W.Va.'s U.S. House incumbents outraise opponents

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's three incumbent members of Congress all raised significant amounts of money by the end of 2011, much more than their opponents, according to reports they filed with the Federal Election Commission by Jan. 31.Each of the incumbents -- Reps. David B. McKinley, R- W.Va., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va. -- face opponents from their own and/or opposing parties, but those candidates raised very little money, in part because most filed to run for Congress only recently.McKinley, who is seeking his second term in Congress, raised the most -- $1.3 million during the latest reporting period, between October and December 2011.Capito, first elected to Congress in 2000, raised $722,151. Rahall, first elected in 1976, raised $576,942, according to the reports.The current "cash on hand" for the candidates, according to the new FEC reports, was nearly $1.1 million for Capito and McKinley, and $816,944 for Rahall.The types of contributors varied among the candidates, according to the reports. Rahall received $103,500 in contributions from labor unions and employees and their political action committees. That included $10,000 each from the United Mine Workers union, the Brotherhood of Carpenters and the United Transportation Union.Labor organization PACs gave Capito $6,500, while McKinley received a few thousand in donations from groups representing boilermakers, firefighters, electrical workers, painters and sheet metal workers.Rahall received $17,500 from coal industry executives and PACs, including: $500 from James "Buck" Harless, a long-time Mingo County coal operator who now heads International Industries. Rahall's PAC donations included $2,500 from Arch Coal and $2,000 form Patriot Coal.Capito received at least $122,872 in donations from individuals and PACs in the coal industry.Harless gave $1,000 to Capito and $2,000 to McKinley.Alpha Natural Resources, which bought Massey Energy last June, donated nearly $8,500 to Capito in contributions from executive officers and its political action committee.Capito received $17,000 from other coal-company PACs including those created by Arch Coal, Consol Energy, ICG, Murray Energy and Patriot Coal. McKinley received nearly $180,000 from the coal industry, more than the other two incumbents. That included $51,000 from PACs and more than $128,000 from individual contributors.McKinley accepted a $1,500 donation from Massey Energy on Jan. 4, 2011. However, he returned a $2,400 personal contribution from Don Blankenship, the controversial president of Massey, when Alpha bought the company last June.Capito received more than $106,000 from financial institutions, including banks, credit card companies and loan companies. BB&T donated $4,250 and the National Pawnbrokers Association gave her $2,000.
Capito also received oil industry donations from companies including Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil and Sunoco.Rahall, the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, received nearly $55,000 from airline companies and employees.Rahall has played a major role in the House in helping fund airports and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as keeping small airports alive in places like Morgantown, Clarksburg, Parkersburg and Beckley.
Capito and McKinley also have backed legislation to help small airports.Rahall received $42,000 from airline industry PACs and employees. McKinley received at least $16,000 from airline industry donors, while Capito received $10,500 from them.Capito received $17,000 from railroad employees and PACs, while Rahall received $42,000.
McKinley also received $4,400 from William Maloney of Morgantown, a manager of Cow Run Energy and the Republican candidate who lost last year's special election for governor to Earl Ray Tomblin.Maloney is running for governor against Tomblin again this year.McKinley received $3,500 from the Koch Industrial PAC, created by Charles and David Koch, ranked as the fourth- and fifth-richest Americans by Forbes magazine.The Kochs have spent tens of millions of dollars financing conservative political organizations, as well as economics programs at many universities, including West Virginia University.McKinley received many donations from health-care individuals and PACs, as well as contributions from oil, natural gas and electrical power companies.McKinley faces no opposition in the Republican primary.Challengers to the longstanding incumbents received significantly fewer donations.Sue Thorn of Wheeling, the only Democratic opponent for McKinley, reported receiving $31,198 in contributions, which apparently came from herself, according to her FEC filing.Capito has two opponents in the Republican primary -- Michael Davis of Elkins and Jonathan Miller of Berkley. Miller reported raising $10,065 by the end of 2011 -- $6,507 from contributors and $3,558 from his own funds.Three Democratic candidates filed to run for Capito's seat in the their party's primary: Dugald Brown of Berkeley, William McCann of Kearneysville and Howard Swint of Charleston.Rahall faces no Democratic opponent, but three Republicans are running for their party's nomination for Rahall's seat: Lee A. Bias of Huntington, Bill Lester of Beckley and Rick Snuffer of Beckley.None of these other candidates filed financial reports with the FEC, since apparently they had not raised any money before Dec. 31.All House and Senate candidates must file four quarterly financial reports with the FEC this year.The next reports, covering contributions and expenses during the period ending on March 31, are due April 15. The following reports must be filed by July 15 and Oct. 15.Reach Paul J. Nyden at pnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.
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