Alison Grimes Campaign Commercial So Deceptive It Earns 4 WaPo Pinocchios

October 7th, 2014 3:16 PM

Just how deceptive is Alison Grimes' campaign commercial attacking Senator Mitch McConnell for supposedly being "anti-coal?" So deceptive that even fact checker Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post has awarded it four Pinocchios for extreme mendacity. To make matters worse for Grimes, this four Pinocchios award comes at the same time that James O'Keefe's Project Veritas released two videos showing Grimes campaign workers and a big financial backer stating on hidden camera that Grimes is only pretending to support the coal industry in order to get elected.

First up, let us look at the Alison Grimes 4 Pinocchio campaign commercial:

Here is Glenn Kessler tearing it apart:

...this ad tries to turn the tables on McConnell, asserting that he is the candidate in the race “pocketing big money from people who want to destroy coal.” Apologies for the fuzzy image quality; the ad has not been released on Grimes’s YouTube video channel, which is often a sign that a campaign wants to slip something under the radar.

How well does this claim stand up?

The Grimes campaign largely bases its attack on information contained in an article that appeared on Yahoo, which was titled “Mitch McConnell’s wife sits on the board of a group working to kill the coal industry.” But there’s less to the article than the headline suggests.

McConnell’s wife, of course, is Elaine Chao, a former labor secretary, president of the United Way of America and Peace Corps director. Thus the attack on McConnell is indirect, except for the fact that her income is also reported on McConnell’s financial disclosure forms filed with the Senate. (Grimes previously has falsely accused McConnell of quadrupling his net worth on his Senate pay when that was actually a consequence of an inheritance by Chao.)

...This is a fairly misleading and flimsy ad. In both instances, policies were undertaken before Chao joined the respective boards — and in any case, the boards of directors had no input in developing those policies. The Bloomberg organization has financed an initiative to phase out dirty coal plants, but Chao’s earnings are a pittance of the figure displayed in the ad. The Grimes campaign only reaches the $600,000 figure by counting Chao’s compensation from Wells Fargo, which under no definition is an “anti-coal group.” Instead, the bank continues to finance all but one segment of the coal industry.

Finally, what did McConnell have to do with of any of this? Nothing.

Psst! Alison. You might not want to bring up the subject of coal because as the two Project Veritas hidden camera videos below show, your own campaign workers plus a big financial backer are proudly boasting that you are lying about supporting the coal industry in order to be elected.


Finally we have real estate tycoon and Alison Grimes financial backer, Niko Elmaleh bragging on camera that Grimes will "f---" the coal industry once she is elected:


Exit question: Do the two Project Veritas hidden camera videos qualify the Alison Grimes campaign for bonus Pinocchios?