|Contributions to McConnell by industry through 2012.|
As the gas and coal industries are competing industries, this disparity in contributions may cause McConnell difficulty convincing Kentucky voters his opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, is waging a war on coal.
This is especially true following a story broken Friday by Chris Moody with Yahoo News that McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao sits on a board working to kill the coal industry:
"McConnell’s wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, sits on the board of directors of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has plunged $50 million into the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal initiative, an advocacy effort with the expressed goal of killing the coal industry."
Through 2012, McConnell raked in $1,336,211 from oil and gas industry, almost double the $751,599 his campaign received from the mining industry in the same period. From a report released by the Public Campaign Action Fund:
"In fact, oil and gas interests have given $1.3 million to McConnell’s campaign committees and leadership PAC over his career, a top10 donor industry for him despite having almost no presence in Kentucky."Numbers suggest McConnell is second only to President Barack Obama in political contributions from the oil and gas industry.
While he has been in the senate since 1985, McConnell's taken in over $2 million from the oil, gas, and coal industry just since 1999. If the Kentucky Senate race is truly about a war on coal, McConnell's time grazing in the pastures of the gas industry suggests it is he, not Grimes, who may be the number enemy of Kentucky coal.
McConnell's lack of commitment to Appalachia's signature industry is no secret to Kentucky coal miners. Over the weekend, Grimes was endorsed by the United Mine Workers of America.