Hello. I'm one of the many Rao Brothers scattered from our hometown of Pittsburgh. I'm writing this from the mountains of West Virginia.
West Virginia used to have a slogan on our Welcome signs proclaiming..."Welcome to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia". Our present Governor Joe Manchin has changed it to "West Virginia, Open for Business". He should have posed with coal dust on his face.
Coal has dominated here for a hundred years and isn't leaving. It wasn't until recently that Big Coal went over the line. Mountaintop removal mining is spreading like a plague. Over 1,000 miles of streams have been buried by the giant "valley fills". A fill occurs after the top 600 feet of the mountain is blasted to bits and the tiny seam of coal is dragged and shipped. All the rest is bulldozed down into the valley.
Don't take my word. Google image, Youtube video, or ask anybody in our southern coalfields if mountaintop removal doesn't really suck.
I formally announced my candidacy for Secretary of State at an Elkins City Council meeting weeks ago. Both the print and radio media were there, but chose not to cover a hometown boy going for a statewide office. Being a member of the Mountain Party must not make me legitimate.