Over labour day weekend in West Virginia, Massey Energy is hosting a massive rally in support of coal and against global warming.
Verizon (VZ) is one of more than 120 sponsors of the event, and this is getting the left wing blogsters, and environmentalists into a frenzy. Starting with a column on the Huffington Post, then trickling outward, a unanimous call is coming up, “What are you thinking Verizon?“
Outraged bloggers want to know why Verizon is choosing to be associated with an event that Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy says will show “how environmental extremists and corporate America are both trying to destroy your jobs,” with the cap and trade bill.
Verizon Wireless spokeswoman, Laura Merritt tells the WV Gazette:
Basically, this was a decision at the local level to support the community. It did not involve the company’s political positions at all.
In this particular situation, we are supporting the event because it’s a local event. It wasn’t an effort to take a position on any particular issue.
Another Verizon Wireless spokesperson, Jim Gerace, went a little farther. He said his company simply paid $1,000 for the right to be able to sell its products at the rally:
It’s nothing more than that … and the groups who are trying to make it more than that are misguided. I’m definitely bothered that people are trying to put us in the middle of an argument.
That’s not going to quell the protestors on the left. Of course, if Verizon pulls out it’s just going to irk the folks on the other side of the debate.
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