Coal Exec Dresses Up Like Miner for Congressional Candidate’s Campaign

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Remember Mitt Romney’s Ohio campaign event, where a coal company forced a bunch of miners to take the day off and attend the rally without pay? Now Romney is featuring images of those miners in new TV ads (via Grist).

Of course, there seems to be no sense of irony in using images of men forced to take a day off work without pay to go to a rally in an ad claiming the Obama administration is taking away all the coal jobs. But Romney isn’t the only person getting himself in trouble for his appropriation of coal miners. Down in Kentucky’s 6th congressional district, Republican Andy Barr is also getting lambasted for a new ad that features Heath Lovell, a coal executive from western Kentucky, dressed up like a miner and accusing incumbent Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler of destroying the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky. Here’s the description, from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

In the ad, Lovell talks about the decline of coal trains in Ravenna in Estill County, which is in the 6th District. Lovell claims that Chandler, President Barack Obama and the federal Environmental Protection Agency “are destroying us.”

“They are putting the coal industry out of business, and it’s just devastating,” he says.

Lovell, who has contributed $2,500 to Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, said in an interview that the ad is not misleading.

“I still consider myself a coal miner,” he said. “I still go underground and keep up my training.”

But make no mistake; he’s no miner. The New York Times notes that Lovell and his wife have donated $21,400 to Republican candidates in the last two years, including Mitt Romney. His wife also recently posted this photo of Lovell making pizza with Romney at a fundraiser held in the home of Papa John’s Pizza’s founder on Facebook:

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.