Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grimes vote flap; climate; secret money; Obamacare recipient, a disabled miner, uneasy talking about it

Weekend roundups appear likely for the rest of the race . . .
  • Coverage of the race continues to be dominated by Alison Lundergan Grimes's refusal to say whether she voted for President Obama. "Grimes found herself under attack from the right, left and the middle on Friday," reports The Courier-Journal's Joe Gerth.
  • "She's just been getting hammered across the national media," reporter Lawrence Smith of WDRB-TV said on KET's "Comment on Kentucky" Friday night. He said the statement by Chuck Todd of NBC News that "She disqualified herself" was "over the top, but that shows you the impact of that non-answer. . . . It feeds this perception that she's a programmed candidate, a consulted candidate." Looking toward Monday night's debate, Smith said Grimes "has to come off as very informed, articulate, not programmed."
  • Insider Louisville's Joe Sonka, a critic of Sen. Mitch McConnell, writes about his Twitter exchange with Todd on the topic.
  • Grimes also came under fire from conservative, nationally syndicated "Mallard Fillmore" cartoonist Bruce Tinsley, who lives in Southern Indiana, using her as an example of Democrats distancing themselves from Obama:
  • McConnell said the Obama-vote flap "underscores that this entire campaign has been about trying to deceive the voters of Kentucky." Asked if he "voted for Richard Nixon, the only president to resign from office . . . McConnell said, 'I sure did'," in 1972, reports Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
  • Gerth writes in his weekly C-J column, "It wasn’t a good week in Kentucky for those of you who like your U.S. Senate candidates to actually answer questions." By not giving his view on climate change, "McConnell was just as guilty of not answering a question — repeatedly — and on a subject one could argue is much more significant and could have consequences not just in this Senate race but in the world."
  • McConnell's stance on climate change drew fire from cartoonist Jeff Danziger:
  • Al-Jazeera America has concluded a five-part series on "exploring how political issues are playing out in personal ways in the Bluegrass State this election season," especiallly coal.Part 3 looked at "dark money," the millions of secret contributions to political operations that are inundating Kentucky with ads in the Senate race. "Kentucky has more dark money flowing into it than any other Senate race except Colorado’s," Libby Casey and Philip Maravilla report. They quote University of Kentucky journalism professor and political commentator Al Cross: “I think the more money you have in an election, the less substantive discussion you have of the issues. The candidates let their money and the outside money do the talking for them.”
  • A series segment about health care features disabled coal miner Frank Dixon, 52, of Benham, who is on Medicaid because of Obamacare but uncomfortable with it: "Once he was insured, he said, the first thing he did was get his back checked out. But when asked if he supports Obamacare, Dixon lets out a long sigh and fidgets in his chair. 'I don't know how to answer that,' he said. 'Some things are left unsaid.'” For a story from Kentucky Health News, click here.

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