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After Democrats’ ‘talk-a-thon’ on climate change, McConnell blasts Grimes on coal

McConnellGrimesBy Sam Youngman
syoungman@herald-leader.com

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes needs to “do some serious soul searching” after she didn’t speak out about Democratic senators conducting an all-night “talk-athon” on climate change.

McConnell seized on the Democrats’ discussion of climate change and a news report suggesting that someone associated with Grimes’ campaign had secretly told an environmentalist that Grimes would be “more forthright” about her stances on environmental issues after the election.

“It is one of the primary responsibilities of a U.S. Senator to speak out when fellow lawmakers are actively working against your constituents’ best interests,” McConnell said in a statement. “It is very disappointing that Alison Lundergan Grimes could not muster a word against her liberal allies in Washington who were pulling an all-nighter to shut down the coal industry and left open the possibility that she would join them.”

In a campaign that has thus far been fought largely by press secretaries from the two camps, McConnell’s statement indicates that he sees an opportunity to damage Grimes on the issue.

Monday night’s theatrics in Washington coincided with a report from WFPL, a public radio station in Louisville, that someone from the Grimes campaign had told Louisville environmentalist Sarah Lynn Cunningham that Grimes would be more open about her environmental beliefs after the election.

WFPL reported that Cunningham said “a Grimes campaign official recently told her that the first-term secretary of state would be more forthright on legislative steps to combat pollutants once McConnell was defeated in the fall.”

Grimes campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton denied that any such promise was made.

“Alison’s pro-coal position remains the same,” spokeswoman Charly Norton told WFPL. “No member of this campaign has ever communicated otherwise to Cunningham or anyone else.”

In an e-mail to WFPL, Cunningham later described the person who spoke to her as a “campaign volunteer.”

Grimes has been nearly impossible to pin down on the effects carbon fuels have on climate change, saying she believes in climate change while trying to position herself as a pro-coal candidate.

“I do believe that we are left with one Earth, and that it’s our job to hopefully leave it in a better place than when we found it,” Grimes told the Herald-Leader in January. “But I think that we don’t, at the expense of over-burdensome regulation, turn our blind eye to a devastating impact economically that Washington is having on jobs here in Kentucky. So for me, it is about a balanced approach.”

Cunningham expressed doubt that Grimes would ever champion legislation to combat climate change.

“There’s this thinking that after Alison Lundergan Grimes were to win, then she would sober up to reality and start talking about climate change and what we were going to do about it,” Cunningham told the station. “I’m not holding my breath on that one. I think that if she takes a lot of money from the fossil fuel industry, she’s going to continue to be mum. It’s very uninspiring to people like me.”

McConnell and his campaign blasted Grimes first for the WFPL report, then for her silence on whether she would have joined the “talk-athon,” which was skipped by several Democrats from conservative-leaning states, including Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of N.C., and Mary Landrieu of La.

“If you’re conflicted about fighting for the jobs of fellow Kentuckians, you need to do some serious soul-searching about why it is you’re running for U.S. Senate in the first place,” McConnell said.

Filed Under: Alison Lundergan GrimesElectionsFederal GovernmentMitch McConnellUS Senate Race

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Comments

  1. James+Ewen says:

    Its economics that is causing coal to decline. Fracking makes natural gas cheaper and it pollutes 80% less. Why doesn’t “Doubletalk McConnell” call his phony “War on Coal what it really is “Corporate War on EPA, OSHA, workers pensions and benefits and war on the 30,000 Americans who die each year breathing the asthma causing CO2 and mercury released into our air when coal is burned? Haven’t we had enough of his bunk?Thirty years of his Trickle Down economic program caused the worst recession since 1929.

  2. Big Ben 4 liberty says:

    I see Mr Ewan is spouting the “progressive” mythology about coal completes with its lack of understanding of how economics really works.

    “had enough of this bunk” you say? Sir, you’re the one spouting the same nonsense about so-called “trickle down economics” that we have heard ad nauseum since the 1980s (and really wasn’t original then since it goes back to the days William Jennings Bryan).

  3. James+Ewen says:

    Correct Big Bin. It does go back to William Jennings Bryant. Bryant the Progressive was defeated in the 1896 election by McKinley who’s election was bought by bribes from Robber Barons who feared regulation of their economy killing monopolies. (See KY Night Riders War) John Rockefeller even wrote some of McKinley’s speeches. The same thing is happening today with Mr Corporation McConnell who represents big corporations and has unbelievably succeeded in making election buying legal with his “Citizens United” Supreme Court victory which says corporations are people.

  4. Big+Ben+4+liberty says:

    No Jimmypoo, what we have is the unholy alliance of big business with big government, all of which is supported by so-called progressives. With big government, corporations can enact anti-competitive laws to protect them the little guy and enrich themselves at taxpayers expense (i.e. crony capitalism, which Obama loves when it comes to those “green energy” scams). Why do think Wall Street players like Warren Buffet love Obama and support wholeheartedly? They make that whole cliche about the GOP being the party of the rich a joke. The wealthiest congressional districts in the country are represented by Democrats. And its no wonder many of them are suburbs of Washington DC in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
    And by the way their is no substitute for coal. Its the most economically feasible alternative to coal. Sorry but there is no magic pixie dust to provide electricity to satisfy the fantasies of the environmentalist wackos. And its fundamental to Kentucky’s economy, so its time you stop spouting the leftist propaganda and deal with reality.
    And while I support Matt Bevin over Mitch McConnell I do agree that so-called campaign finance reform is violation of the first amendment. Any one individual or collective group of individuals (for example all those corporations you hate so much) have the right to spend whatever amount of money they are able to spend on influencing elections whether you like it or not. Corporations are nothing but groups of people and their First amendment rights don’t go away because their doing collective manner.
    By the way corporations, unlike governments, don’t have the power to force you to buy their services, or imprison you, or to tax and/or fine you. Only governments can do that through use legal use of force.