Rep. Nick Rahall (D., W. Va.) is facing an incredibly tough reelection this year in West Virginia's third Congressional district. A March 11 poll showed the 19 term incumbent Democrat trailing his Republican challenger Evan Jenkins by a staggering 14 points.
Fearful of losing a once reliable seat in Congress, the liberal House Majority PAC has unloaded $738,000 into the race. Interestingly, some of the top donors to House Majority PAC are ardent anti-coal billionaires such as Donald Sussman and Bernard Schwartz.
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Rahall has long claimed to be a supporter of the coal industry, but House Majority PAC's efforts on behalf of the West Virginia Democrat suggest an extreme level of desperation on the part of his campaign.
However, Rahall's support for the coal industry has grown more suspect in recent years. The West Virginia Democrat supported Cap and Trade and voted in favor of instituting a carbon tax, odd decisions if one claims to be pro-coal.
Moreover, The Washington Free Beacon's Lachlan Markay revealed last fall Rahall has a history of employing anti-coal staffers, raising even more questions about his commitment to the industry.
"He’s the quintessential Washington insider," said a spokesperson for The Institute of Energy Research. "[He's] cutting Beltway deals to protect the perks of his seniority status in Congress while thumping his chest back home about fighting to protect coal miners and their families."