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New Campaign Ads Earn Failing Grades From Fact-Checkers

Neither of Kentucky’s candidates for U.S. Senate has escaped the watchful eye of fact-checkers when it comes to advertising.

This week the Alison Lundergan Grimes campaign has come under fire for a commercial blaming incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell for failing workers at an Eastern Kentucky power plant.

The ad begins with the Democratic Sec. of State, standing in front of the Big Sandy Power Plant in Louisa, Kentucky.

"They're shutting down half the plant and laying off the workers because Mitch McConnell didn't fight to the scrubbers it needs to reduce coal emissions," she says.

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler labeled the 30-second spot “likely the worst ad of a nasty campaign year.” He writes that the commercial repeats debunked claims, adding that it’s unclear why it would be the senator’s job to push for scrubbers that would likely have driven up utility rates in the economically hard-hit region.

But last week it was the McConnell campaign that had one of its attack ads panned, this time courtesy of FactCheck.org, which took issue with claims of "shocking new undercover video with Grimes' own staff and donors show Grimes is lying, only praising coal to win an election."

The problem, according to FactCheck: The videos released by conservative activist James O'Keefe feature a volunteer with the Fayette County Democratic Party and a donor, but not paid Grimes staffers.

With less than two weeks to go, most polls show a slight lead for McConnell, though results remain largely within the margin of error.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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