Pro-McConnell super-PAC blasts Democratic opponent for Hollywood ties
© Screen shot / Kentuckians for Strong Leadership

A super-PAC supporting Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is launching a new Web ad hitting Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes for her Hollywood support, tying the candidate to controversial statements made by some of her celebrity donors.


The Kentuckians for Strong Leadership (KSL) ad, shared exclusively with The Hill, is styled after the Hollywood Squares game show, and features clips of celebrities like Chris Rock and Barbara Streisand praising Obama.

Lundergan Grimes is center square in the ad, and her celebrity donors surround her. The video highlights Chris Rock's comments that Obama is the nation's "boss" and that he and the first lady are like the "Mom and Dad of the country."

Streisand comments that Obama "has taken our country forward."

And the ad plays a clip of actor Rob Reiner comparing the Tea Party to Hitler.

"Why does Alison Lundergan Grimes take money from Obama-backing Hollywood celebrities who don't share our Kentucky values? Who do Hollywood liberals want?" a game show narrator asks.

The narrator continues: "Hollywood wins, game over for Kentucky."

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The video comes on the heels of a report in The Hill that showed Grimes receiving more than $250,000 in contributions from at least 66 Hollywood producers, agents and celebrities in just her first quarter in the race.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, actors Danny DeVito, Jack Black, Jon Hamm, Nicolas Cage, Jerry Seinfeld and Leonardo DiCaprio all gave the maximum $5,200 to Kentucky’s secretary of State.

Hollywood couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer (Garner) Affleck are listed as having given $5,200 each. Cameron Diaz donated $5,200, and her “There’s Something About Mary” co-star Ben Stiller chipped in $2,500. Leonard Nimoy and director Woody Allen added $500 apiece.

Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg has made the Kentucky Senate race his top priority this cycle, telling fellow Democratic donors in an email that "there is no more important election being held next year."

Lundergan Grimes raised a reported $1 million at a September fundraiser in Los Angeles hosted by Katzenberg, much of it from celebrities.

McConnell's campaign seized on The Hill report as evidence Lundergan Grimes is out of touch with Kentucky.

"It sure is curious that she spends all her time chatting with professed enemies of coal, Obama enthusiasts, and noted Hollywood liberals but can’t say a word about what she believes back in Kentucky,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore previously told The Hill.

KSL board member Gail Russell echoed Moore's concerns in a statement accompanying the new Web video, suggesting all the Hollywood money makes Lundergan Grimes beholden to Hollywood.

"Hollywood liberals are backing Grimes in droves not because they care about Kentucky but because they know Grimes will support their agenda if she gets elected,” she said.

The ad is the latest salvo in a volley of attacks that began early in the race and isn't expected to let up until Election Day.

Earlier this week, KSL released a television ad tying Lundergan Grimes to claims made by President Obama that Americans could keep their health insurance under ObamaCare if they liked it — a statement now in question as insurance companies cancel plans in droves.

Prior to that, a Democratic group spent more than a quarter million dollars on television ads hitting McConnell for the government shutdown, and a conservative group launched a similar buy, accusing him of failing to fight hard enough against ObamaCare.

McConnell is facing a primary challenge from Republican Matt Bevin, and Democrats believe Lundergan Grimes has a strong shot at defeating him this cycle.