Monday, October 13, 2014

Morning roundup: As we wait for the debate, a look at issues of coal and climate change

Boston Globe illustration for column by John Sununu
Here's a pre-debate roundup:
  • "As the gulf widens between Democrats and Republicans nationally on climate change, coal has closed the gap in Kentucky, particularly in the U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes," writes Scott Wartman of The Kentucky Enquirer, outlining their stands on the related issues.
  • Former Sen. John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire, writes in The Boston Globe that President Obama's energy policy is hurting Democratic candidates, especially in the major coal-producing states of Kentucky, West Virginia and Montana. In Kentucky, "Obama’s war on coal turned an otherwise competitive race in Republicans’ favor." The race still ranks at the bottom, 13th, among The Washington Post's ranking of the likelihood that a seat will change parties.
  • Wartman also has a story about what to watch for in the debate, tonight at 8 EDT on KET and C-SPAN.
  • The race is the "closest watched in the nation," Michael Falcone writes on ABC News's "The Note."
  • "The long-awaited battle of the Bluegrass is must-see TV Monday evening," Jessica Taylor writes for The Hill. She quotes University of Kentucky professor and commentator Al Cross as saying Grimes's "refusal to say whether or not she voted for Obama is not playing well. Not because of the substance but because of her inability to articulate a sensible answer to a tough questions. She’s got to be able to do that Monday night or she’s toast.”
  • Al Hunt of Bloomberg News writes for The New York Times about the avalanche of secret money in Senate races: "When he fought campaign finance reform years ago, Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, suggested the real antidote was disclosure. Now he says forcing disclosure would run afoul of the First Amendment and would harass groups such as the Humane Society."
  • We know more about Grimes's schedule after the debate than usual; she has announced a series of Northern Kentucky appearances Tuesday with Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Hillary Clinton will be speaking with her at a Wednesday night rally in Louisville. McConnell's Senate office announced that he will spend Tuesday in Whitley and Laurel counties, Republican strongholds.

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