The Herald-Leader recently obtained a letter International Coal Group senior vice president Roger Nicholson sent to his fellow coal company executives. In it, he said:
“With the recent Supreme Court ruling, we are in a position to be able to take corporate positions that were not previously available in allowing our voices to be heard.”
Nicholson is referring to the recent Citizens United decision, which could allow coal companies (and others) to set up 527s which would allow them to spend millions on political advertising, without having to disclose the spending until after the election. Nicholson’s letter named three races of interest where these ads could be used against Democratic candidates:
Conway against Republican Rand Paul for Kentucky’s open Senate seat; Chandler against Republican Garland “Andy” Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District; and Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall against Republican Elliott “Spike” Maynard in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.
Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway has previously stated that one of his criteria for supporting energy legislation is that it does right by Kentucky coal, though he wants coal to burn more cleanly. This has been a sore spot for Conway in the primary and so far in the general election.