Joe Manchin United States Senator
Joseph Manchin III (born August 24, 1947) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from West Virginia, a seat he has held since 2010. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 34th Governor of West Virginia from 2005 to 2010 and the 27th Secretary of State of West Virginia from 2001 to 2005.
Manchin has been known throughout his career to be a conservative Democrat, a fact which has allowed him to hold office in West Virginia even as the state shifted from one of the most heavily Democratic in the country to one of the most heavily Republican. He won by a large margin the 2004 West Virginia gubernatorial election and reelected with an even larger margin in 2008, even though in both years Republican presidential candidates captured the majority of West Virginia's votes. He won the special election in November 2010 to fill the seat of Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving U.S. Senator in history, who died in office. Manchin was elected to a full term in office with 60 percent of the vote in November 2012. Manchin became the state's senior U.S. Senator when Jay Rockefeller retired in 2015.
As a member of Congress, Manchin is known for his bipartisanship, voting or working with Republicans on issues such as abortion and gun ownership. He opposed the energy policies of President Barack Obama, declined to vote on both the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 and the DREAM ACT, voted for removing federal funding from Planned Parenthood in 2015 (but voted to preserve funding for the organization in 2017), and voted to confirm most of President Donald Trump's cabinet appointees. In 2017, he voted against allowing states to divert money away from abortion providers. Manchin has repeatedly voted against attempts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He voted against the 2017 Republican tax plan. Manchin has complained about the "toxic" lack of bipartisanship in Congress on almost every issue. "Liberal activists argue he is too conservative for the Democratic Party, while Republicans argue he is too liberal for West Virginia."Contents
Manchin was born in 1947 in Farmington, West Virginia, a small coal mining town, the second of five children of Mary O. (née Gouzd) and John Manchin. Manchin was derived from "Mancini". His father was of Italian descent and his maternal grandparents were Czechoslovak immigrants.
His father owned a carpet and furniture store, and his grandfather, Joseph Manchin, owned a grocery store. His father and his grandfather both served as Mayor of Farmington, West Virginia. His uncle, A.J. Manchin, was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and was elected as the state's Secretary of State and Treasurer.
Manchin graduated from Farmington High School in 1965. He entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship in 1965; however, an injury during practice ended his football career. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in business administration and later became involved in several family-owned businesses.
Early political career
Manchin was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1982 at the age of 35 and was elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1986, where he served until 1996. He ran for Governor in 1996, finishing second to Charlotte Pritt among a large group of candidates in the Democratic primary election. He later ran and was elected as Secretary of State of West Virginia in 2000.Governor of West Virginia
Manchin announced his intention to challenge incumbent Democratic Governor, Bob Wise, in the 2004 Democratic primary election in May 2003. Wise decided not to seek re-election after a scandal, and Manchin won the Democratic primary and general election by large margins. His election marked the first time that two people of the same political party had followed one another in the West Virginia Governor's office since 1964.Manchin speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in his capacity as chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
Manchin was a member of the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors' Association, and the Democratic Governors Association. He was also chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, state's chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission and chairman of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission.
In July 2005, Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship sued Manchin, alleging that Manchin had violated Blankenship's First Amendment rights by threatening increased government scrutiny of his coal operations in retaliation for Blankenship's political activities. Blankenship had donated substantial funds into campaigns to defeat a proposed pension bond amendment and oppose the re-election of state Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw, and he fought against a proposed increase in the severance tax on extraction of mineral resources. Soon after defeat of the pension bond amendment, the state Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) revoked a permit approval for controversial new silos near Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County. While area residents had complained for some time that the coal operation there endangered their children, Blankenship claimed that the DEP acted in response to his opposition to the bond amendment.
During the 2006 Sago Mine disaster in early January 2006 in Upshur County, West Virginia, Manchin appeared to confirm incorrect reports that 12 miners had survived; in actuality only one survived. Manchin later acknowledged that an unintentional miscommunication had occurred with rescue teams in the mine. On February 1, 2006, he ordered a stop to all coal production in West Virginia, pending safety checks, after two more miners were killed in separate accidents. Sixteen West Virginia coal miners died from mining accidents in early 2006. In November 2006, SurveyUSA ranked him as one of the most popular governors in the country with a 74 percent approval rating.
