RGA focuses on Obamacare, cap-and-trade bill in new anti-Jack Conway TV ad

09/17/2015 10:45 AM

The Republican Governors Association is targeting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway for his support of President Barack Obama’s policies in a new television ad released Thursday.

The 30-second spot features a Kentucky miner identified as Danny Key, who repeats attacks that have dogged Conway on the campaign trail as his opponents attempt to link him with the unpopular president.

“Obamacare’s costs could explode our state budget,” Key says in the ad, titled “Fight For Us.” “Jack Conway said he would have voted for Obamacare. Obama’s new EPA plan threatens to kill more coal jobs. Jack Conway supported cap-and-trade, just like Obama.”

He then touts Conway’s opponent, Republican Matt Bevin, for his private-sector experience in the spot, which can be viewed here:

Conway, the state’s attorney general, said during his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign that he would have voted for the Affordable Care Act.

The Democrat also said he opposed cap-and-trade legislation as originally filed, although he said he could support such a bill with caveats to protect Kentucky industries and consumers in a July 2009 report published by The Courier-Journal. Later in the campaign he said he opposed the legislation outright, as reported by the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org in October 2010.

Conway’s campaign pointed to another report by the Lexington Herald-Leader in October 2010, which graded “false” a claim from the Republican Party of Kentucky of Conway’s support of cap-and-trade legislation.

The report notes the murkiness of the topic. From the Herald-Leader:

Conway has said any cap-and-trade measure should include provisions to protect Kentucky’s electric rates and coal industry and keep other nations such as China from gaining a competitive advantage, among other things. The law the House passed did not meet that test, Conway said.

The mailing cites a July 2009 story in The Paducah Sun that said Conway supported the cap-and-trade bill, though he said it needed changes. Conway’s campaign said the story was wrong.

Voters can judge for themselves if Conway has flip-flopped on the issue, but it’s clear that Conway now opposes the cap-and-trade bill pushed by Obama.

Conway campaign spokesman Daniel Kemp turned the focus on Bevin in response to the RGA ad.

“No amount of false attacks from Matt Bevin’s East Coast allies will distract Kentuckians from the truth about ‘East Coast Con Man’ Matt Bevin: he’s lied about his failure to pay his taxes, he’d kick nearly 500,000 Kentuckians off of their healthcare, and he’s still refusing to release his tax returns,” Kemp said in a statement.

“Here in Kentucky we know that Jack Conway sued President Obama to protect Kentucky jobs, taking the issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and winning. Jack is the only Democratic Attorney General in the country to sue the President in order to protect Kentucky coal, because he always puts Kentucky values first.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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