Friday, August 29, 2014

In new TV ads, Grimes touts experience, McConnell asks why she backed Obama after he targeted coal

Alison Lundergan Grimes started a new television commercial today, the first in which she mentions her experience as secretary of state, a post to which she was elected in 2011. She uses that as evidence that she can help produce jobs, which she has tried to make the centerpiece of her campaign. The office's main duties are keeping business records and overseeing elections; an ad for Sen. Mitch McConnell has questioned her lack of experience.

In the 30-second spot, in which she speaks throughout, Grimes notes "landmark legislation" she worked to pass "to guarantee that military votes could be counted, bringing Republicans and Democrats together." The ad does not mention that major provision she proposed, to allow electronic absentee voting by service members, was rejected by the Republican-controlled state Senate.

She also mentions her work as "a volunteer lawyer for victims of domestic violence. I know how to fight for those with no voice, and win." Her closing has the ad's only attack line: "Washington's broken, and Kentucky needs a new senator."

Later today, Sen. Mitch McConnell started a new ad, using some of the same themes as earlier ads and those from the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a group funded by unknown donors. It notes news-media criticism of some of Grimes's earlier ads, implying that they all fell short of the truth; and asks "Why was she a delegate for Obama's re-election after he vowed to bankrupt Kentucky's coal industry?" He did not make such a specific pledge, but said he wanted to block construction of new coal-fired power plants by imposing heavy fees on their greenhouse-gas emissions. The ad closes with what has been McConnell's campaign motto since primary-election night: "Obama needs Grimes, but Kentucky needs Mitch McConnell." Another McConnell ad that started this week features sound clips from a McConnell stump speech about coal.

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