CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Companies owned by Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese, an outspoken critic of government spending, have made millions from taxpayer-funded contracts over the past decade.
Raese's corporation, Greer Industries, and its affiliated companies have benefited from public spending at the local, state and federal levels, records show. That includes about $32 million in state contracts between 2000 and 2009 and about $2.4 million in federal contracts.
Greer is a Morgantown based network of businesses that includes the state's largest limestone operation, steel and asphalt companies, as well as media corporations.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pointing to Raese's contracts, saying he is a hypocrite who is "just in it for himself."
"Raese's priorities are clear," said DSCC spokesman Jared Leopold. "He wants to line his own pockets with government cash, while taking away funds from public schools."
Raese advocates abolishing the U.S. Department of Education and has said government should not be involved in schools.
He faces Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin in a tight race to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who died in June. The Mountain Party's Jesse Johnson and the Constitution Party's Jeff Becker are also on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Raese spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said all of Greer's contracts have been "awarded through an open, competitive bidding process."
"And unlike some of the other contracts Governor Manchin has awarded, none of them are currently being investigated by a federal grand jury," he said, referring to subpoenas served in August on the state Division of Highways and the Department of Administration.
Raese's companies supply the government with materials such as lime and asphalt.
Throughout his campaign, Raese has called for less government spending. He has criticized federal earmarks and denounced President Obama's proposal for a second stimulus to fund infrastructure throughout the United States.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Raese acknowledged he has contracts with the government, but said he "can't think of very many times when a government agency has helped me."