Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekend roundup: Charge in anti-Grimes ad based on coal lobbyist's comment; her job ad rated 'half true'

There's lots to catch up on in the Senate race as a new week begins:
  • The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a "super PAC" supporting McConnell, has started a new television commercial on the coal issue, which concludes, "She talks tough now, but Alison Grimes is for Obama, not Kentucky."

    The ad says “Grimes was silent as Obama attacked coal,” and attributes that to a Sept. 18 WFPL story that includes a statement from Grimes. The charge and attribution appear to hang on the story's paraphrase of the president of the Kentucky Coal Association: “[Bill] Bissett adds that Grimes hasn't said much about the subject until now and rarely was involved with the industry's concerns or needs in her capacity as secretary of state.” UPDATE, June 10: says "Grimes has been anything but silent" on coal, and "When it comes to regulations on the coal industry, Grimes has repeatedly distanced herself from Obama throughout her campaign."
  • Politifact, the fact-checking service of the Tampa Bay Times, has rated only "half true" the Grimes radio ad citing McConnell's pre-primary comment to The Beattyville Enterprise that it is not his job to bring jobs to Kentucky. McConnell has blamed the report on a misunderstanding, and Politifact says Grimes uses the quote out of context. It is also being used in a TV ad by Democrats' Senate Majority PAC.
  • Such ads are "largely paid for by people outside of Kentucky, that will provide us with little relevant or accurate information about the candidates or the issues," University of Kentucky political-science professor Don Gross told John Cheves of the Lexington Herald-Leader for a story about the candidates' campaign-finance reports, Cheves concludes, "For all involved, this is simply business."
  • In Sunday columns in The Courier-Journal, Joe Gerth says the candidates are not addressing the issues, Al Cross says they're on the wrong side of history regarding coal, and Jim Carroll says McConnell's views on campaign-finance limits are not popular with the public. Gerth also has a story on Grimes' radio ad about coal, and Carroll writes that "The early success of Kentucky’s health care exchange, Kynect, is creating quandaries" for the candidates.
  • McConnell told the state Republican dinner Saturday night that Grimes is out of touch with coal miners, Bruce Schreiner of The Associated Press reports.
  • McConnell is "all in" to help Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran win a June 24 runoff after finishing a close second to tea-party candidate Chris McDaniel last Tuesday, according to National Republican Senatorial Committee staffers quoted by Anna Palmer of Politico. In an email for a Tuesday fundraiser, McConnell wrote, “Our friend Thad is in a battle in the coming weeks that will have a very real impact on our fight for the majority. You have helped all of us in the past, and we need your help for him now.”

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