By Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist
(This is the first in a series of articles that will address the money behind Mike Pence’s quest to be reelected Governor of Indiana)
On June 25, just one day after the governor wrote a letter to president Obama saying Indiana would not comply with proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules against greenhouse omissions, Mike Pence’s campaign received a $10,000 gift from Marvin Gilliam of Bristol, Virginia.
Gilliam is the former VP of what was once one of the largest coal producers in America, Cumberland Resources, which was purchased by Massey Energy in 2010.
In 2013, Gilliam and Koch Industries, along with other wealthy donors, financed the gubernatorial campaign of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a longtime Republican and anti-LGBT climate denier who “used his position to launch an inquisition against a former University of Virginia climate scientist.”
Owners of Koch Industries, a multinational oil and manufacturing corporation making money from toilet paper, fertilizer, and a long list of other things, the Koch Brothers are wealthy giants who have influenced everything from climate control to school board elections.
Marvin’s brother Richard, who founded Cumberland Resources and now directs the rare metals exploration company Endurance Gold Corp, gave Mike Pence’s campaign $25,000 in 2012.
Richard Gilliam is a major donor to Koch Brothers-supported groups and visited their secret retreat in June 2010 to discuss political strategy.
Richard and wife Leslie were listed as #33 in the top donors to Republican political campaigns, according to a study by the Center for Responsive Politics, spending over $520,000 in 2010 alone.
Richard Gilliam also handed money to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super-PAC which spent over $104 million on the 2012 elections.
Another donor to Karl Rove’s PAC was Weaver Popcorn. As I detail in Hoosier School Heist, Weaver Popcorn’s Mike Weaver was a chief Tony Bennet donor when the Republican ran for the Indiana supt. of public education slot in 2012.
Doug Martin is the author of Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education, a book being read in over 130 cities and towns and 78 Indiana counties, 23 states, and the District of Columbia. A regular guest on national and Indiana radio talk shows such as Justin Oakley’s Just Let Me Teach and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos, Dr. Martin’s research has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press.