Grimes launches new ad aimed at hitting McConnell on Violence Against Women Act votes

07/30/2014 09:20 AM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is focusing her latest question ad on U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s 2013 vote against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act — a familiar line in the campaign for Grimes.

The latest television ad comes in a series of question posed by Kentuckians to McConnell which toes the line on attacking McConnell’s negatives while remaining folksy.

The ad released Wednesday features Ilene Woods from Lynch, Kentucky asking McConnell, “Why did you vote two times against the Violence Against Women Ac…and against enforcing equal pay for women?”

Grimes first criticized McConnell for his votes against the Violence Against Women Act which is aimed at curbing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in July of 2013

As Pure Politics reported the first time the line came up McConnell has said that he supported a stronger version of the bill in the past.

McConnell supported an amended form of the bill with changes brought by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Grassley’s proposal kept funding levels the same as the bill but made other policy changes.

And, McConnell was for the bill in the 1990’s before he voted against it in a final version. Here’s what we wrote in July of 2013: “McConnell voted in November 1993 for a version of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that contained the Violence Against Women Act provisions, then voted against the final conference report in August 1994 that included other measures, such as an assault weapons ban.”

McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore called the ad “absurdly inaccurate” in a statement sent to Pure Politics.

“Sen. McConnell has been a leader throughout his career on combating domestic violence, including on the very law her ridiculous Obama-inspired attack ad is citing,” Moore said.

The latest ad for Grimes shows her pitch to the women of Kentucky, which make up the majority of the electorate.

The Bluegrass Poll released on Monday shows Grimes has dropped in her approval with women voters leading McConnell by only one percentage point, she was up by 12 percentage points when the poll was conducted in February. The poll was conducted by Survey USA and sponsored by the Lexington Hearld-Leader, The Courier-Journal, WHAS-11 and WKYT-TV in Lexington.

“I approved this message because, senator, you must be forgetting that over half
the voters in Kentucky are women like Ilene,” Grimes said in the ad.

Here’s the ad:

Grimes has been quick to highlight McConnell’s votes against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and votes against the Paycheck Fairness Act, hitting McConnell on those issues at her campaign kick-off in July 2013 and focusing her campaign again in a memo released in January of 2014.

A 2009 Politifact check of an ad run against McConnell on the basis of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act quoted McConnell as saying “Every member of this body supports equal pay for equal work. The Ledbetter bill isn’t about fair pay. Pay discrimination has been illegal since 1963. This bill is about effectively eliminating the statute of limitations on pay discrimination.”

McConnell supported a Republican amendment to bill at the time which ultimately failed.

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



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