Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters

McConnell’s campaign believes she’s vulnerable on energy issues in Kentucky.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announces she will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014, during an afternoon news conference in Frankfort, Kentucky, July 1, 2013. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)
MCT via Getty Images
Andrea Drusch
See more stories about...
Andrea Drusch
May 2, 2014, 1 a.m.

Ken­tucky Re­pub­lic­ans want Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes to choose between the lib­er­al donors she met with in Chica­go this week and the state’s coal in­dustry that she has cam­paigned on sup­port­ing.

The Demo­crat­ic chal­lenger to Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell at­ten­ded a meet­ing of the coun­try’s biggest Demo­crat­ic donors at the Demo­cracy Al­li­ance meet­ing this week, but nev­er spoke to the man who has pledged to spend mil­lions for Demo­crats in the midterm elec­tions—en­vir­on­ment­al­ist bil­lion­aire Tom Stey­er. The Ken­tucky Coal As­so­ci­ation had already cau­tioned the pro-coal Grimes that ac­cept­ing money from Stey­er would po­s­i­tion her against the in­dustry.

Grimes walks a thin line between her en­vir­on­ment­al­ist sup­port­ers (which does not cur­rently in­clude Stey­er) and the en­ergy in­dustry in her state, which she has sup­por­ted throughout her cam­paign. After de­clin­ing to take a po­s­i­tion for much of her cam­paign, she be­latedly came out in fa­vor of the Key­stone XL pipeline last week. Re­pub­lic­ans in­sist she can’t have it both ways, and they think the coal in­dustry’s timely warn­ing has giv­en them the fuel they need to take it to the voters.

“If Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes ac­cepts aid and fin­an­cial sup­port from Tom Stey­er, or any anti-coal group, Re­pub­lic­ans will ab­so­lutely use any and all means to edu­cate our fel­low cit­izens about her hy­po­crisy,” said Ken­tucky Re­pub­lic­an spokes­wo­man Kel­sey Cooper.

Some Re­pub­lic­ans in the state say they plan to hold her ac­count­able not only for any money she might ac­cept from him, but any in­dir­ect in­volve­ment in the state by his PAC, and money from the DSCC, which Stey­er helped raise. And they’ll take to the air to do it.

Asked wheth­er Grimes would be ac­cept­ing money from Stey­er, her spokes­wo­man Charly Norton de­murred, say­ing “we will con­tin­ue to rely on the 45,000 grass­roots con­trib­ut­ors that make up the heart of our cam­paign.”

Grimes’s cam­paign also points out that Mc­Con­nell has re­ceived more than $100,000 from Nex­tEra En­ergy, a coal-com­pet­ing re­new­able en­ergy com­pany.

It’s cer­tainly not Re­pub­lic­ans’ first at­tempt to tie Grimes to her donors ““ they’ve hit her on Hol­ly­wood dona­tions, and dona­tions from state law­makers who were ac­cused of sexu­al har­ass­ment ““ but in Stey­er they think she’s guilty of blatant guilt by as­so­ci­ation.

Re­pub­lic­ans across the coun­try are eager to com­pare the lib­er­al bil­lion­aire to the Koch broth­ers, and tie Demo­crats who re­ceive his money to be­ing anti-coal or oil. In Col­or­ado, the con­ser­vat­ive group Amer­ic­an Com­mit­ment has run ads ac­cus­ing Sen. Mark Ud­all (D) of be­ing bought off by Stey­er and his cli­mate change agenda. Ken­tucky’s Re­pub­lic­an Party is threat­en­ing a sim­il­ar fate for Grimes if she ac­cepts his money.

Grimes hasn’t had any trouble fun­drais­ing. She brought in a $2.7 mil­lion haul this quarter and out­raised Mc­Con­nell in two of the last three fun­drais­ing quar­ters.

COR­REC­TION: Lun­der­gan Grimes out­raised Mc­Con­nell in two of the last three fun­drais­ing quar­ters, not the last two quar­ters.

What We're Following See More »
DRUG OFFENDERS
Obama Commutes the Sentences of 58 Prisoners
1 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.

STAFF PICKS
Trump Roadmapped His Candidacy in 2000
58 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"

Source:
‘NO MORAL OR ETHICAL GROUNDING’
Sen. Murphy: Trump Shouldn’t Get Classified Briefigs
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
JOINS BUSHES, MCCAIN
Romney to Skip Convention
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.

Source:
CALIFORNIA MAKES IT 21
FDA to Ban All Tobacco Sales to Minors
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a long-awaiting new rule, the Food and Drug Administration will ban sale of all tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—to those under 18. The rule takes effect in 90 days. It's part of a larger package of regulations that "gives FDA authority to regulate—but not to ban—all tobacco products, from e-cigarettes to cigars and hookahs." Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Wednesday that would bump the legal age to buy all tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Source:
×