This is a guest post by Lee Fang.
In May of last year, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, now considered the favorite to win West Virginia’s open Senate seat, stood on a small platform in Charleston, behind a row of tiny trophies in the shape of drilling rigs.
She was there to congratulate the Energy Corporation of America, a major gas exploration and distribution company, on its plans to open a new building in the state capital.
The company needed new space to accommodate over a hundred new employees in coming years.
“I am honored to attend the groundbreaking celebration of the ECA’s new eastern headquarters,” Capito told the crowd, according to an ECA press release. “This privately held company has brought economic growth to West Virginia.”
Though there’s no record of her having acknowledged it publicly, among those hired by the growing firm is her own son, Arch Moore Capito, who was retained as in-house counsel by ECA after his graduation from Washington & Lee University’s law school in 2011.
The hiring of Arch, named after Capito’s father, the late West Virginia governor Arch Moore, highlights a growing trend. Major players in the gas industry, which faces major regulatory hurdles relating to its extraction and distribution infrastructure, exports, and environmental issues, have taken to hiring the relatives of powerful politicians.