LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Two days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) predicted that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes would be
"ineffectively pro-coal" if she was elected, Grimes' campaign reminded voters on Wednesday that Kentucky coal jobs have plummeted since McConnell first took office in 1985.
"Senator McConnell cannot escape his real record of ineffectively fighting for coal," reads the release from the Grimes campaign which lists Kentucky coal industry developments over the last three decades:
• Lost 18,000 mining jobs;
• Fewer coal jobs than at any point since 1927;
• Dropped from first in the nation in coal production to third;
• Shuttered 1,400 coal mines.
"These startling statistics belie any claims Mitch McConnell may make about being a 'champion' for Kentucky coal." the Grimes campaign contends. "When it comes to our coal industry, the only thing worse than Senator McConnell’s ineffectiveness is his unwillingness to accept responsibility for his failed record.
The Grimes campaign released a graphic it says will be utilized in an aggressive, six-figure, multi-medium push in Eastern and Western Kentucky. Topped by a photo of McConnell. the graph shows a downward slide in Kentucky coal jobs since 1985.
The McConnell campaign released an "infographic" of its own, detailing Grimes' links to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The ad says Grimes "was for the War on Coal before she was against it."
The illustration reminds voters that Grimes professed allegiance to the Democratic party platform and Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention even after Obama's earlier comments against coal-fired power plants. It also juxtaposes Reid's "Coal makes us sick" comment with his support of Grimes' candidacy, including a fundraiser both he and Grimes plan to attend on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, an indepedent expenditure group supportive of McConnell yet not associated with his campaign, released a television ad on Wednesday making the same point.
“Obama’s war on Kentucky coal began long before the latest assault by the EPA, but that didn’t stop Alison Grimes from fully supporting the President’s re-election and his liberal agenda. A vote for Grimes is a vote to help Barack Obama and Harry Reid make this latest anti-coal plan a reality. It’s that simple.”