Thursday, September 22, 2005

Coal Companies' Lawyer in Export Severance Tax Case is Senator Byrd's Campaign Chairman

During the past few weeks leading up to yesterday's oral arguments before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in U.S. Steel et al. v. Helton, commonly known as the coal severance tax case, Democratic politicos had been attacking Republican Justice Brent Benjamin and the Republican Party in general as being bought and paid for by Don Blankenship. However, I think few of them will laugh after reading further my findings presented here.

Let me introduce you to Herschel H. Rose, III, Esquire, of the Rose Law Office, Charleston. Ned Rose, as he is more commonly known, is the attorney who argued the coal companies' case in court. He's a former state tax commissioner under the Rockefeller Administration. His grandfather, Herschel H. Rose, was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1940 from Marion County. However, the next part of his biography should stop the Democratic catcalls midsentence.

Ned Rose is also the chairman of the Friends of Robert C. Byrd Committee. That's right folks: the lawyer for the coal companies in their suit challenging the imposition of the state coal severance tax on exported coal is also the reelection campaign chairman for the Conscience of the Senate, West Virginia's premiere statesman, and an institution in his own right: Senator Robert C. Byrd.