In an eye-opening story on the influence of special interests on our elected officials, The Washington Independent has the dirt on West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall's antics with the coal lobby. HuffPost's Jason Linkins breaks it down for us at his Lobby Blog:
WOULD YOU STICK YOUR HEAD IN AN OVEN IF A LOBBYIST PAID YOU? The answer, for idiotic Democratic West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall seems to be yes. In a testament to just how influential lobbyists can be, Rahall was supposed to spend his weekend risking life and limb for the Coal Industry. Via the Washington Independent, GOOD LORD THIS IS JUST NUTS:
If all went as planned, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) jumped out of a plane on Saturday to show his support for the coal industry. In third-person fashion, he described the upcoming event last week as "a Nick Rahall affirmation of the importance of coal and an opportunity to pay tribute to those who extraordinarily serve and make personal sacrifices each day for the citizens of West Virginia and our Nation as a whole."
Some affirmation! According to quarterly FEC filings, Rahall took home seven grand in coal industry lucre. And guess what? The special interest that supports those who fly lackwitted Congresscritters up into the wild blue yonder to demonstrated their fealty to special interests kicked him a little green as well.
Read More From The Lobby Blog Here.
Jason is keeping fierce tabs on all the crazy stunts lobbyists are involved with -- if you have any tips or inside information on what other energy or environment-related lobbyists are up to, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.