Manchin easily won re-election to a second term as governor in 2008 against Republican Russ Weeks, capturing 69.77% percent of the vote and winning every county.U.S. Senate Elections 2010 Main article: United States Senate special election in West Virginia, 2010 Memorial service for Robert Byrd at the State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia, July 2, 2010 Manchin's 112th Congressional session portrait
Due to the declining health of Senator Robert Byrd, speculation focused on what Manchin's response would be if Byrd died. The governor consistently refused to comment on the subject prior to Byrd's death, except for stating that he would not appoint himself to the position. Byrd died on June 28, 2010, and Manchin appointed Carte Goodwin, his 36-year-old legal adviser, on July 16.
On July 20, 2010, Manchin announced he would seek the Senate seat. In the Democratic primary on August 28, he defeated former Democratic Congressman and former West Virginia Secretary of State Ken Hechler. In the general election, he then defeated Republican John Raese.2012 Main article: United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2012
Manchin chose to stand for reelection to a full term in 2012. According to the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, early polling found Manchin heavily favored, leading Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito 50–39, 2010 opponent John Raese 60–31, and Congressman David McKinley 57–28. Manchin had not endorsed his party's candidate, President Barack Obama, for the 2012 presidential election, saying that he had "some real differences" with the presumptive nominees of both major parties, finding fault with Obama's economic and energy policies, and questioning Romney's understanding of the "challenges facing ordinary people."
Manchin defeated Republican John Raese and Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry Baber with 60.49% of the total vote and won a full term in the U.S. Senate.2018 Main article: United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2018
Manchin is running for re-election in 2018. He was challenged in the Democratic primary by Paula Jean Swearengin. Swearengin is an activist and coal miner's daughter who is supported by former members of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Swearengin criticized Manchin for voting with the Republicans and supporting the policies of Donald Trump.
On the Republican side, Manchin is being challenged by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. In August 2017, Morrisey publicly asked Manchin to resign from the Senate Democratic leadership team. Manchin responded, "I don't give a shit, you understand?" to a Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter when asked about Morrisey's call. "I just don't give a shit. Don't care if I get elected, don't care if I get defeated, how about that?"Tenure
Manchin was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on November 15, 2010, succeeding interim Senator Carte Goodwin. Manchin named Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis to be his chief of staff. Before his swearing-in, rumors suggested that the Republican Party was courting Manchin to change parties. Although the Republicans later suggested that Manchin was the source of the rumors, they attempted to convince him again in 2014 after retaking control of the Senate. He again rejected their overtures. On Election Day 2016, however, Manchin said he might switch parties if necessary to give the GOP a majority in the Senate. He later stated, however, that he would stay in the Democratic Party throughout his time in the Senate.
In 2015, Manchin announced that he would seek re-election to the Senate in 2018.Political positions
Joe Manchin is often considered to be a moderate or even conservative Democrat. Five ThirtyEight, which tracks Congressional votes, has found that Manchin voted with Trump's position nearly 61% of the time as of June 2018. Congressional Quarterly published a study finding that Manchin voted with Trump's position 71% of the time. According to GovTrack, Joe Manchin is the most conservative Democrat as of 2017 and GovTrack's analysis places Manchin to right of all other Democrats and to the right of Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. The fiscally conservative Americans for Prosperity gives him a lifetime 32% score and The John Birch Society, another conservative organization, rated him as agreeing with their position 43% of the time in 2016; conversely, the progressive Americans for Democratic Action scored Manchin as having a liberal quotient of 35% in 2016 and 60% liberal in 2015. The National Journal, in 2013, gave Manchin an overall score of 55% conservative and 46% liberal.Coal industry
On October 6, 2010, Manchin directed a lawsuit aimed at overturning new federal rules concerning mountaintop removal mining. Filed by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the lawsuit "accuses U.S. EPA of overstepping its authority and asks the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to throw out the federal agency's new guidelines for issuing Clean Water Act permits for coal mines." In order to qualify for the permits, mining companies need to prove their projects would not cause the concentration of pollutants in the local water to rise 5 times past the normal level. The New York Times reported that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the new legislation would protect 95 percent of aquatic life by banning operators from dumping mine waste into streams.
