LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A non-partisan website which analyzes claims made in political campaigns concludes that a television commercial which links U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes with President Barack Obama is "off base with its claim that she has been 'silent' as 'Obama attacked coal.'"
FactCheck.org's Robert Farley writes that the Democratic candidate "has been vocal throughout her campaign about her opposition to Obama administration regulations on the coal industry."
The commercial by the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a 501(c)(4) corporation, is backed by a half-million ad buy, part of a $4.66 million television campaign which runs through August. The group is limited to issue-based ads, is not allowed to endorse a particular candidate and can accept unlimited contributions from donors who can remain anonymous.
The question of how Grimes replacing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) in the U.S. Senate would affect the Obama administration's environmental agenda, specifically on coal mining and burning of fossil fuels, came to a head last week when the EPA announced new proposed carbon emissions limits.
Though both McConnell and Grimes call it a "War on Coal," McConnell argues that because Grimes would help Democrats retain a majority in the Senate, her election would bolster the anti-coal agenda championed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) who appeared with Grimes at a Washington, D.C. campaign fundraiser last week.
A senior adviser for Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, Scott Jennings, told WHAS11 that FactCheck.org supports the group's overall argument because the article disclosed that it could not find any public statements from Grimes regarding coal prior to her announcing her Senate candidacy, nor did her campaign provide any when requested.
"The point of the ad is that Grimes was silent on coal before this race, as she was fully embracing the Democratic Party platform and endorsing Obama in 2012," Jennings said. "We thank the Grimes campaign for validating the fact that she has ignored coal throughout her career, just as she ignored it at a recent fundraiser in Washington with Harry Reid.”
Grimes is serving her first term as Kentucky Secretary of State.