Chatter: McConnell's wife linked to anti-coal group; Paul 'out-organizing' competition in Iowa

08/09/2014 12:05 AM

A report published by Yahoo News on Friday is tying U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, the former Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush, to an anti-coal outfit.

For months McConnell has been hammering away at Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in the U.S. Senate race as a secret ally for national Democrats and their agenda to end coal by linking her to President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

Chao, who has been campaigning for McConnell on television commercials and making joint appearances at campaign stops with the senior Senator, was linked to Bloomberg Philanthropies, where she sits on the board of directors.

As Chris Moody of Yahoo reports, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $50 million into the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign — and their “effort to retire one-third of the nation’s aging coal fleet by 2020.”

The grant was made in 2011, before Chao joined the board in 2012, but WFPL points out, in their article published Friday, that according to their review of financial documents “Chao was on the charity’s board when at least half of the grants were made to the Sierra Club.”

A spokesperson for the McConnell campaign told WFPL and Yahoo that Chao was not on the board at the time the decision was made, and that the Grimes campaign better “think carefully” before attacking family members — though Grimes and her campaign was never quoted in the articles.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul “out-organizing his would be 2016 rivals” in Iowa

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul embarked on a week-long tour of the early presidential caucus state of Iowa this week, and The Washington Post is crediting Kentucky’s junior Senator for laying the ground work to a presidential run before his competition.

The Post says Paul is also delivering presidential candidate like stump speeches and going on the attack against potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The trip however has not been without its blips — on Monday Paul was caught on camera retreating from his dinner and walking away as an immigration activist who questioned U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, whom Paul was dining with.

Pure Politics followed Paul to Iowa during his first visit to the state to court voters for a possible presidential run in 2013. Paul says a decision to run won’t be announced until the spring of 2015.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, 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 the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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