GOP nominee Alex Mooney touts his ability to stop the “war on coal” and repeal “Obamacare” in his first television advertisement of the general election cycle, released Tuesday.
The 30-second spot, titled “Working for West Virginia,” is airing in the Charleston TV market, campaign spokesman Nick Clemons said. He wouldn’t give an exact amount paid for the ad, but said it was “just under six figures.”
Mooney and Democrat Nick Casey are vying to succeed Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., as representative for the 2nd Congressional District. Capito is leaving the seat in a bid for the U.S. Senate.
The spot shows five different people heralding Mooney’s work and vision (the campaign made sure to point out each person lives in West Virginia). They say Mooney has a “record of standing up to” President Barack Obama and a “perfect record” voting for lower government spending or against tax increases while serving as a state senator.
“No one will fight harder to end Obama’s War On Coal, repeal Obamacare, and protect our values which are being trampled on by President Obama and his liberal allies in Congress,” Mooney said in the ad.
The people in the ad don’t point out Mooney’s votes and service as a senator took place in Maryland. Mooney, who also served as the Maryland GOP chairman, moved to the Eastern Panhandle in 2013 and announced his candidacy shortly thereafter.
His residency is a consistent attacking point for Democrats. Casey pointed out Tuesday morning he didn’t mention the move in the ad. Casey’s campaign manager Derek Scarbro called the ad “misleading.”
“Mooney calls himself a ‘senator’ and talks about his legislative experience in his new ad just like he did during the primary, but he never says that he was a state senator in Maryland,” Scarbro said.
The Casey camp recently released its own ad, called “Cheap,” championing the argument Casey is fiscally responsible. The Mooney campaign said the ad was disingenuous, pointing to Casey’s support of a massive federal stimulus package while Casey served as chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party.
Mooney’s campaign recently released a poll from a Republican pollster that said the GOP nominee leads Casey by 12 percentage points. The Casey campaign said they don’t think the poll is credible.
The general election is Nov. 4.
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Jenkins TV ad bashes Rahall
A new television ad from Republican state Sen. Evan Jenkins argues Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., has done little more for the state than bring in funds for a parking garage in Huntington bearing the longtime congressman’s name.
Jenkins, who left the Democrats to join the GOP and challenge Rahall for his seat in southern West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, stands in front of that parking garage while bashing Rahall in the Republican’s new TV ad.
“For 38 years, Nick Rahall has been parked in Congress. That’s gotten us a garage with his name on it, but not much else,” Jenkins says to start the ad.
The 30-second ad, called “Parked,” is running in the Charleston and Beckley TV markets, said campaign strategist Andy Sere.
The Jenkins campaign is spending $52,000 to air the ad this week.
Jenkins argues “we’ve” lost 30,000 coal jobs and 100,000 people have left the state since Rahall took office in 1978.
In 1977 there were an estimated 61,815 people employed in the state’s coal industry, according to the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training. As of earlier this year total coal employment is closer to 18,200 people, according to the same office.
Rahall campaign manager Samuel Raymond said the ad was another attempt by Jenkins to try and distract from his own record while distorting Rahall’s accomplishments.
“Every time Evan Jenkins and his out-of-state puppet masters try to use false attacks that defy everything West Virginians know about Rep. Rahall’s proven record of accomplishments, they lose a little bit more credibility with West Virginia voters,” Raymond said.
“But Jenkins is willing to say anything to distract from his own record of making it harder for miners to receive black lung benefits, skipping out on veterans – which he did again this week – and pushing the agenda of his New York City billionaire backers who want to profit off West Virginia’s working families.”
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GOP announces new speaker for dinner
A former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will be the keynote speaker at the state Republican Party’s rally and campaign dinner this September, instead of a controversial conservative author and filmmaker facing criminal sentencing later that week.
John Bolton is set to headline the Sept. 19 “Freedom Dinner” at the Marriott in Charleston. Bolton served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. from 2005 to 2006.
“It is an honor to have Ambassador Bolton headline our annual dinner,” GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas said in a statement. “Particularly considering events occurring in the international sphere, having Ambassador Bolton on hand to share his insight and personal experience is a tremendous opportunity.”
The GOP originally invited Dinesh D’Souza to speak at the dinner. D’Souza, maker of the popular film “America: Imagine the world without her” pleaded guilty earlier this year to a felony violation of federal campaign finance law. He gave $20,000 in a “straw donor” scheme for a Republican candidate in New York in 2010, according to court documents.
He faces 16 months in prison; he was supposed to headline the GOP dinner four days before his sentencing.
After public outcry — including from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., admonishing the choice and saying she wouldn’t attend the dinner — the GOP canceled the event.
At the time Lucas said he wasn’t familiar with D’Souza’s “timeline” on his sentencing but confirmed he was booked after pleading guilty to a felony.
The GOP made no mention of D’Souza in their announcement about Bolton.
The event with Bolton is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., preceded by a roundtable and private reception at 6 p.m. Ticket prices range from $75 for general admission to the $11,000 “victory sponsor” package.
COMPILED BY DAVE BOUCHER