Jailbird Don Blankenship Running Third-Party For Senate, Because What Are Laws?
'I will never cave in to the establishment. You can count on me to explode the status quo'
Cocksnotting shitball former coal CEO Don Blankenship, who came in third in West Virginia's Republican primary for US Senate a couple weeks back, doesn't know the meaning of the words "surrender." Or the words "you lost." Or even "criminal conspiracy to ignore safety rules, leading to the deaths of 29 miners in 2010." So it's perfectly reasonable that Blankenship announced today he'll run as the Constitution Party's candidate for Senate, despite West Virginia's "Sore Loser" law that prohibits losers of party primaries from filing for candidacy in the general election.
Hell, some piddling little mine safety regulations didn't keep Don Blankenship from forcing miners to work in deadly conditions, so why should a mere campaign law stop him now? He says he's willing to fight the law in court, because after all, it's gettin' in the way of his ambition.
Politico notes that Vest Virginia's "So! You Want to Run For Office?" guidelines are pretty specific about the matter. Even if Blankenship can get the necessary nominating petitions by the August 1 cutoff date for the general, he can't be on the ballot:
Candidates affiliated with a recognized political party who run for election in a primary election and who lose the nomination cannot change her or his voter registration to a minor party organization/unaffiliated candidate to take advantage of the later filing deadlines and have their name on the subsequent general election ballot.
Blankenship sees the law as just another impediment the Deep State has put in place to keep him from doing for Washington what he did for West Virginia (kill a lot of miners). He's got millions from his time as CEO of Massey Energy, and he's ready to stand up to the Powers That Be, who'll learn there's no loser sorer than he:
“Although the establishment will likely begin their efforts against us by mounting a legal challenge to my candidacy, we are confident that -- if challenged -- our legal position will prevail, absent a politically motivated decision by the courts,” he said.
The coal baron also said that the establishment was “determined to keep me — the most anti-establishment candidate in the nation — out of the United States Senate,” and that “the press and the establishment have colluded and lied to convince the public that I am a moron, a bigot, and a felon.”
For a guy who doesn't talk about race at all, Don Blankenship sure sounds like a racist.
If Blankenship does manage to run, he could split the rightwing vote and help incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin hold on to his Senate seat, which could be vital to Dems' hopes of winning back the Senate this fall. Republicans had worked like crazy to keep Blankenship from winning the three-way primary, including a $1.3 million ad buy by a super PAC affiliated with Mitch McConnell. Blankenship, ever the gentleman, retaliated by attacking McConnell for being married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whose father, Blankenship said, is a "wealthy Chinaperson." Which is an odd thing for a rich asshole coal CEO to call an American citizen who came to the USA in 1958.
And would you believe it, as the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports, there's even a possible flaw in the the construction of West Viginia's election law that could allow Blankenship to run this fall. Michael Kang, an elections-law expert at Emory University, sees an opening for Blankenship:
Specifically, Kang noted the law cited by the Secretary of State prohibits independent runs after a primary loss from “candidates who are not already candidates in the primary election for public office.”
He said because Blankenship was — not is — a candidate for the primary election for public office, he may have room to argue. However, he said it is unlikely the Secretary of State would interpret the code as such, potentially triggering a legal challenge. He also said it would be hard to tease out the legislative intent from a wording error.
“It’s a decent argument without knowing more, and if I were determined to run and had the resources to litigate, I would think it’s worth trying out,” Kang said.
So yes, it really does depend on what your definition of "is" is.
But even if Blankenship can wriggle through that hole, which is already smaller than a tiny gap in a collapsed mineshaft, there's another provision the Deep State put in his way years before he planned to run: To qualify for the ballot, a candidate cannot have been registered with another party within 60 days of filing their announcement. Don Blankenship will no doubt say, "So you mean I have a shot. Terrific!"
Before you get all excited about the prospects of Blankenship running as a spoiler and keeping the actual GOP nominee, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, from winning this fall, consider the cost: Another five months of hearing about Don Goddamn Blankenship. Needless to say, Yr Wonkette would be perfectly fine with that trade-off.
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