Manchin has received criticism from environmentalists due to his close family ties to the coal industry. He served as president of Energysystems in the late 1990s before becoming active in politics. On his financial disclosures in 2009 and 2010, his reported earnings from the company were $1,363,916 and $417,255 respectively. Critics have stated his opposition to health regulations that would raise expenses for the industry are due to his stake in the industry; Jim Sconyers, chairman of West Virginia's Sierra Club chapter stated that "he's been nothing but a mouthpiece for the coal industry his whole public life." However, opinions on the subject are mixed; The Charleston Gazette noted "the prospect that Manchin's $1.7 million-plus in recent Enersystems earnings might tilt him even more strongly pro-coal might seem remote, given the deep economic and cultural connections that the industry maintains in West Virginia."Taxes
According to Politico, Manchin sees Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as "a closed process" that "makes little impact in the paychecks of the people in his state." At the same time, he posited the bill contains "some good things...Initially people will benefit", although ultimately voting against it. In turn, NRSC spokesman Bob Salera stated that he had "turned his back and voted with Washington Democrats."Terrorism
In June 2017, he was one of five Democrats who, by voting against a Senate resolution disapproving of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, ensured its failure. Potential primary opponent Paula Jean Swearengin charged that because Manchin's vote, weapons sold to the Saudis "could possibly end up in the hands of terrorists."Abortion
Manchin identifies as pro-life. He has mixed ratings from both pro-choice and pro-life political action groups. In 2018, Planned Parenthood, which supports legal abortion, gave Manchin a lifetime grade of 57% while National Right to Life (NRLC), which opposes abortion, gave Manchin a 40% score; in 2016, the NRLC scored Manchin at 75% and NARAL Pro-Choice America gave him a 100% in the same year. On August 3, 2015, he broke with Democratic leadership by voting in favor of a Republican-sponsored bill to terminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health services, including abortions, both in the United States and globally. The organization had been accused of "illegal activity". He has the endorsement of Democrats for Life of America, a pro-life Democratic PAC.
On March 30, 2017, however, Manchin expressed support for abortion rights providers by voting against H.J.Res. 43. A pending federal regulation would have prevented states from withholding money from abortion providers. H.J.Res. 43, which was signed by President Trump, would have nullified that regulation. In April 2017, Manchin endorsed the continued funding of Planned Parenthood. Also in 2017, Planned Parenthood gave Manchin a rating of 44%. In January 2018, Manchin joined two other Democrats and the majority of Republicans by voting in favor of a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks. In June 2018, following the retirement of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, Manchin urged Trump not to appoint a judge who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and to instead choose a "centrist."Afghanistan
On June 21, 2011, Manchin delivered a speech on the Senate floor calling for a "substantial and responsible reduction in the United States' military presence in Afghanistan." He said, "We can no longer afford to rebuild Afghanistan and America. We must choose. And I choose America."
Manchin introduced legislation to reduce the use of overseas service and security contractors. He successfully amended the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act to cap contractors' taxpayer funded salaries at $230,000.Bipartisanship
In his first year in office, Manchin met one-on-one with all of his 99 Senate colleagues in an effort to get to know them better.
On December 13, 2010, Manchin participated in the launch of No Labels, a new, nonpartisan organization that is "committed to bringing all sides together to move the nation forward." Manchin is a co-chair of No Labels.
Pat Toomey advocates reducing gun regulations, but in 2013, he worked with Joe Manchin to introduce legislation that would require a background check for most gun sales. The Manchin-Toomey bill was voted on and defeated on April 17, 2013, by a vote of 54–46 because to pass it needed 60 votes.
In 2013, the National Journal gave Senator Manchin a composite score of 55% conservative and 46% liberal. In 2015, the Lugar Center ranked Senator Manchin the fourth most bipartisan senator in the 114th Congress. The American Conservative Union has given Manchin a lifetime rating of 28.17% conservative. CrowdPac, which rates politicians based on donations they receive and give, has given Senator Manchin a score of 1.7L with 10L being the most liberal and 10C being the most conservative. The organization Americans for Democratic Action has given him a rating of 60% liberal.
In June 2017, Manchin voted to support Trump's $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
Manchin opposed the January 2018 government shutdown. The New York Times suggested that Manchin helped bring an end to the shutdown by threatening Democrats not to run for re-election unless they put an end to the shutdown.Drugs
In June 2011, Manchin joined Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in seeking a crackdown on Bitcoin currency transactions, saying that they facilitated illegal drug trade transactions. "The transactions leave no traditional money trail for investigators to follow, and leave it hard to prove a package recipient knew in advance what was in a shipment," using an "'anonymizing network' known as Tor." One opinion website said the Senators wanted "to disrupt Silk Road drug website."
