holds nearly as much responsibility as Obama. While Manchin has almost entirely ignored his candidacy in public, Blankenship has paid for ads comparing the disaster to Benghazi and calling it Obama’s deadliest cover-up. The campaign is titled, Does Senator Joe Manchin Have Blood on His Hands?

    His focus on Manchin is second only to his fixation on the Republican leadership, a hypercharged version of the line pushed by GOP agitators in primaries all over the country.

    “Blankenship was a drain the swamp guy before Trump, frankly. He might be the most anti-Establishment candidate in any race anywhere,” said [West Virginia’s most influential radio host, Hoppy] Kercheval.

    [… Some] recent McConnell agitations: He’s compared the leader to Russians because of his involvement in a race outside of his jurisdiction […].


    After the New York Times reported that Blankenship’s primary residence is outside of Las Vegas, noted his onetime interest in Chinese citizenship, and pointed out that he has yet to file a required financial disclosure, his response stuck to the tried-and-true line of Trump-style media-bashing: The reporter is clearly a communist propagandist with no American values, whatsoever. Much of what he says is filled with outright lies and nearly all of the rest is simply misrepresentation, Blankenship said in a statement. It would be too kind to call his article fake news. It is communist propaganda.


  8. chigau (違う) says

    Why do those children look like that?
    Where did they come from?
    What is he going to do with them?
    Why is the one on the right wriggling?

  9. gijoel says

    Yeah that Brian Kemp one. It’s like there are all these old, white guys who are terrified that someone is coming to take their Wimen.

  10. chuckonpiggott says

    How are you “pro life” when you’re responsible for 29 deaths, and an NRA member?

  11. jrkrideau says

    @ 12 chigau

    Why do those children look like that?

    Children’s dose of the same drug as the zombie is on?

    Why is the one on the right wriggling?

    Would you not be trying to escape? He is lucky it was not a cat.

  12. says

    Mhiggo — It was a Dixiecrat state. Robert Byrd was a KKK member. True, he repudiated it but that still tells you what it once meant to be a Democrat in WV. Jennings Randolph was more conservative than Manchin, other than being pro-union. This is the basic problem in Appalachia and the South — what it means to be a Democrat in those states today is completely different from what it meant when they were reliably Democratic.

  13. emergence says

    From what I can tell, this guy is trying to salvage his reputation by concocting a conspiracy theory that appeals to partisan bias. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were quite a few people who believe everything this guy says just because he’s using Obama and Manchin as scapegoats for his own actions.

  14. vole says

    “Pro-life candidate” and “NRA Life Member”! Signs here of outstanding ethical agility.