Sunday, October 12, 2014

New ads: McConnell uses activist's undercover videos; Grimes features laid-off Mayfield tire-plant worker

Rounding up developments and comments the day before the debate . . .
  • Both major candidates have new television commercials, making some of their toughest attacks yet in attempts to be the lesser of two evils.
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell is using conservative activist James O'Keefe's undercover video of some Grimes supporters to argue that she is lying about her support for coal. The ad uses a headline saying the comments in one video came from "Grimes' staff," but University of Kentucky student Anthony Pendleton found no proof of that; The Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth dubbed the comments "speculation."
  • Wayne Chambers, who worked at the defunct General Tire plant in Mayfield, says in a Grimes ad that McConnell did nothing to help workers there and "voted three times for tax loopholes that make it easy to ship overseas. Why should we lose our jobs and let Mitch McConnell keep his?" Those tax breaks are for any moving expenses, domestic or foreign, and fact-checkers have said such charges are misleading.
  • Lexington Herald-Leader political writer Sam Youngman writes that the candidates "have done a fair job of lowering expectations for how they might perform against each other" in Monday night's KET debate. "McConnell and Grimes traded dueling disasters in the days leading up to Monday's showdown, with McConnell being blasted by Democrats for a "needlessly angry" performance on Kentucky Sports Radio and Grimes going viral as political analysts of all stripes lined up to mock her refusal to say whether she voted for President Barack Obama."

  • Read more here:
  • A federal judge has denied Libertarian Party candidate David Patterson's demand that he be allowed into the debate, and the party says it doesn't have the money to appeal, Adam Beam reports for The Associated Press.
  • Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo has a short profile of Patterson.
  • C-J columnist and UK professor Al Cross looks toward the debate and offers "a rundown of the flim-flam lines to watch for, the facts that counter them, and the questions the senator and his challenger should be answering."
  • Gerth rounds up the candidates' positions on five major issues: the economy, coal and the environment, foreign policy, immigration and pay equity.
  • Youngman says on WKYT-TV, "Our poll shows Alison Lundergan Grimes surging with conservatives, which is sort of a stretch to wrap your head around." Youngman was interviewed for the station's "Newsmakers" show, which airs again at 10 a.m. on CWKYT.
  • Grimes and McConnell attended the Logan County Tobacco and Heritage Festival in Russellville, WBKO-TV of Bowling Green reports; Grimes drew a large crowd to a labor rally in Paducah and noted McConnell's opposition to raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits and allowing refinancing of student loans. At both sites, she was asked about her refusal to say whether she voted for President Obama. She told The Paducah Sun, "I'm the (state's) chief election official, and protecting the sanctity of the ballot box is what I was elected to do by the people of Kentucky. I don't believe it's relevant to this election. Instead of asking who I voted for, we should be talking about what I will be voting for in Washington."
  • "Alison Lundergan Grimes Is Running the Worst Senate Campaign of the Year," reads The New Republic's headline over Jason Zengerle's story, which starts with the Obama-vote flap. "Grimes’s refusal to say who she voted for is emblematic of her entire campaign, which, for the last 15 months, has been waged in a defensive crouch—evading and obfuscating at every turn," Zengerle writes. "While Grimes may have denied McConnell the ammo to convince Kentuckians to vote against her, she hasn’t given the citizens of the commonwealth many good reasons to vote for her."

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