Barr calls on Chandler to pull TV spot; Chandler camp says Barr running "war on facts"

09/24/2012 06:54 PM

Republican 6th District Congressional candidate Andy Barr doubled down on an ad featuring a Union County coal executive in mining gear. Barr called on U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, to stop airing an ad released last week which calls Barr’s ad a “big lie.”

“This attack from Andy Barr. It’s a big lie. This guy isn’t a miner. He’s a wealthy corporate executive and wealthy Republican donor,” says the announcer in Chandler’s ad.

Barr’s ad features Heath Lovell, a coal company executive from western Kentucky, who also has donated to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The campaigns have essentially been arguing over whether a coal company executive also can be called be a miner. And all this is over someone — Lovell — who can’t vote in the race anyway. Lovell is from western Kentucky and works in Union County, which is about 200 miles outside the 6th District.

Here’s Chandler’s ad, which is at issue:

Heath Lovell the coal executive featured in the ad sent a letter to Chandler calling on him to “cease and desist from airing the ad saying Heath Lovell, “isn’t a miner.”

“Ben Chandler has become so desperate to keep his job, that he has smeared a third-generation coal miner and fellow Kentuckian,” said Barr in a press release.

At the same time, an attorney for Lovell also has issued a letter to Chandler’s campaign calling for the ad to be taken down, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Chandler’s campaign responded Monday afternoon calling Barr’s attack a “war on facts.”

“This is about Andy Barr’s inability to tell the truth,” said Chandler’s campaign manager Eric Nagy. “At no point did Barr ever consider apologizing for insulting real Kentucky miners and the hard-working men and women of Ravenna with his revisionist version of the town’s history.”

Chandler’s campaign said the ad will continue to run the ad on TV and the campaign stands by the commercial.

Barr’s original ad:

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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