In May 2012, in an effort to reduce prescription drug abuse, Manchin successfully proposed an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration re-authorization bill to reclassify hydrocodone as a Schedule II controlled substance.Energy
Manchin sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and supports a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy approach that uses coal.
Manchin's first bill in the Senate dealt with what he calls the EPA's overreach. After the EPA vetoed a previously-approved permit for the Spruce Mine in Logan County, West Virginia, Senator Manchin offered the "EPA Fair Play Act."
The bill would "clarify and confirm the authority of the Environment Protection Agency to deny or restrict the use of defined areas as disposal sites for the discharge of dredged or filled material." Manchin said the bill would prevent the agency from "changing its rules on businesses after permits have already been granted."
On November 14, 2011, Manchin chaired his first field hearing of that committee in Charleston, West Virginia, to focus on Marcellus Shale natural gas development and production. Manchin said, "We are literally sitting on top of tremendous potential with the Marcellus shale. We need to work together to chart a path forward in a safe and responsible way that lets us produce energy right here in America."
Manchin supports building the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada. Manchin has said, "It makes so much common sense that you want to buy off your friends and not your enemies." The pipeline would span over 2,000 miles across the United States.
On November 9, 2011, Manchin introduced the "Fair Compliance Act" with Senator Dan Coats (R-IN). Their bill would "lengthen timelines and establish benchmarks for utilities to comply with two major Environmental Protection Agency air pollution rules. The legislation would extend the compliance deadline for the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, or CSAPR, by three years and the deadline for the Utility MACT rule by two years -- setting both to January 1, 2017."
Manchin introduced the "American Alternative Fuels Act" on May 10, 2011, with Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). The bill would remove restrictions on the development of alternative fuels, repeal part of the 2007 energy bill restricting the federal government from buying alternative fuels and encourage the development of algae-based fuels and synthetic natural gas. Regarding the bill, Manchin said, "Our unacceptably high gas prices are hurting not only West Virginians, but all Americans, and they underscore a critical need: the federal government needs to be a partner, not an obstacle, for businesses that can transform our domestic energy resources into gas."Environment
In 2011 Manchin was the only Democratic Senator to support the proposed Energy Tax Prevention Act, which sought to prohibit the United States Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas. He was also one of four Democratic senators to vote against the Stream Protection Rule. In 2012 Manchin supported a GOP effort to "scuttle Environmental Protection Agency regulations that mandate cuts in mercury pollution and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants", while West Virginia's other Senator, Jay Rockefeller did not.
The League of Conservation Voters gave him a 47% rating for 2016 and a lifetime 44% rating.
Manchin criticized Obama's environmental regulations as a "war on coal" and demanded what he described as a proper balance between the needs of the environment and the coal business. The Los Angeles Times has noted that while professing environmental concerns, he has consistently stood up for coal, saying "no one is going to stop using fossil for a long time." He "does not deny the existence of man-made climate change," wrote the Los Angeles Times, but "is reluctant to curtail it." In February 2017, he was one of only two Democratic senators to vote to confirm Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. In June 2017, Manchin supported President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, saying he supported "a cleaner energy future" but that the Paris deal failed to strike "a balance between our environment and the economy."Federal budget and federal banking regulation
Manchin has co-sponsored balanced budget amendments put forth by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Mark Udall (D-CO). He has also voted against raising the federal debt ceiling. In 2018, he was one of 17 Democrats to break with their party and vote with Republicans to ease banking regulations.Gun laws
In 2012 Manchin's candidacy was endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), which gave him an "A" rating. Following the Sandy Hook shooting, Manchin partnered with Republican Senator Pat Toomey to introduce a bill that would have strengthened background checks on gun sales. Though the legislation never acquired enough votes to win Senate passage, the NRA targeted him in an attack ad.
Manchin was criticized in 2013 for agreeing to an interview with The Journal in Martinsburg, West Virginia, but demanding that he not be asked any questions about gun control or the Second Amendment.
In 2016, referring to the difficulty of keeping guns out of the hands of potential terrorists, Manchin said, "due process is what's killing us right now." This comment drew the criticism of both the NRA and the Cato Institute, which accused Manchin of attacking a fundamental constitutional principle. "With all respect," commented Ilya Shapiro of Cato, "due process is the essential basis of America."Health care
In 2010, Manchin called for "repairs" of the Affordable Care Act and repeal of the "bad parts of Obamacare". On January 14, 2017, Manchin expressed concern at the strict party-line vote on repealing Obamacare and said he could not, in good conscience, vote to repeal without a new plan in place. He added, however, that he was willing to work with Trump and the GOP to formulate a replacement. In June 2017, Manchin and Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania warned that repealing Obamacare would worsen the opioid crisis. In July 2017, he said that he was one of about 10 Senators from both parties who had been "working together behind the scenes" to formulate a new health-care program, but that there was otherwise insufficient bipartisanship on the issue.
