The Climate Changer.
Meet Joe Manchin, self described as “just a good old West Virginia boy”. And a very rich one at that. Says Kenneth Surin, writing today in CounterPunch:
Manchin has made more than $5 million in in profits since entering the Senate in 2011, most of it from his family business (the coal brokerage firm Enersystems Inc).
Manchin sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee which oversees the industry that fills his pockets. He maintains that this is not a conflict of interest because his Enersystems portfolio has been put in a “blind trust”.
But you don’t have to be a genius to know that any policy benefitting the coal industry will in all probability enhance what’s in Manchin’s blind trust, which of course can be unwound once the rich ol’ boy leaves office.
The War Profiteer.
Dick Cheney said something similar when he put his Haliburton portfolio in a blind trust, but we know damn well that his administration’s rampage through Iraq was going to be mighty good business for Haliburton, and hence would augment willy nilly what was in Cheney’s supposedly blind trust.
Manchin belongs to a minor West Virginian political dynasty. His father and grandfather were mayors of Farmington, West Virginia. An uncle was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and the state’s Secretary of State and Treasurer.
Wealthy though he may be, Manchin is not the wealthiest member of his immediate family. That designation belongs to his daughter Heather Manchin (later Bresch).
In a previous piece in CounterPunch I described Heather Bresch’s role as head of Mylan, a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical giant.
After her undergraduate degree at West Virginia University Heather was looking for a job. Her father, then a state assemblyman, ran into Mylan’s co-founder, the late Milan Puskar, at a WVU basketball game.
Mylan hired Heather for an entry-level position shortly afterwards. Joe Manchin became West Virginia’s governor, and records show Mylan benefitted from corporate tax-breaks worth millions in the state during Manchin’s gubernatorial tenure.