"Could Pro-McConnell 'Dark Money' Group Get Its Bankroll From Coal?"

"A nonprofit group backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is spending $2 million-plus this month on TV ads that slam his Democratic challenger, a campaign partly dedicated to impugning her record on coal that leads some political observers to wonder if the industry is behind the curtain.

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, organized in 2008 as a 501(c)4 group not required to disclose its donors, yesterday released its third straight $700,000 ad buy this month against Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes. The nonprofit is publicly aligned with Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super political action committee tied to former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove whose donors include real estate mogul Donald Trump and the CEO of coal company Alliance Resource Partners LP.

The spokesman for the nonprofit -- whose initial board members included the future state director for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and a future counsel to Paul in his suit against Obamacare -- is Scott Jennings, a veteran aide to McConnell's 2002 and 2008 campaigns who also worked with Rove in the White House during the George W. Bush administration."

Elana Schor and Manuel Quiñones report for E&E Daily July 23, 2014.

Thursday, July 24, 2014