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BREAKING: Josh Mandel Accepted Nearly $60,000 From Murray Energy Company That Coerced Employees Into Making Political Donations

New Republic Investigation Found Significant Evidence That Murray Energy CEO Forced Employees To Donate To Republican Candidates

Murray Energy Is 6th-Highest Contributor To Mandel For Senate Campaign

A shocking investigation by The New Republic has uncovered significant evidence suggesting that Murray Energy Corporation CEO Robert Murray – who previously forced his employees to forego a day’s pay to act as political props for a rally with Josh Mandel and Mitt Romney – coerced, cajoled and pressured many of his employees into making significant donations to state and national Republicans including Josh Mandel.

In total, Murray Energy has donated nearly $60,000 to Josh Mandel.

The New Republic reports:

The accounts of two sources who have worked in managerial positions at the firm, and a review of letters and memos to Murray employees, suggest that coercion may also explain Murray staffers’ financial support for Romney [and Mandel]. Murray, it turns out, has for years pressured salaried employees to give to the Murray Energy political action committee (PAC) and to Republican candidates chosen by the company. Internal documents show that company officials track who is and is not giving. The sources say that those who do not give are at risk of being demoted or missing out on bonuses, claims Murray denies.

The Murray sources, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, came forward separately. But they painted similar pictures of the fund-raising operation. “There’s a lot of coercion,” says one of them. “I just wanted to work, but you feel this constant pressure that, if you don’t contribute, your job’s at stake. You’re compelled to do this whether you want to or not.” Says the second: “They will give you a call if you’re not giving. . . . It’s expected you give Mr. Murray what he asks for.”

The New Republic adds:

Murray’s PAC and staffers are the sixth-largest source for Ohio senatorial hopeful Josh Mandel.

 This isn’t the first time Josh Mandel has been caught handling dirty campaign cash, either. Earlier this year, Mandel was forced to return $105,000 in shady campaign contributions after an FBI investigation of the contributors of the money became public.

“Josh Mandel was already forced to return $105,000 in shady campaign cash connected to an FBI investigation, and now he’s been caught red-handed having accepted nearly $60,000 in dirty money from employees who appear to have been coerced into funding his political campaigns,” said Sadie Weiner, spokeswoman for Friends of Sherrod Brown. “Josh Mandel’s decision to accept tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Murray Energy employees, who were seemingly forced to donate money to his campaigns, only cements his reputation as a politician who can’t be trusted and whose ethical compass points only toward the ballot box.”

BACKGROUND

Murray Energy Corporation Provided Josh Mandel With $375 In Travel Expenses In 2007.  According to his 2007 State Personal Financial Disclosure, Murray Energy Corporation provided Josh Mandel with “approximately” $375 in travel expenses.  [Josh Mandel 2007 PFD]

Murray Energy Employees Have Donated $27,532 To Mandel’s Senate Race. [Open Secrets]

Mandel Is One Of Only Two Senate Candidates To Receive At Least $10,000 From Murray Energy’s PAC. [Open Secrets]

Robert Murray And His Company’s Associated PAC Donated $30,800 To Josh Mandel’s State Representative And State Treasurer Races.  According to state filings, Robert Murray along with his company’s PAC, donated $30,800 to Josh Mandel’s state representative and state treasurer races.  [Ohio Campaign Finance Database]