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Heath Harrison

Heath Harrison

Posted: September 27, 2010 08:08 PM

A racially-tinged ad by Republican Elliott "Spike" Maynard's campaign, accusing Rep. Nick Rahall of supporting the use of stimulus funds to create jobs in China, is being challenged by the Democratic Congressman. See the ad below:

The Rahall campaign objected to the television spot's claim regarding a west Texas wind project, stating that the current project differed from original plans announced in October 2009.

"At the time, the group indicated that the turbines would be supplied by Chinese manufacturer A-Power and that the venture would apply for $150 million in stimulus funds," the campaign said in a press release. "However, in March 2010, A-Power announced plans to develop a plant in southern Nevada that would manufacture wind turbines to be supplied throughout North and South America."

The Rahall campaign said the Texas project has not applied for stimulus funds.

Maynard's campaign is an attempt at a political comeback for the former Democrat, who served as chief justice of West Virginia's Supreme Court.

He was defeated in the 2008 Democratic primary, finishing a distant third, when photos surfaced
of the justice on vacation on the French Riviera with Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. Massey was appealing a $50 million verdict to Maynard's court at the time.

Maynard switched his registration to the Republican Party in January to challenge Rahall, the chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, who has represented West Virginia's 3rd Congressional district since 1977.

Blankenship, whose company owns the Upper Big Branch mine where 29 workers died in an explosion in April, is backing Maynard's bid and has contributed $4,800 to his campaign. Maynard has received $15,600 from donors affiliated with Massey.

As the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, an IGC senior vice-president wrote a letter to industry leaders, detailing the possibility of his company forming a 527 group to spend on behalf of Maynard in W.Va., and Republicans Andy Barr and Rand Paul and in Kentucky.

Rahall is not without his own backers in the industry. His campaign is supported by Consol Energy and Arch Coal.

The most recent poll, taken in August by the American Action Forum, showed Rahall leading Maynard, 53 to 37 percent.