Report links Mitch McConnell's wife to anti-coal campaign - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Report links Mitch McConnell's wife to anti-coal campaign

Posted: Updated:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, sits on the board of a charity funding “one of the most aggressive anti-coal campaigns in the country,” according to a story published Friday by Yahoo News.

The report says Chao joined the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in 2012. A year earlier, Bloomberg Philanthropies pledged $50 million to the Sierra Club environmental group in an effort to “target” coal plants and “end our nation’s reliance on dirty coal, plant-by-plant, community-by-community, and state-by-state," according to the Yahoo story.

McConnell and his Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, have each portrayed themselves as staunch defenders of Kentucky’s coal industry – an important constituency in the November election.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2013-2014 annual report, in which Chao is listed as a board member, touts the progress of the joint Bloomberg-Sierra Club “Beyond Coal” campaign, saying 161 coal-fired power plants have been “retired.” The campaign’s goal is “to retire one-third of the U.S. coal fleet by 2020,” the report says.

A McConnell campaign spokesman told Yahoo that the charity's decision to fund the anti-coal campaign came before Chao joined the board, and “she played no role in the decision.”

In a statement to WDRB, McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said, "the whole premise (of the Yahoo story) is wrongly based on (Chao) having a role when she clearly did not. Sen. McConnell has led the fight against the Obama administration's war on coal and a decision made by a board before Secretary Chao joined does not change that."

Though the Yahoo story does not quote Grimes or her campaign, Moore added: "If Alison Lundergan Grimes thinks that it's appropriate to attack family in this campaign she better think through that very carefully."

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.