Friday, September 12, 2014

McConnell ad lauds deals; he touts bill for veterans, topic of ad targeting him; Grimes ad gets low mark

A rolling roundup as we head into the weekend . . .
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell has started a new TV commercial touting his negotiation of budget agreements as Senate minority leader, with a series of laudatory remarks from a wide range of sources, including liberal commentator Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball."
  • McConnell, who is being attacked in a TV ad for not supporting a bill to improve veterans' benefits, announced that a bill he co-sponsored to help increase their cost-of-living adjustments has passed the Senate. A press release said he was one of 15 co-sponsors, and voted recently against a reduction in COLAs that was authorized in the December 2013 budget agreement. "He later introduced a measure to reinstate this full benefit and voted for legislation enacted in February 2014 that reinstated the full COLA for all military retirees," the release said.
  • Politifact found more fault with a long-running Grimes ad, this time with its assertion that McConnell voted "three times for corporate tax breaks that sent jobs overseas." The fact-checking service of the Tampa Bay Times says the ad is "mostly false" because tax law allowing deductions for business moving expenses does not specifically promote outsourcing, and McConnell cast three procedural votes that blocked bills that "would have given a tax benefit to companies that insource jobs and denied an already-existing tax break to companies that outsource them."
  • Grimes criticized McConnell for blocking a proposed constitutional amendment that "would allow Congress and state lawmakers to override recent Supreme Court decisions that have struck down campaign-finance laws," as described by Politico. In a press release, Grimes said "Sen. McConnell remains more concerned about the whims of millionaires and billionaires than Kentuckians struggling to make ends meet. My opponent shamefully admits that the 'worst day' of his political life was not the VA scandal or the Great Recession that saw 118,000 Kentuckians lose their jobs, but rather when Congress decided to limit the money his wealthy friends could give him for re-election."
  • Grimes issued another release saying McConnell had a bad week; among the examples were his refusal to disavow the remarks of a fellow speaker at the Koch brothers event in June, who called the minimum wage fascist and unemployed people lazy. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., mentioned the remarks in a speech during the debate on the constitutional amendment.
  • The remarks are the focus of a new TV ad attacking McConnell, being run by the liberal group
  • Grimes has a new web ad, in which voters say "Hey, Mitch," and ask questions about McConnell's voting record.
  • On KET's "Comment on Kentucky," WDRB's Lawrence Smith said Grimes released an internal poll to "calm the nerves" of contributors and "blunt momentum McConnell seems to have."
  • The Kentucky Senate race is no longer in the list of "Top 10 Senate Takeovers" on NBC News' "First Read." It was No. 8 in mid-July. Could have somethign to do with these trend lines of poll averages as drawn by Real Clear Politics:

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