Recently, I wrote about how by virtue of being an electric co-op customer, I feel complicit in the war for coal against the EPA. Now, it looks like because I would like Mitch McConnell defeated, on one question, I have to temporarily play to coal's side.
The "war on coal" has been a major issue in the hotly-contested race to be Kentucky's Senator and the EPA regulations have been used as a proxy in that fight. McConnell has campaigned hard on the issue and has even referenced it in advertising, saying that he'd "be the leader of the forces that take on the war on coal", assuring voters that he'd "fight back".
That's why it was definitely problematic for the senator when Chris Moody of Yahoo! News reported on Friday that the senator's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao is on the board of the Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has given $50 million to the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" initiative, a campaign with the stated goal of closing coal-fired power plants, preventing more from being built and keeping coal in the ground.
She is also on the board of Wells Fargo which elected in 2012 to divest from surface mining.
Following-up on Moody's story, Arit John of The Wire aggregates a local link which point outs that though she wasn't on the Bloomberg board when they voted to support the Sierra Club's anti-coal initiative, she was there while half the money was disbursed and she was on the bank's board, when they voted to divest.
John also links to a Talking Points Memo report that Chao's championing of her husband's co-sponsorship of the Violence Against Women Act is only part of the story because the senator has voted against its renewal several times. Instead, he has supported alternative versions which do not include protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented women.
There are 86 days between now and election day.