Thursday, October 23, 2014

Both campaigns attack each other's ads on issues of voting rights, women's rights, student loans

As usually happens in the final two weeks of a tough race, both sides are drawing fire for some of their advertising.

Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign is expressing outrage at an Alison Lundergan Grimes radio commercial on which former state Sen. Georgia Powers of Louisville accuses the senator of "trying to take the right to vote away from black people," Sam Youngman reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. He notes that another ad on black-oriented radio said "McConnell has been leading the Republican effort to take away our voting rights."
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Youngman reports, "McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore called the ad 'disgusting.' "This is the kind of ad an unscrupulous, losing candidate may have considered running 50 years ago that we all collectively hoped was left in the past,' Moore said. Grimes' spokeswoman Charly Norton said the ads are based on McConnell's 2002 vote against extending voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences and legislation he introduced in 2007 to require identification issued by the government to vote." Norton cited a recent Government Accountability Office report saying such laws reduced turnout among African Americans.

Grimes's campaign is circulating a column by Steve Benen of MSNBC accusing McConnell of hypocrisy for running a TV ad with several young women saying Grimes "wants me to think that I’m not good enough. That I couldn’t get a job, unless Washington passed more laws. That I can’t graduate college, without raising your taxes. She wants me to believe that strong women and strong values are incompatible. She thinks I’ll vote for the candidate who looks like me. Rather than the one who represents me."

Benen writes, "This is the sort of ad a politician runs if he’s convinced voters just aren’t very bright. Part of the problem, of course, is that McConnell is a poor messenger for a weak message. He is, after all, the same senator who opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay [Act], voted repeatedly to kill the Violence Against Women Act, rejected the Paycheck Fairness Act, and voted to restrict contraception access." Actually, McConnell voted for the Violence Against Women Act but against a recent version that would have expanded its coverage to immigrants and some incidents on Indian reservations. He said the Paycheck Fairness Act was unnecessary because federal law already band sex discrimination and the new legislation would have encouraged too much litigation.

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