During 2016-17, Manchin read to the Senate several letters from constituents about loved ones' deaths from opioids and urged his colleagues to act to prevent more deaths. Manchin took "an unusual proposal" to President Trump to address the crisis and called for a "war on drugs" that involves not punishment but treatment. He proposed the LifeBOAT Act, which would fund treatment. He also opposes marijuana legalization. In January 2018, Manchin was one of six Democrats who broke with their party to vote to confirm Trump's nominee for Health Secretary, Alex Azar.
In his 2018 re-election campaign, Manchin emphasized his support for Obamacare, running an ad where he shot holes in a lawsuit that sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act.Immigration
Joe Manchin is opposed to the DREAM Act and supports building a wall along the US southern border. Manchin voted against the McCain-Coons proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants without funding for a border wall and he voted against a comprehensive immigration bill proposed by Susan Collins which gave a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers as well as funding for border security; he voted 'yes' to withholding funding for 'sanctuary cities' and he voted in support of President Trump's proposal to give a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, build a border wall, and reduce legal immigration.
Manchin has mixed ratings from political action committees opposed to illegal immigration; Numbers USA, which seeks to reduce illegal and legal immigration, gave Manchin a 55% rating and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which also seeks to reduce legal immigration, gave him a 25% rating.Senior citizens
To help locate missing senior citizens, Manchin introduced the Silver Alert Act in July 2011 to create a nationwide network for locating missing adults and senior citizens modeled after the AMBER Alert. Manchin also sponsored the National Yellow Dot Act to create a voluntary program that would alert emergency services personnel responding to car accidents of the availability of personal and medical information on the car's owner.
Manchin said in 2014 that he "would change Social Security completely. I would do it on an inflationary basis, as far as paying into payroll taxes, and change that, to keep us stabilized as far as cash flow. I'd do COLAs—I'd talk about COLA for 250 percent of poverty guidelines." Asked whether this meant he would "cut benefits to old people," Manchin said that "a rich old person...won't get the COLAs." He asked: "Do you want chained CPI? I can live with either one."LGBT rights
On December 9, 2010, Manchin was the sole Democrat to vote against cloture for the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which contained a provision to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In an interview with The Associated Press, Manchin cited the advice of retired military chaplains as a basis for his decision to vote against repeal. He also indicated he wanted more time to "hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia." A day later, he was publicly criticized at a gay rights rally for his position on the bill.
As of 2013, he was one of three Democratic Senators who still opposed same-sex marriage, and as of 2015, he was the only Democratic Senator who opposed gay marriage. The Guardian attributed his opposition to "ideology, rather than electoral concerns," noting his votes against the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and for the Defense of Marriage Act. The Human Rights Campaign, a PAC which supports same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights, gave Manchin an 85% scoring in line with their positions in 2016, a 0% in 2014, and a 65% in 2012.China
In July 2017, he urged Trump to block the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to Chinese investors, arguing that China's "rejection of fundamental free-market norms and property rights of private citizens makes me strongly doubt whether an Exchange operating under the direct control of a Chinese entity can be trusted to 'self-regulate' now and in the future." He also expressed concern "that the challenges plaguing the Chinese market – lack of transparency, currency manipulation, etc. – will bleed into the Chicago Stock Exchange and adversely impact financial markets across the country."President Trump
Manchin welcomed Donald Trump's presidency, saying: "He'll correct the trading policies, the imbalance in our trade policies, which are horrible." He supported the idea of Trump "calling companies to keep them from moving factories overseas." Manchin voted for most of the Trump nominees. He was the only Democrat to vote in confirmation of Trump cabinet appointees Jeff Sessions and Steven Mnuchin, one of two Democrats who voted to confirm Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, and one of three who voted to confirm Rex Tillerson.
As the 2016 elections approached, many reports speculated that Manchin would lose his loyalty to his party and switch to the Republican party if the Senate were in a 50-50 tie. This is due to him already being conservative-leaning, for which many Democrats have criticized him. However, he later stated that he would stay with the Democratic party for at least as long as he stays in the Senate.
