Report shows Democratic operatives around the state downplaying Grimes' support for coal

10/06/2014 11:06 AM

Democrats across the state say Grimes is using the pro-coal message to get elected and will not necessarily support the industry if elected, according to a report released Monday with undercover video from Democratic offices around Kentucky.

The Washington Free Beacon was first to have a write up on the undercover report done by Project Veritas Action Fund . In the report, undercover videographers speak with supporters of Grimes working in the Democratic offices for her campaign where they talk about their candidate’s support for the coal industry.

From the Washington Free Beacon report:

The video, produced by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe, shows five employees of the Grimes campaign and local Democratic Party affiliates speculating that the Democratic challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is only professing her support for the industry out of political expediency.

“If we can get her elected do you think she is going to do the right thing and she’s gonna try to wipe out that coal industry and go for better resources?” asks an undercover videographer in one segment of the video.

“I absolutely think she is,” responds Fayette County Democratic Party operative Gina Bess.

Many of those in the video are workers at local Democratic Party offices around the state. But one man speaking to the undercover plants is identified as a Grimes campaign field organizer and he too states that her support for the industry is part of a bigger picture.

“She’s trying to get votes in that sense from parts of Kentucky that that’s appealing to. But once she gets in, she’s going to be realistic about the fact that there are environmental problems and she will do her part, you know in that sense, to support those things,” the man, identified as Grimes campaign field organizer Chase Sanders, tells one of the undercover operatives.

The Grimes campaign responded to the video with the following statement, citing a 2010 incident where the filmmaker behind the project was arrested:

“The United Mine Workers of America endorsed Alison because of her unwavering commitment to Kentucky coal miners. She is the only candidate with a plan to save Kentucky coal jobs and protect the health and safety of our miners. The fact that Mitch McConnell’s campaign relies on an extreme activist with a known history of deceptive projects — one of which led to an FBI raid and federal criminal conviction — is telling as McConnell attempts to make this race about anything but the loss of 25,000 coal jobs on his watch.”

Also featured in the video is former state auditor Crit Luallen, a vocal supporter of Grimes. Luallen, who considered running for governor in 2015, told one of the undercover videographers that the policies of the Obama administration are already having a big effect on the industry.

“It’s already going in the right direction,” Luallen said. “She’s just got to do what she’s got to do to get elected.”

In response to the report, the McConnell campaign released a statement Monday morning calling the remarks from the Democrats in the video “shocking.”

“It is absolutely shocking that Alison Lundergan Grimes’ own staff now admits that she has no intention of protecting the coal industry. The level of deception that Alison Grimes and her campaign engages in to appear pro-coal despite obvious opposition is both disturbing and dangerous,” McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement.

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