Coal Group Slams Grimes Ad Attacking McConnell on Jobs

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 11:24 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has been blasted by the Kentucky Coal Association over a TV ad blaming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the loss of  more than 7,000 coal-mining jobs in the state since 2011.

The organization’s president, Bill Bissett, said that Grimes was dishonest in the new commercial by connecting the loss of coal jobs to an innocuous remark McConnell made to a local paper, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

"It is unfair and untrue to blame U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for the loss of coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky," Bissett said, according to the newspaper. He said McConnell has supported the coal industry but those efforts "have been stopped at every turn" by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Grimes is running against McConnell, the Republican incumbent, in the November election. She hit back at Bissett by releasing a statement from state Sen. Ray Jones, the Herald-Leader said.

"The staggering coal job loss we've seen in communities across Eastern Kentucky has been on Mitch McConnell's watch — not Alison's," Jones said.

In the ad titled "Question from David," Grimes sits next to David Stanley from Putney, Kentucky. outside of a gas station. "I’m Alison Lundergan Grimes and David Stanley lost his coal-mining job, and he has this question for Sen. McConnell," Grimes says.

Stanley says, "Mr. McConnell, in the last two years, we’ve lost almost half of our coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky. Why’d you say it’s not your job to bring jobs to Kentucky?"

Grimes then adds, "I couldn’t believe he said that either. I approved this message because, senator, that’ll be my No. 1 job."

Story continues below video.


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The ad refers to a question that McConnell was asked by the Beattyville Enterprise about how he would bring jobs to the area, ABC News reported.

“Economic development is a Frankfort issue,” McConnell told the newspaper. “That is not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet.” McConnell’s campaign said the comment was taken out of context.

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