Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sen. Elizabeth Warren returns; Grimes' ad on Paducah plant faulted; McConnell mum on Social Security plan

The final week begins . . .
Courier-Journal photo by John Sommers
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined Alison Lundergan Grimes for a rally tonight in Louisville, her second visit to the city for at attack on Sen. Mitch McConnell. "They repeatedly slammed McConnell for catering to the wealthy while opposing increasing the minimum wage, for opposing refinancing student loans and for opposing equal pay for equal work," Sebastian Kitchen reports for The Courier-Journal, adding that "a lively crowd of more than 400" was on hand. McConnell's campaign said Warren is wrong for Kentucky, calling Grimes' ties to the Massachusetts senator a "stark reminder of her loyalty to Obama." The campaign said Warren is a supporter of the war on coal, referring to her support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations to limit carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants.
  • MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon reports enthusiasm for Grimes at an event in Calhoun, where "Grimes spelled it out: ‘I don’t have to pay you to be here.’" Carmon noted that "Grimes needs their enthusiasm, and their turnout muscle, if she is to upend the conventional wisdom that McConnell will hold on, and with him Republican control of the Senate." Carmon reports a crowd of of about 100 greeted Grimes in the town of 763.
  • "A new TV ad by Alison Lundergan Grimes that attempts to paint McConnell as uncaring is disingenuous,” The Paducah Sun said in an editorial. “The ad, which began running in the Paducah market a week ago, claims McConnell did little to help workers” at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which enriched uranium for decades. The Sun says no one has worked harder than McConnell to help sick workers and keep the plant open. "Since 1999, Sen. McConnell has secured more than $1 billion in funding for the PGDP and its workers," the editorial said. The Sun goes on to cite numerous occasions of McConnell aiding the plant.
  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee started a TV ad in which retired Louisville teacher Estelle Bayer says McConnell "voted himself six pay raises and made himself a millionaire, and he opposes raising the minimum wage?"
  • The Grimes campaign announced today that Grimes has campaigned in all 120 Kentucky counties, wrapping up with Caldwell (Princeton). We were wondering why she went to several Republican strongholds in the last week or so.
  • McConnell asked TV stations to stop running the Senate Majority PAC ad attacking him on Social Security, contesting its suggestions that he profited from insider trading. WDRB-TV in Louisville, which generally has a conservative editorial policy, pulled the ad but reinstated it, saying it found the assertions to be factual, and other stations are still running it, liberal columnist Greg Sargent reports for The Washington Post. "The dust-up shows that Democrats are pushing hard to make Social Security privatization a sleeper issue," Sargent writes. He notes McConnell senior adviser Josh Holmes told Brian Beutler of The New Republic, "I don't think anyone is interested in reviving the '05 debate," in which McConnell favored privatization.
  • Ronnie Ellis of CNHI News Service reported after a McConnell rally in Campbellsville, "McConnell evaded reporters’ questions about whether as majority leader he’d support legislation to 'privatize' or change Social Security." On Thursday, "McConnell specifically touted his effort to push President George W. Bush’s plans to reform Social Security in 2005, which would have set up private accounts for retirees,” Joe Sonka of Insider Louisville reported then, adding: "Insider Louisville asked McConnell after the event if he would make a push for such reforms to Social Security if he was elected Senate majority leader and could set the agenda, but he declined to reveal if he would do so."
  • Ellis notes that Grimes says McConnell "supports tax breaks that encourage businesses to ship jobs overseas, but that message won’t get much support at Campbellsville Apparel, a textile company which supplies materials for federal government contracts and which employs a lot of folks who once worked at Fruit of the Loom — a company which moved jobs from Kentucky to Mexico." McConnell intervened to help the firm keep a federal contract, local officials said.

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