CHARLESTON, WV -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito all have received campaign donations from executives with connections to the company at the center of the Elk River chemical spill.
The donations, all made since 2008, constitute a small portion of the total amounts raised by each candidate's campaigns.
All of the donations came from Dennis P. Farrell and J. Clifford Forrest.
Farrell is a former Freedom Industries executive. In the past 20 years, he also served in leadership positions at several companies that are partners with Freedom, including the Etowah River Terminal LLC location on the Elk River where the spill occurred.
Although merger documents say Gary Southern replaced Farrell on Dec. 31 as Freedom's president, Farrell is still listed as company president on Freedom's website.
Forrest is president of Rosebud Mining Co., a coal company in Pennsylvania. Forrest was listed as manager of the Etowah Terminal site and Poca Blending — where Freedom moved the remainder of the crude MCHM from the Elk River site — in the merger documents.
Forrest, through a different entity, now owns Freedom and a company that plans to loan Freedom $5 million.
Tomblin received a combined $1,500 from Farrell and Forrest during his 2011 and 2012 campaigns for governor, according to filings with the West Virginia Secretary of State.
Farrell donated $250 on two separate occasions and Forrest donated $500 during the 2011 campaign. Tomblin raised more than $4.2 million in that election, which resulted in Tomblin replacing Manchin as governor.
Manchin had won a special election in 2010 to fill the remainder of the term of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.
Tomblin received another $500 from Forrest during the 2012 campaign, in which he raised a total of $3.4 million.
Tomblin has repeatedly condemned Freedom since the spill. He proposed legislation Monday that he believes would enact regulatory and emergency preparedness changes to prevent a future spill.
State Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley, said Tuesday the governor's bill focused too much on industry. Unger said a bill he introduced focuses more on maintaining safe waterways.
Late Tuesday, he said he didn't believe any campaign contributions affected Tomblin's decision-making in crafting the proposed legislation.