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Mooney touts Trump endorsement, attacks McKinley for voting for infrastructure

West Virginia expected to receive up to $6B from package

From left, 1st District Rep. David McKinley is facing negative TV and YouTube ads from 2nd District Rep. Alex Mooney as the two prepare to face off in the 2022 Republican primary for the newly redrawn 2nd District. (Photos Provided)

CHARLESTON — With the candidate filing season for the 2022 elections set to start in 28 days, U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney is already on the air and YouTube with ads attacking fellow Republican Rep. David McKinley on his vote for infrastructure.

Mooney, representing the current 2nd Congressional District that stretches from Jefferson County in the East and Mason County in the west, is challenging 1st District Congressman McKinley in the 2022 Republican primary to represent the new 2nd District which combines most of their two current districts.

Starting the week of Thanksgiving, Mooney’s campaign released two video ads that ran at the beginning of YouTube videos. One seven-second silent ad promotes Mooney’s endorsement in the 2022 contest by former president Donald Trump.

The other video, which includes a 15-second and 30-second version, attacks McKinley for being one of 13 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives who voted in favor in November of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. The video accuses McKinley of being a Republican In Name Only, a RINO.

“It was a bill no conservative would support but David McKinley did,” the video’s narrator said. “President Joe) Biden’s trillion-dollar spending spree was dead until McKinley resurrected it, joining 12 RINO Republicans to spend trillions on (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi’s socialist agenda, contributing to record inflation for American workers, businesses, and families … RINO David McKinley voted with the left and sold us out.”

The Mooney campaign also paid to air the ads in the Wheeling market on WTRF. According to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, the ads started airing last week and will continue through the end of 2021, costing more than $18,000 for the four-week period.

“Congressman Mooney is proud to have fought against Biden’s reckless liberal spending bill,” said Teemu Garrity, campaign manager for Mooney for Congress. “We believe voters deserve to know that Alex Mooney is endorsed by President Trump while McKinley votes for liberal bills.”

Kevin Stephens, campaign manager for the McKinley campaign, accused Mooney of distorting McKinley’s voting record. According to FiveThirtyEight, McKinley voted in line with Trump’s positions between 2017 and 2020 92 percent of the time, while Mooney voted with Trump 86.7 percent of the time.

“It’s unfortunate that our opponent has already started misleading negative attacks,” Stephens said. “It’s clear he wants to distract the voters from the fact that McKinley has a better voting record with Trump than he does and a proven record of conservative wins for our miners, veterans, and the people of West Virginia.”

The BIF package of hard infrastructure projects represents $1.2 trillion over eight years with $550 billion in new infrastructure spending. Traditional infrastructure projects include a multitude of transportation, water and wastewater, clean energy and broadband expansion projects. The bill is paid for with unused COVID-19 relief dollars and additional fees and revenue sources.

West Virginia is expected to receive as much as $6 billion from BIF over the next five years for highway and bridge projects, water and wastewater infrastructure, flood resiliency, broadband expansion and abandoned mine land cleanup.

BIF is a separate bill from another multi-trillion dollar bill being negotiated in the U.S. Senate currently. President Biden’s Build Back Better passed the House 220-213 Nov. 20 with McKinley, Mooney and 3rd District Rep. Carol Miller voting no.

The nearly $2 trillion bill includes billions in funding for multiple social spending priorities, including universal pre-kindergarten for ages 3 and up, childcare and paid family leave, healthcare and elder care and affordable housing. The bill would allow the government to negotiate better prescription drug prices paid for by Medicare and cap insulin at $35.

Mark Blankenship Enterprises released a poll, conducted the week of Nov. 7 with 702 respondents showing support for U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito’s role in crafting the BIF package. According to the poll, 45 percent said they strongly supported Manchin, a Democrat, and Capito, a Republican, for their bipartisan work on the hard infrastructure bill, while 32 percent somewhat supported it.

Steven Allen Adams can be reached at sadams@newsandsentinel.com

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