- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Kentucky coal group targets California billionaire

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes‘ meeting with California billionaire Tom Steyer has prompted the Kentucky Coal Association to warn her not to accept donations from him or his climate-protection group.

Grimes and other candidates attended a meeting Tuesday in Chicago with Steyer and other major Democratic donors, according to her campaign. In a prepared statement, Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett said anyone accepting donations form Steyer or his NextGen Climate Action group would “identify you as being against the production and use of Kentucky coal.”

“Her comments thus far have been pro coal. She has made it clear she wants to be a pro coal candidate,” Bissett said in an interview. “This is more so just trying to say, ‘You really can’t have it both ways here.’”

State and federal campaign records show Steyer and his group have not contributed money to any Kentucky political candidates for the 2014 election cycle.

“Allison’s pro-coal credentials are unquestioned by Kentuckians,” Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Dan Logsdon said. “Alison is the only candidate with the jobs plan to help save and create jobs in coal country.”

Grimes has said many times that she supports the Kentucky coal industry. In September, she criticized an EPA ruling on new emissions standards, which she said would “practically prohibit construction of new coal-fired plants, which will threaten Kentucky jobs and raise energy prices.”

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McConnell challenger: Criticisms are ‘just noise’

STAMPING GROUND, Ky. (AP) - Tom Ramsey stopped by the local supermarket here to pick up two yard signs from the back of Republican Senate hopeful Matt Bevin’s truck.

But the 33-year-old said his vote is more against veteran incumbent Mitch McConnell than it is for Bevin.

“I don’t know that much about (Bevin), and some of the research is kind of hard to get to,” he said. “Truly, I’m just tired of Mitch McConnell.”

That was the sentiment for most of the 10 people who spent nearly two hours with Bevin Tuesday morning at a local breakfast spot in eastern Kentucky, where the race for the U.S. Senate is the marquee election of the 2014 midterm elections.

“I’m more against someone than I am for someone at this point,” said Dan Thornsberry, 66, who says he is not a McConnell fan but is mostly concerned with defeating Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Most polls and pundits expect a razor-thin race between McConnell and Grimes, the secretary of state. But first, McConnell and Bevin will compete in the May 20 Republican primary. Bevin is a Louisville businessman who says he has driven 45,000 miles across Kentucky telling people why he can beat McConnell and Grimes.

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