The Richmond Register

Local News

June 17, 2014

Campaigns keep pounding on ‘coal wars’

FRANKFORT — The “coal wars” continued to be front and center in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race Tuesday with ads by each side touting their support or criticizing the other for a lack of support for the industry.

On Tuesday, the campaign of Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes released a two minute, 41-second web video featuring former coal miners in southeastern Kentucky saying Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell hadn’t done enough to help them.

The ad seizes on a comment McConnell made to the Beattyville Enterprise in response to a question about what he could do to boost employment in the region. The paper quoted McConnell as saying that isn’t his job.

McConnell has said his comments were “lost in translation.”

The web video also shows Grimes seated around a table with residents of Lee County and Beattyville asking them what they thought about McConnell’s comments and whether they thought the current minimum wage is enough. Grimes has called for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour over three years.

One of the former coal miners in the ad said it needs to be raised. Later a man, who identifies himself as a Republican, said he decided he couldn’t vote for McConnell after the quote about it not being a senator’s job to bring jobs to the region.

Meanwhile, The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, a SuperPAC supporting McConnell and advised by former McConnell aide Scott Jennings, put up a television ad entitled “Caught” which tries to capitalize on a tape of Grimes speaking to a Washington, D.C. fundraiser hosted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Prior to the event, Grimes said she’d use the event to share stories about what the federal EPA environmental policies are doing to Kentucky mining families. But she doesn’t mention coal on the tape, a fact seized upon by McConnell’s campaign.

In the 30-second TV ad by Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, the narrator says, “Alison just got caught in a big lie.” He goes on to say Grimes promised to talk about coal to donors at the event but, “Grimes didn’t mention coal, not one word. Alison Grimes talks tough in Kentucky. But she’s two-faced. Behind closed doors in Washington — and when it counts — she doesn’t fight for Kentucky.”

Both Grimes and Reid have said they spoke about coal both before and after the event, but the Grimes campaign doesn’t dispute the accuracy of the tape of comments she made during the event and during which she talked about McConnell but not about coal.

Jennings said the ad will run from June 17 through June 27 for a total buy of $500,000.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at

Text Only
Local News
  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies


    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos