Tomblin unaware of Freedom Industries donations

CHARLESTON – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says he was unaware he received campaign checks from top executives at the company at the center of West Virginia’s chemical spill.

The Democrat said he learned about donations from two Freedom Industries executives from news articles Wednesday morning.

J. Clifford Forrest, who runs Freedom’s parent company, gave Tomblin’s campaign $500 in 2011 and $500 in 2012. Dennis Farrell, another Freedom executive, gave $500 total to Tomblin in 2011.

Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-Charleston, received $500 from Forrest last February for her current U.S. Senate bid. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., received $1,000 from Forrest for his 2008 run for governor. Both are giving the money to West Virginia charities.

The Freedom donations make up a sliver of the millions of dollars raised for each respective campaign.