Democratic Senate candidate turns out lights on White House
July 28th, 2014
11:45 AM ET
5 months ago

Democratic Senate candidate turns out lights on White House

(CNN) - Natalie Tennant is making it clear: she opposes President Barack Obama's policies on coal.

"Where do they think their electricity comes from?" asks West Virginia's secretary of state and Democratic Senate nominee, as her new campaign commercial shows a picture of the White House.

"You and I know it's our hard-working West Virginia coal miners that power America. I've fought to protect our coal jobs right alongside Joe Manchin, and I'll stand up to leaders of both parties who threaten our way of life, I'll make sure President Obama gets the message," adds Tennant, as she pulls a power switch which turns the lights off at the White House.

zzzzz photo

Tennant's campaign says they'll spend six-figures to run the spot for two weeks in four markets that cover three-quarters of West Virginia. The ad is the first by Tennant or her Republican opponent, seven-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is considered the favorite in the race. The winner in November's midterm elections will succeed longtime Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring after three decades in the Senate.

Tennant opposes a proposal by the Obama administration to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Coal industry is a major employer in West Virginia, as well as neighboring Kentucky, where Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes, a fellow secretary of state, is also knocking the White House over its stance on coal.

Tennant also touts in her ad that she stands with Manchin, a popular moderate Democratic senator and former West Virginia governor. Manchin also took aim at the White House, running a well publicized ad during his successful 2010 bid for the Senate in which he loaded a rifle and literally shot a hole in the President's proposed federal cap and trade bill.

Capito's campaign has tried to link Tennant to the White House and to congressional Democratic leaders like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Last week a release from the Capito campaign called Tennant the "new darling of anti-coal extremists."

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

Responding to the new ad, the Capitol campaign said that "Natalie Tennant isn’t fooling anyone by claiming she’ll stand up to the White House. She helped Obama get there in the first place. This ad reaches a new level of hypocrisy for Natalie Tennant."

Elizabeth Warren lends Tennant a helping hand

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Steve Brusk and Michelle Jaconi contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • Senate • Senate Race • Shelley Moore Capito • West Virginia
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Good message.

    July 28, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. sonny chapman

    In a Nation of 320 Million folks, it's hard to please everybody.

    July 28, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Someone needs to teach the coal mining folks that their days are numbered. They will soon go the way of the blacksmith guy who shod horses. It's only a matter of time. There's no such thing as "clean coal."

    July 28, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. O'drama ya Mama

    "Where do they think their electricity comes from?"

    Not only from coal. Its time to start being innovative. Wouldnt you be more proud to tout new ways of producing electricity instead of the outdated way?

    July 28, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Hey don't get mad at her she has to " Tell em what they want to hear".☺️

    July 28, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. rick3807

    Coal provides 39% of the electrical generation capacity in the US. West Virginia provides 11.8% of the coal produced in the US. By my calculation that means the "hard working West Virginia coal miners" provide for 4.8% of the US electrical power. While the number is significant she might be overstating the case a bit.

    July 28, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    I believe West Virginia and Kentucky might benefit from some proactive training for their workforce to be able to move on to jobs outside the coal industry. Like it or not... we cannot continue to produce energy this way.

    July 28, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. National Socialist Progressive Communist Democrat Party

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    Hey don't get mad at her she has to " Tell em what they want to hear".☺️
    ----

    Right... and then if elected watch her party destroy the coal industry. They will not stop their anti-fossil fuel agenda just because of her OR Joe Manchin. The ONLY way to stop the far left Democrat War on Coal is to THROW OUT DEMOCRATS. She is trying to deceive the voters into thinking she can do something to help them when she clearly cannot. Just more Democrat lies and deceit. Haven't we had enough???

    July 28, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. just asking

    so what has joe manchin been able to do to stop obama and the democrats from destroying the coal industry? answer: nothing. so she's asking voters to believe a freshman senator will be able to do something that their senior senator hasn't been able to do. i guess she takes the voters for fools.

    July 28, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. ProudDem

    Meh....she's doing what she needs to do to win the election. Everyone in WV should read the handwriting on the wall though, coal is going away. I would like to see a politician speak frankly to them people in WV about that, tell them that they should be lobbying for programs to train their kids to do something else rather than trying to hand on to something that is doomed.

    July 28, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Looks like this woman kneels before the Koch's just like the filthy Republicans.

    July 28, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Abbey

    The loony Democrats who hate coal have a problem on their hands.

    July 28, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    National Socialist Progressive Communist Democrat Party says:
    July 28, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm
    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross…..
    Hey don’t get mad at her she has to ” Tell em what they want to hear”.☺️
    ———-

    Right… and then if elected watch her party destroy the coal industry. They will not stop their anti-fossil fuel agenda just because of her OR Joe Manchin. The ONLY way to stop the far left Democrat War on Coal is to THROW OUT DEMOCRATS. She is trying to deceive the voters into thinking she can do something to help them when she clearly cannot. Just more Democrat lies and deceit. Haven’t we had enough???

    She's not doing anything the GOP hasn't perfected....

    July 28, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Would You Look at That

    Rudy NYC
    Someone needs to teach the coal mining folks that their days are numbered. They will soon go the way of the blacksmith guy who shod horses. It's only a matter of time. There's no such thing as "clean coal."
    ----------------------------------–
    There is, actually, such a thing as "clean coal" power. There's a reason billions of dollars are being spent to retrofit coal-fired plants with scrubbers and other technologies. Besides, when you eliminate tens of thousands of jobs that earn between $60k and $120k plus health benefits and one heck of a pension, you're going to upset a lot of people, kill regional economies, and hurt a lot of families and other businesses along the way. You realize these are your "union laborers" that you're threatening, don't you? The UMWA represents more than 20,000 people out of its Charleston, WV local.

