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Union Airs Loaded, Controversial Radio Ad Against Mitch McConnell

First Posted: 11- 1-08 03:34 PM   |   Updated: 12- 2-08 05:12 AM

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Mitch Mcconnell

A new radio ad is being aired in Kentucky that, after attacking Mitch McConnell on political grounds, goes after the Senate Minority Leader for not being forthcoming about his military record.

The spot, put out by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, already has some in-state observers up in arms over what they believe is a not-so-subtle suggestion that McConnell may be hiding aspects of his sexual orientation. One report called it the "Worst Anti-McConnell Ad Ever" for its use of suggestive language to breath life into never-proven rumors about the Senator.

"Now, people in Kentucky are asking why Mitch McConnell won't release his entire military records," goes the script. "The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that McConnell was discharged after serving less than six months. But McConnell won't discuss the full details ... What is he hiding? ... Isn't it time for Mitch McConnell to be straight with us?"

To be sure, the issue of McConnell's military records has been raised in a political context before. In 2002, the Lexington Herald-Leader investigated the matter after McConnell's opponent claimed he received "preferential treatment" in being discharged from the army during Vietnam. The paper reported the Senator had an eye problem that had led to a hospitalization and that the condition flared up occasionally during his time in the Army.

This past week, Democratic state Rep. Greg Stumbo, the former Kentucky attorney general, again brought up the topic when he called on McConnell to release documentation pertaining to his military history.

"Elections should be about informed choices. He's obviously not proud of his record, Sen. McConnell isn't, or he would have shown it by now," Stumbo said. "Something isn't correct about it that might cause a lot of people, including veterans, to take a second look at him."

As it happens, a day later, a prominent gay-rights activist - Mike Rogers - called on McConnell to do the same thing, arguing that Kentuckians deserved answers about the Senator's record.

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