How King Coal Reigns Supreme Over Ron Ramsey and Tennessee's Legislature

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We've been a little hard on Channel 5 lately--and they deserved it--but Ben Hall knocked this one out of the park last night. Coal companies employ fewer than 400 people in Tennessee, so how come they hold such power in the legislature?

Hall answered that question by ruffling through a bunch of campaign finance reports and adding up the contributions from people with interests in coal. It turns out King Coal plays Ron Ramsey like a slot machine.

That's not exactly a big surprise but, as a bonus, Hall tells how the lieutenant governor worked behind the scenes to try to kill the bill to stop coal companies from blowing the tops off Tennessee's mountains. It's great fun to watch Ramsey bat his eyes innocently and try to make this all sound like it's completely on the up and up.

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