Ohio Democrats and a nonpartisan watchdog group want federal prosecutors and election regulators to probe allegations that Murray Energy Corp., a pro-GOP coal company, illegally forced employees to contribute to Republican candidates.
The company’s political action committee backs Mitt Romney and other Republicans, and one of its Ohio mines was the site of Romney speech in August that some workers described as a mandatory event attended without pay.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint claiming that the Ohio-based company’s CEO “coerced employees” to give to the company’s PAC by threatening reprisals, including job loss, if they didn’t.
“It is outrageous for a business owner to abuse his power to force his employees to support a political candidate. Whether coercing company executives to make campaign contributions or insisting coal miners take time off without pay so that a candidate can stage pretty pictures — it is all illegal,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement Tuesday.