Friday, October 19, 2012

NRO Gives Andy Barr a Shout Out; Let's Give Andy Some $

National Review has plugged Andy Barr in a piece that makes Ben Chandler look desperate.  The NRO article, called  Lying in Kentucky,  highlights the dueling campaign ads over coal.

Here's the background. Barr ran an ad that featured coal miner Heath Lovell; this ad made the point that Democrats' anti-coal policies are killing the coal industry in Kentucky and causing the loss of thousands of good jobs. Chandler responded witha n ad alleging that Lovell is not a coal miner..

In point of fact, Lovell has been a coal miner since age 18.  He has also moved up the ladder of his company and is now CEO. In that capacity, he still keeps up his miner certification and goes underground at least weekly. Lovell threatened to sue the Chandler campaign for defamation.  Chandler ultimately pulled the ads.(Disclosure:  I represented Lovell in his demand letter to the Chandler campaign, discussed below.)

Here are excerpts from the NRO article:

Oscar Wilde once said that the “greatest of all sins is stupidity.” Certainly, knowing of what you speak is at a premium these days, and it appears from their reaction to Lovell that the Democratic party has perhaps spent a little too much time constructing cartoon villains. This, combined with a perfect cast of progressive bogeymen — “a CEO,” “donations to the Republican candidate,” “coal,” “mining corporations,” etc. — pushed Ben Chandler and his coterie prematurely to the fainting couch.. . .

And he’s [Lovell] not lying when he says that he is a third-generation Kentucky coal miner who has been working the mines since he was 18 years old: “That was my hard hat in the video,” he told theNew York Times. “That was not some costume that I’ve put on. I still go underground and keep up my training.” In honesty, he added, “I still consider myself a coal miner.” So, for that matter, does the state of Kentucky, which confirmed that Lovell is a “Kentucky Certified Underground Coal Miner,” a “Kentucky Certified Mine Foreman,” a “Kentucky Certified Mine Instructor,” and a “Kentucky Certified Electrician.”

At this, Chandler shifted his attack. Oh, he said, did I say you weren’t “a miner”? I meant that you weren’t an “Estill County coal miner.” This time Chandler was right, although, given that there are no mines in Estill County and that Lovell had never claimed to be any such thing, one can hardly blame him for being guilty on both counts.

These unfortunate facts having been excavated, Barr asked the Chandler campaign if it wouldn’t mind removing the “false and defamatory ad,” and Lovell sent Chandler a strongly worded “cease and desist” letter.” Under intense pressure, Chandler agreed and pulled the ad in late September, quickly shifting his focus to the more traditional Barr-wants-to end-Medicare approach and, in doing so, restoring harmony in both the political universe and the sixth district of Kentucky — for now, at least.

What is significant here is that the Andy Barr race is again getting national publicity-- as it did when he lost by a few hundred votes two years ago.

Notwithstanding gerrymandering of the district lines to shore up Chandler, Barr has a real shot at winning -- particularly if Romney's coattails are long enough, which I think could happen.

It is therefore time for conservatives, whether or not you live in the 6th District, to donate to Andy Barr. Click here to contribute.

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