Friday, September 16, 2005

From the Archives: Charleston Daily Mail Reports on Labor Day 2004 Willie Nelson Bush-Bashing Concert

Jesse Jackson and Jean-Francois KerryLet me take you back to the September 7, 2004, Charleston Daily Mail. That day, the paper led with the following headline: "Music lovers, political types mix smoothly Boulevard event with big-name musicians drew divided crowd." The "political types" included such liberal Democratic activists as UMW President Cecil Roberts and Jesse Jackson.

While both South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb and Charleston Mayor Danny Jones attended, it was Robb who overtly participated in the political portion of the event, which was an all-out Bush-bash fest. Unlike Robb, who was a GOP presidential elector who threatened to be a faithless elector, Jones supported Bush's reelection.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

United Mine Workers International President Cecil RobertsUnited Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts gave the largest serving of red meat to the more politically minded in attendance.

Roberts accused President Bush and the members of his administration of accusing Sen. John Kerry of being unpatriotic and then accused them of being unpatriotic themselves for not serving in Vietnam. Roberts said the president and his staff were "not just hawks, they're chicken hawks."

"We're going to take the gloves off right here and now," Roberts said, promising to lead the fight to defeat Bush and pursue constitutional amendments to stop workers from crossing picket lines, guarantee a living wage and forbid trade with countries that don't follow American labor laws.

South Charleston's Republican mayor, Richie Robb, participated in the political portion of the event but said he still hasn't made up his mind about the presidential election.

Robb said today that while he was "not particularly enamored" with John Kerry, he held some deep reservations about President Bush's leadership. Robb cited misgivings about the Iraq War and tax cuts as undermining his support of Bush.

"I went up on stage because I think those organizations and individuals advocate a strong middle class agenda," Robb said. "That's my priority and the thing we need most in this country right now."

[Jesse] Jackson was the last speaker before Nelson took the stage...