Lunsford Launches Counterattack Ad Rebutting McConnell

FRANKFORT, KY -- Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Lunsford launched a commercial hitting back at Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell that, among other things, criticizes the four-term senator for taking contributions from oil companies, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday editi9on.

However, a lobbyist for oil companies is throwing a July 29 fund-raiser benefiting Lunsford's campaign in Washington, D.C., according to an invitation listing Heather and Tony Podestaas the hosts, reports the Herald-Leader.

Tony Podesta's firm, Podesta Group, shows BP and Sunoco on its client list.

Lunsford's campaign dismissed questions about whether the Democrat was being hypocritical for slamming McConnell for collecting campaign checks for oil companies while benefiting from a fund-raiser hosted by oil companies' lobbyist, the newspaper reports.

”No, Bruce isn't the one voting big oil's way for 24 years,“ said a Lunsford campaign statement. ”In contrast to Senator McConnell, Bruce is not for sale.“

McConnell, who is now Senate Republican leader, has received $649,011 from oil and gas companies and their employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Lunsford's campaign ad uses the $3 million figure because it's counting money McConnell raised in 1999 and 2000 as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, reports the newspaper.

Funds raised for that committee were spread out to dozens of GOP Senate candidates and didn't just go to McConnell's re-election efforts.

Much of Lunsford's commercial — his first of the general election season — responds to McConnell's ad that began airing July 18 and criticizes Lunsford for supporting a provision 28 years ago that automatically raises the state's gas tax when the price of wholesale gasoline skyrockets, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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