Miners' attorney sends cease and desist letter to McGrath campaign following ad

Randy Robbins and Albrow Hall have asked the Amy McGrath campaign to remove their likenesses from a campaign advertisement about a trip they took to Washington to meet lawmakers including Sen. Mitch McConnell.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The attorney for two eastern Kentucky miners has sent a cease and desist letter to the Amy McGrath campaign after they were shown in a political ad for the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.

Christopher Thacker with Billing Law Firm sent the letter on behalf of his clients Randy Robbins and Albrow Hall. The two are members of the Letcher County chapter of the Black Lung Association.

The two said they received warm receptions from elected representatives who visited them including Sen. Mitch McConnell. McGrath has criticized McConnell for the amount of time he spent with miners during a visit, as some traveled several hours to meet him in Washington.

Thacker claims his clients thought they were participating in a documentary about the Black Lung Association and weren't told they were taking part in a political advertisement. The two were seen in the "10 Hours" political advertisement. It has been viewed 2.8 million times on Twitter.

McGrath's campaign disputes some of the claims made by the miners, saying it was clear the video was for a campaign advertisement.

"All of the miners were fully informed that they were being filmed for an ad and even signed up for McGrath hats and t-shirts. Mitch McConnell remains under fire for his callous disregard for the health of our miners and asking a partisan lawyer tied to the equally incompetent Bevin administration to send a letter to complain is sheer political desperation and shows how nervous he is about his badly damaged re-election hopes," campaign director Mark Nickolas said.

The McConnell campaign said McGrath "exploited coal miners to score cheap political points."

The two say they didn't consent to be shown in a campaign advertisement and have asked the McGrath campaign to stop using their images and likeness in the commercial and future campaign ads by Friday, or they may pursue legal action.

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