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Pro-McConnell NRA Mailer Blasting Bloomberg Comes As Senator Defends Wife's Role on Bloomberg Board

Kevin Willis

The lobbying wing of the National Rifle Association has sent a mailer to some residents in Kentucky that says Senator Mitch McConnell will stop the “gun control agenda” of President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  

It hit mailboxes shortly after it was revealed that McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, sits on the board of a charity run by Bloomberg.

The mail piece came from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, and by law cannot be authorized by a candidate or candidate’s committee. Featuring on the front photos of Bloomberg and President Obama, with a dark, grainy picture of New York City in the background, the mailer says “Restricting Your Second Amendment Rights is Obama’s Unfinished Business.”

The back features a picture of McConnell, with assurances that the incumbent Republican opposes “any bans on guns and ammunition”, “a federal gun registration database”, and what it describes as the President’s “anti-gun nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The NRA’s criticism of Bloomberg’s gun control views comes as McConnell was recently forced to answer questions abouthis wife’s roleon the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Founded by the former New York major, the charity has committed $50 million to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, which seeks to close one-third of the nation’s coal-fired power plants by 2020.

Coal policy was been one of the most talked-about issues during Sen. McConnell’s race against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell has repeatedly said that a vote for Grimes is a vote for what the Republican calls the Obama Administration’s “war on coal.”

For her part, Secretary of State Grimes has described herself as pro-coal, and has criticized McConnell for not doing more to protect Kentucky’s mining jobs and provide safer working conditions for miners.

The Kentucky Coal Association estimates eastern Kentucky has lost 7,000 coal jobs since 2012.

Regarding Chao’s membership on the Bloomberg Philanthropies board, McConnell has pointed out the charity made the donation to the Sierra Club before Chao joined the group. When asked by reporters last week, McConnell said his wife has no reason to resign from her role with Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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