McGrath Uses Coal Miners in Political Ad without Consent

The state of Kentucky has bled Republican red for many years under the rule of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. However, the year 2020 is said to bring about much change, as the Democrats hope for not only a new president but also an ousting of McConnell. The Democrat hoping to beat him is currently former Marine officer Amy McGrath, but that may not last long, as her campaign has just made quite a significant error.

McGrath has steadily risen to stardom in the state, portraying herself to be the perfect kind of Democrat for the party. Last year she ran against GOP House Representative Andy Barr and nearly defeated him. This leads many to believe that can and will succeed against McConnell in the coming year. And for a while, everything looked good.

But then her campaign started, and things have begun to unravel at the seams.

First, she proved more than capable of flip-flopping on issues that the public deemed as very important, such as the controversial nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. Her very first campaign ad also had issues and proved to be largely misleading, which voters don’t typically like.

But she and her advertising staff must not have learned from their mistakes because she now has yet another campaign ad that is causing problems.

This one, while being manipulative to its core and an outright attack on Mitch McConnell, was also aired without the consent of a couple of people included.

The video begins by showing a bus ride of several men on their way to visit McConnell. Amidst the slow background guitar music, a voice-over is heard saying, “It was a 10-hour bus ride. We were coal miners with black lung disease going to see our senator, Mitch McConnell, to try to save our disability benefits.”

The piece is moving to anyone with a heart and makes you want to be on these miners’ side. However, there is just one problem. Not all the minors in the ad agreed to appear in a political advertisement.

Randy Robbins and Albrow Hall agreed to participate in the reenactment but not because of politics. According to their lawyer, “Both Randy and Albrow were led to believe that the reenactment was being done for a documentary relating to the work of the Black Lung Association.”

And he continued, “They did not know and were never told that they were being filmed for a political advertisement.”

Neither men are very political and would rather not be associated with either the Republicans or Democrats. Therefore, it was disturbing for them to find out that they were portrayed to be a part of something that didn’t believe in.

The lawyer continued, “Randy and Albrow are not partisan political activists for either party. However, they are personally offended as seeing their images being used in a political attack ad that does not reflect their personal feelings or beliefs.”

The two men are not seeking additional compensation or benefits from the campaign but ask that “the use of their personal images in any and all adverting and media” “immediately cease and desist.”

However, the campaign manager Mark Nickolas insists that “all of the miners were fully informed that they were being filmed for an ad and even signed up for McGrath hats and T-shirts.” He also called the miners’ attorney a “partisan lawyer.”

The two men are adamant that they never signed a release of any kind and were not “fully informed.” They also said that they “would not have participated had they been aware that the footage was to be used for a partisan ad.”

What actually happened here may never be truly realized, but it may not matter because McGrath’s opponents aren’t wasting any time in taking advantage of her supposed mistakes. And it isn’t looking good for her.

Mike Broihier, her opponent in the Democratic primary, made sure to tweet out his pleasure at her failings. In McGrath’s video, she asks, “Whose side are you on?” McConnell’s or the miners’? So naturally, Broihier asks, “Whose side are you on – Amy McGrath’s or the Kentucky coal miners she used for political gain?”

And while the jab may not get him much more support, it just might help to weaken hers. As it is if McGrath continues to make mistakes like this McConnell won’t have to put up much of a fight at all.

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