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Capito releases new TV ads

The campaign for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito announced the release of an ad touting her support for coal but made no mention of another one criticizing Capito’s opponent in the race for U.S. Senate, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

The Capito campaign confirmed both ads started airing this week.

A Tennant campaign news release said Capito pulled a “bait and switch” by announcing the release of the longer ad but not announcing the release of the attack ad.

“The only bait and switch here is Natalie Tennant campaigning as an anti-Obama Democrat in order to join her liberal friends Harry Reid and Elizabeth Warren in the Senate where she’ll become just another foot soldier in Obama’s War on Coal,” said Amy Graham, Capito’s campaign spokeswoman.

In the ad announced by the campaign, Capito relies heavily on what has become her campaign’s standard argument: Capito supports coal and Tennant does not.

The 60-second ad starts with Capito addressing a group of men who appear to be employed in the coal industry: most are wearing “stripes,” the clothing with reflective stripes typically worn by underground miners. Capito says West Virginia families are afraid for the future, thanks in no part to a president “who doesn’t seem to care.”

“The president’s come out with rules that say no new coal-fired power plants,” Capito says.

“But what he’s going to come out with in next several months is you are not even going to be able to even burn coal very limitedly in the existing plants. And this is really going to hurt West Virginia.”

The ad doesn’t reference a specific policy, but Capito and many other West Virginia politicians have been very critical of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal that could curb carbon emissions from coal-fired plants and other emitters 30 percent by 2030.

The Capito campaign purchased airtime this week with Charleston-based stations WOWK and WCHS, Wheeling station WTRF and Ohio station WTOV, according to records with the Federal Communications Commission. All of the spots are for 30 seconds.

The Capito campaign said a 30-second version of the ad will also air soon. As the Capito campaign and national Republicans have done consistently, the ad points out Tennant supported President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. The second advertisement asserts the same point, but crafts the argument in the form of a clear attack ad.

The attack ad also focuses on Tennant’s endorsement of Obama in previous presidential elections, labeling the administration’s Affordable Care Act as “freedom-killing Obamacare.”

The ad’s male narrator says the president wants to limit gun ownership rights, panning to a picture of Tennant standing next to an Obama campaign sign.

“Obama tries to limit our rights to own a gun, and Tennant takes to the streets to campaign for him,” the narrator says as ominous music plays.

“What else would you ever need to know about Natalie Tennant?”

The photo that appears during this portion of the ad is used frequently by Republicans, and appears in the longer Capito ad. The original that appears in the longer ad shows Tennant at the Obama campaign rally, holding the musket she used when serving as the Mountaineer mascot for West Virginia University.

The shorter attack ad covers Tennant’s musket with a larger picture of Tennant’s face.

Tennant released her own ad recently, where she theoretically shuts down the lights at the White House to show her dissatisfaction with the administration’s energy policy. National Democrat’s Senate Majority Political Action Committee also recently spent $200,000 on an ad for Tennant.

Tennant didn’t announce the release of the national PAC’s ad.

All of Capito’s ads are available at

The latest version of the West Virginia Poll, conducted in May, showed Capito had an 11-point edge over Tennant.

The general election is Nov. 4.

Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or Follow him at

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