Manchin was the first Democrat to say he would vote for President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. Manchin said, "During his time on the bench, Judge Gorsuch has received praise from his colleagues who have been appointed by both Democrats and Republicans. He has been consistently rated as a well-qualified jurist, the highest rating a jurist can receive, and I have found him to be an honest and thoughtful man." He was also the first Democrat to announce that he would meet with Trump's second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
In his 2018 campaign for Senate, Manchin announced that he supports Trump's proposal to construct a border wall along the southern border of the continental United States. He also said that he regrets voting for Hillary Clinton and would be open to supporting Donald Trump for President in 2020.Committee assignments
Manchin is a member of the National Rifle Association and a licensed pilot. In 1967, he married Gayle Conelly. Together they have three children: Heather, Joseph IV, and Brooke.
In 2006 and 2010 Manchin delivered commencement addresses at Wheeling Jesuit University and at Davis & Elkins College, receiving honorary degrees from both institutions.
In December 2012, Manchin voiced his displeasure with MTV's new reality show Buckwild, set in his home state's capital Charleston, and asked the network's president to cancel the show, which, he argued, depicted West Virginia in a negative, unrealistic fashion. The show ended after its first season.Controversies Heather Bresch
West Virginia University (WVU) awarded Manchin's daughter, Heather Bresch, an MBA in 2007, the year she became COO at Mylan Inc., the third largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in the U.S. with headquarters in Morgantown, adjacent to the WVU campus. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that in order to justify this degree, university officials had added courses to her transcript that she had never taken and altered grades she had received. The ensuing controversy resulted in the rescinding of her MBA and the resignation of the university president, Mike Garrison, a Manchin family friend, and Garrison's legal counsel and the Dean of the Business School. A panel was convened to fully investigate the measure. When the MBA controversy erupted, according to The Huntington News, Manchin "act as though he and his wife, Gayle, were somehow the victims of this hoax that almost cost WVU its academic credibility." According to the Huntington News, "the Manchins were seen as people willing to destroy reputation rather than admit a mistake."
Noting in a December 2011 editorial that the magazine Esquire had promoted Heather Bresch as an "American hero" owing to her support for a pharma safety law, the Huntington News pointed out that the law also protected U.S. pharma firms like Mylan and suggested that the article was a "public makeover" engineered by "the Manchin public relations machine." It also said that Mylan "must have the only corporate Board of Directors in the country that doesn't care about one of their top execs being proven to have a phony MBA degree."
Despite Manchin's call for a war on drugs, particularly opioids, and his charge that "Big Pharma" had "targeted" his state, Manchin's daughter, as noted, is the CEO of Mylan, a pharmaceutical firm that produces opioids, and Manchin himself accepted "nearly $180,000 in donations from pharmaceutical companies between 2011 and 2016." In August 2016, Fortune Magazine and the Washington Post ran a total of three articles about the fact that the "CEO of the company at the center of the EpiPen controversy" was Manchin's daughter. The articles noted that skyrocketing EpiPen costs were "the next big flash point in the national debate over skyrocketing prescription drug prices," that Bresch had originally gotten her Mylan job through her father, and that her career had "risen along with her father's, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by her critics." A particular point of controversy was the fact that Bresch had transferred Mylan's official headquarters to the Netherlands, a tax dodge maneuver known as tax inversion.Family lawsuit
In a lawsuit filed in July 2014, Dr. John Manchin II, one of Joe Manchin's brothers, sued Joe Manchin and his other brother, Roch Manchin, over a $1.7 million loan. The lawsuit alleged that Joe and Roch Manchin borrowed the money to keep the doors open at the family-owned carpet business run by Roch, that no part of the loan had yet been repaid, and that the defendants had taken other measures to evade compensating John Manchin II for non-payment. Dr. Manchin withdrew the suit on June 30, 2015.Manchin's coal interests
In July 2011, the New York Times ran a long article headlined "Sen. Manchin Maintains Lucrative Ties to Family-Owned Coal Company." Manchin's 2009 and 2010 financial disclosures included major earnings from Enersystems Inc., "a coal brokerage that he helped run before his political star rose." Many senators earn business income, but Manchin is rare in that "he derives income from an industry while acting as one of its biggest boosters."Skipping votes and convention
