Weekend mystery-solving: Why is coal baron coming to Raleigh?

And what kind of business is he going to conduct?

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship wants a judge to let him take a business trip to North Carolina. Blankenship made the request Friday in federal court in Beckley.

Blankenship's request says he wants to take a three-day trip to the Raleigh area sometime between Aug. 17 and Sept. 18.

I do love a challenge...

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It can't be this

purchasing of the state Supreme Court. Blankenship already did that deal with the NC GOP -- apparently some kind of tutorial.

3 days. Must be a big deal.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Shh!

Don is willing to whisper in the judge's ear.

The court filing provided no further details about the purpose of the trip, but Blankenship’s lawyers said they would provide more information if allowed to do so in secret.

“Should the court desire additional information in its consideration of this request, undersigned counsel respectfully requests the opportunity to provide such detail in camera and under seal,” said the three-page motion.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Stinks to high heaven

If he's looking for a new job, it's not going to remain secret for very long. And if (God help us) he's looking for a public sector job, this cloak and dagger stuff takes on a much more sinister aspect, especially considering he's under indictment for violating government safety regulations and then lying about it, leading to the deaths of several of his workers.

Secrets

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Maybe neither here nor there

but Don's requested trip would occur between Aug. 17 & Sep. 18. That's a month span. Why can't he nail down a date for a 1-day meeting (and 2 days of travel)? That seems a little odd. Maybe there's some sort of uncertainty about the schedule of whoever Don is meeting.

Aug. 17 is the Monday after the Friday Aug. 14 date when the legislature is supposed to have a budget (they won't). But maybe a legislator planning to meet with Don after the session was over might have said "we won't make Aug. 14, but we should be done some time in the next month". Voila. Sep. 18.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014