In an embarrassing display of laziness, Mitch McConnell’s first campaign ad of 2014 is actually a lie filled recycled ad from 2008 that is an insult to Kentucky voters.
Here is the original ad:
Here is the 2014 version of the same ad:
The ad uses the same message, tells the same story, and even the same throat cancer surviving energy worker Robert Pierce. The ad isn’t even true. Instead of delivering for the workers who were exposed to dangerous chemicals in Paducah, McConnell didn’t take action for 14 years.
According to a HuffPost story, McConnell ignored the pleas of people who lived near the plant, and had been exposed to toxins, “In the late ’80s, wells near the plant were showing signs of possible contamination. Ronald Lamb helped run a mechanic shop on his family’s old farmland a few miles from the plant. He and his father and mother all drank from the same well and started getting sick. ‘We thought we were dying,’ Lamb told HuffPost. ‘I lost the hair on my arms. It looked like I had chemo.’ On Aug. 12, 1988, government officials contacted 10 households with an ominous directive: Stop drinking and bathing in the water from their wells. The Department of Energy began sealing off wells near the plant and re-routing the water supply for roughly 100 residences. Lamb says he repeatedly wrote letters to his local elected officials, including McConnell, but didn’t get much more than a form letter in response. ‘They felt your pain but felt like you were being taken care of,’ Lamb recalls… Ruby English, a West Paducah resident whose well was shut off, says her husband Ray had also written to McConnell without success. English had thyroid and colon cancer. Ray worked in the nearby wildlife refuge bordering the plant, she says, and he’d come home with stories about seeing the creek water turn purple and yellow. He’d drink from the well and wash in the creek. He died a few years ago, his immune system a wreck. ‘The damage is done. I feel sorry for the workers the most,’ English says. ‘They’re right in the middle of it. … It’s pathetic, it really is.’
By using a recycled ad as his first ad of 2014, Mitch McConnell is sending several unintended messages to Kentucky voters. The first message is that he and his campaign are lazy. There is nothing new in the 2014 version of this ad. This kind of behavior is the mark of a lazy and arrogant campaign who believe that they already have the election won. Reviving an old ad also reveals a candidate that has nothing new to say. McConnell is telling voters that he intends on doing nothing for the future. He has no future vision or direction. McConnell displays this same mentality as a Senate Minority Leader whose only purpose is to obstruct everything. McConnell is telegraphing that he can’t run on his record, so the campaign is going to be about distractions, recycled ads, and personal attacks on his opponent.
This ad was an embarrassment. The Beltway media (MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and The Washington Post among others) are playing along with McConnell and selling this ad as new. If McConnell had a conscience he would be ashamed of this ad. It is an embarrassing insult to the voters to recycle an ad that isn’t even true.
If Mitch McConnell isn’t even going to try, why should Kentucky voters bother voting for him? McConnell looks ready for retirement, and voters can help send him there this November.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association