Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9 roundup: Grimes mum on coal at Reid event; her vote for leader is key to coal industry, exec says

Coal continues to be a factor that won't be ignored:
  • Alison Lundergan Grimes didn't "use a high-dollar fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a forum to promote Kentucky’s coal industry" though her campaign said she would "use the event to share the stories of how Kentuckians are hurting and demand that the Senate take action to invest in clean coal technology," Manu Raju and Burgess Everett report late this afternoon for Politico, from an audio recording provided by an unnamed attendee. "The Grimes campaign hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the recording and says she had a 'private conversation' with Reid about coal and energy," they write. Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson "said the conversations occurred "before the event and in conversations since then as well."
  • Adam Beam and Jonathan Mattise of The Associated Press report, "In other coal-producing areas such as Ohio and Virginia, Democrats have been able to win even with the industry against them. That's not an option for politicians in the heart of Appalachia." Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett "said likely the only thing that would ease his members' concerns is if Grimes said she would not vote for Reid to be majority leader if she was elected."
  • AP includes Kentucky in a guide to "six competitive Senate races where a change in party is possible," saying, "Obama's recent announcement of stricter standards for greenhouse gas emissions has given [Sen. Mitch] McConnell more ammunition in Kentucky, one of the nation's top coal producers."
  • A Grimes press release contains multiple links to stories with quotes about how she continues to fight for coal.
  • Republican press releases point out an interview of independent candidate Ed Marksberry of Owensboro on "The Powers that Be" on Louisville's WHAS-TV, in which he revived his charge that someone close to Grimes's campaign offered to help him retire his campaign debt in return for getting out of the race. Marksberry told Joe Arnold he would eventually disclose who made the offer.
  • Amanda Van Benschoten of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Grimes's "surprisingly formidable" candidacy has perked up Democrats in Northern Kentucky, a region that has become strongly Republican over the last 30 years. "The presence of a young, energetic, well-funded, personable candidate atop the ticket can help breathe new life into the Democratic base, local party leaders believe – and attract moderates and Independents to Democratic principles, they hope."
  • What would we do with $100 million? The State Journal of Frankfort asks that question in an editorial decrying the expected level of total spending in the race. The newspaper offers other uses for such a large amount of money such as road repairs, Kentucky's retirement systems and schools.

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