On December 18, 2010, Manchin skipped the vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the vote on the DREAM Act, regarding immigration. The National Republican Senatorial Committee criticized Manchin for attending a family Christmas gathering instead of voting on these important issues. "For a Senator who has only been on the job a few weeks," commented the NRSC, "Manchin's absence today, and the apparent lack of seriousness with which he takes the job he was elected to do, speaks volumes." The Washington Post reported that he was the only Senate Democrat to miss these votes "on two of his party's signature pieces of legislation." Later, in 2012, Manchin also skipped the Democratic National Convention, saying he planned "to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia."Electoral history West Virginia 31st district House of Delegates Democratic primary election, 1982 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 7,687 21.2 Democratic Cody Starcher 6,844 18.8 Democratic William Stewart 6,391 17.6 Democratic Nick Fantasia 5,072 14.0 Democratic Samuel Morasco 4,250 11.7 Democratic Donald Smith 3,276 9.0 Democratic Lonnie Bray 2,819 7.8 West Virginia 31st district House of Delegates election, 1982 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 16,160 16.7 Democratic Cody Starcher 16,110 16.6 Democratic William Stewart 15,090 15.6 Republican Paul Prunty 14,620 15.1 Republican Benjamin Springston 12,166 12.6 Democratic Samuel Morasco 11,741 12.1 Republican Edgar Williams III 5,702 5.9 Republican Lyman Clark 5,270 5.4 West Virginia 14th district State Senate Democratic primary election, 1986 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 10,691 56.5 Democratic Jack May 8,220 43.5 West Virginia 14th district State Senate election, 1986 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 17,284 65.9 Republican Lyman Clark 8,955 34.1 West Virginia 14th district State Senate Democratic primary election, 1988 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 13,932 63.6 Democratic Anthony Yanero 7,981 36.4 West Virginia 14th district State Senate election, 1988 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 29,792 100.0 West Virginia 13th district State Senate election, 1992 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 33,218 100.0 West Virginia gubernatorial Democratic primary election, 1996 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Charlotte Pritt 130,107 39.5 Democratic Joe Manchin 107,124 32.6 Democratic Jim Lees 64,100 19.5 Democratic Larrie Bailey 15,733 4.8 Democratic Bob Myers 3,038 0.9 Democratic Lyle Sattes 2,931 0.9 Democratic Bob Henry Baber 1,456 0.4 Democratic Louis "Lou" Davis 1,351 0.4 Democratic Richard Koon 1,154 0.4 Democratic Frankie Rocchetti 1,330 0.4 Democratic Fred Schell 733 0.2 West Virginia Secretary of State Democratic primary election, 2000 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 141,839 51.1 Democratic Charlotte Pritt 80,148 28.9 Democratic Mike Oliverio 35,424 12.8 Democratic Bobby Nelson 20,259 7.3 West Virginia Secretary of State election, 2000 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 478,489 89.4 Libertarian Poochie Myers 56,477 10.6 West Virginia gubernatorial Democratic primary election, 2004 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 149,362 52.7 Democratic Lloyd Jackson 77,052 27.2 Democratic Jim Lees 40,161 14.2 Democratic Lacy Wright Jr. 4,963 1.8 Democratic Jerry Baker 3,009 1.1 Democratic James Baughman 2,999 1.1 Democratic Phillip "Icky" Frye 2,892 1.0 Democratic Louis "Lou" Davis 2,824 1.0 West Virginia gubernatorial election, 2004 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 472,758 63.5 Republican Monty Warner 253,131 33.6 Mountain Jesse Johnson 18,430 2 West Virginia gubernatorial Democratic primary election, 2008 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 264,775 74.62 Democratic Melvin Ray Kessler 90,074 25.38 West Virginia gubernatorial election, 2008 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 493,246 69.77 Republican Russ Weeks 181,908 25.73 Mountain Jesse Johnson 31,515 4.46 United States Senate special Democratic primary election, 2010 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 68,287 73.06 Democratic Ken Hechler 16,267 17.27 Democratic Sheirl Lee Fletcher 9,108 9.67 United States Senate special election, 2010 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 280,771 53.5 Republican John Raese 227,960 43.4 Mountain Jesse Johnson 10,048 1.9 Constitution Jeff Becker 6,366 1.2 United States Senate Democratic primary election, 2012 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 163,891 79.94 Democratic Sheirl Fletcher 41,118 20.06 United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2012 Party Candidate Votes % Democratic Joe Manchin 391,669 60.49 Republican John Raese 236,620 36.54 Mountain Bob Henry Baber 19,232 2.97 References