Free-Market Fundamentalist John Raese's Company Received More Than $2.4 Million In Federal Contracts

October 05, 2010 10:28 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

The U.S. Senate election in West Virginia pits Gov. Joe Manchin (D) against "flamboyant businessman" John Raese (R), an unabashed conservative who has become one of the most quotable candidates of 2010. In addition to claiming that volcanoes are the cause of global warming, Raese has boasted, "I made my money the old-fashioned way. I inherited it." With an extreme economic agenda that includes abolishing the "hideous" minimum wage, Raese promises to "attack big government spending" and "unshackle our businesses" if elected. 

However, the millionaire candidate has not always put his money where his mouth is. Raese is the chief executive of Greer Industries, a steel and limestone producer started by his family in 1917. Despite Raese's anti-government rhetoric on the campaign trail, Greer Industries has received almost $2.4 million in federal contracts in the past decade:

It's also worth noting that while Raese is a champion of deregulation, Greer Industries has been fined for 627 safety violations since 1995. At any rate, Raese is just one of several right-wing candidates to hypocritally profit from government spending. Tea Party-backed candidates Sharron Angle (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Joe Miller (R-AK), among others, have all benefited from government spending they claim to oppose.