    July 28, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. quinLee

    She's nuts if she thinks this will get her many votes from the right. Not nearly as many as she just lost from the left.

    July 28, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    National Socialist Progressive Communist Democrat Party

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....
    Hey don't get mad at her she has to " Tell em what they want to hear".☺️
    --

    Right... and then if elected watch her party destroy the coal industry.
    ======================================================================
    Republicans have already nearly destroyed industries. It's why Obama was elected, and then re-elected. Republicans are out to destroy the U.S. Postal Service, which would destroy the postal workers' unions. Republicans are trying to dismantle our public schools systems through private charter schools, which would destroy the teachers' unions. When the auto manufactures were in trouble, the Republican response was let them go bankrupt, would have destroyed the auto workers' unions.

    Union busting by conservatives has been wrecking our economy, and destroying the middle class.

    July 28, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Tommy G

    Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN
    Well , for the betterment of the WHOLE country sacrifices have to be made so GOP GET with the program and get your head out of your A or get left behind which you already are.
    -–
    Rudy NYC
    Someone needs to teach the coal mining folks that their days are numbered. They will soon go the way of the blacksmith guy who shod horses. It's only a matter of time. There's no such thing as "clean coal."
    -–
    sonny chapman
    In a Nation of 320 Million folks, it's hard to please everybody.
    -–

    Well, there you have the far leftist Democrat Party in a nutshell. Coal producing states and people, too bad, your livelihood, your future, your family, all just collateral damage to the lefties in their war of coal. But don't worry, they'll let you subsist on some food stamps and other government freebies. You didn't really want to work anyways right?

    Anybody in these states that would vote for a Democrat is certifiably insane. Kiss these Senate seats good bye Democrats. The people there are not as dumb as you think and say they are.

    July 28, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Why is the coal industry and electric generating plants NOT investing in the SCRUBBERS necessary to clean up YOUR 18 th century polluting coal, and is the whole country supposed to suffer because coal provides 4 % of our electric power????

    July 28, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. Donna

    Yes, West Virginia voters, vote for Democrat Tennant and your family's demise, such a great plan. Democrats must think you are really, really dumb. Or vote for a Republican who will shut down OBAMA and not your job. Thanks for the Senate seats Obama!!

    July 28, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Where do they think their electricity comes from?" asks West Virginia's secretary of state and Democratic Senate nominee, as her new campaign commercial shows a picture of the White House."

    Oh, then it ISN'T a photo of coal smog in D.C.?

    July 28, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Would You Look at That

    Rudy NYC
    Someone needs to teach the coal mining folks that their days are numbered. They will soon go the way of the blacksmith guy who shod horses. It's only a matter of time. There's no such thing as "clean coal."
    ------------–
    There is, actually, such a thing as "clean coal" power. There's a reason billions of dollars are being spent to retrofit coal-fired plants with scrubbers and other technologies. Besides, when you eliminate tens of thousands of jobs that earn between $60k and $120k plus health benefits and one heck of a pension, you're going to upset a lot of people, kill regional economies, and hurt a lot of families and other businesses along the way. You realize these are your "union laborers" that you're threatening, don't you? The UMWA represents more than 20,000 people out of its Charleston, WV local.
    ==============================================
    Nonsense. There's no such thing as "clean coal". I am referring to the actual coal itself. The industry is trying to remake the image of coal into something that isn't as "dirty" as it used to be. As for your processes, ......

    Pres. Bush lowered emissions standards when he first came to the Oval Office to help the coal industry. The emissions differences between coal versus gas is vast. No amount of scrubber technology can make up the difference. A certain minimum air flow must be maintained in an industrial boiler, which means you do not have enough time to clean the air as thoroughly as "clean coal" proponents would have you believe.

    July 28, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. scott

    Well....I guess it's a good thing they have those solar panels on the White House roof then.

    July 28, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Chris..E.al

    Just another cost of living increase by the dems while many many americans are having a ruff time with higher cost on most goods and services . thx

    July 28, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Why is the coal industry and electric generating plants NOT investing in the SCRUBBERS necessary to clean up YOUR 18 th century polluting coal, and is the whole country supposed to suffer because coal provides 4 % of our electric power????
    -------------------------
    The logistics of using coal makes it far too expensive to use in a new plant. in addition to the cost of scrubber technology: there's the mechanical systems that are required to deliver it to the boiler: the rail systems needed to get the coal to the site; the hazardous environment of coal dust; and other hazards.

    It is far easier to run a large natural gas pipeline and turning on a valve. You don't need to locate near a rail system. You don't need the labor to run and maintain the coal delivery systems. You don't have the hazardous coal dust. There is no such thing as "clean coal." It's just a public relations campaign by the coal industry to change its' image.

    July 28, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Coal producing states and people, too bad, your livelihood, your future, your family, all just collateral damage to the lefties in their war of coal. But don't worry, they'll let you subsist on some food stamps and other government freebies. You didn't really want to work anyways right?"

    My sister in law was born and raised in Johnstown, PA. She lost both her father and her step-father to black lung disease. After her step-father was diagnosed, my brother moved his in laws to MN for ... er, higher subsidies.
    His in laws were also trying to provide for their disabled son, who was subsequently enrolled in
    Courage Center ... a MN program that is state funded. To make a long story short, the step father died soon after arriving in MN, and the mother in law died of cancer a few years later. Their son lived into his 50s, and has since died as well. As a footnote: my brother remains to this day a devoted Republican.

    July 28, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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