Lawyers for two men sent a cease and desist letter to the Amy McGrath for Senate campaign on Wednesday demanding the removal of a political advertisement for the Kentucky Democrat.
Randy Robbins and Albrow Hall, two coal miners with black lung disease, took part this summer in what they thought was going to be a documentary for the Black Lung Association, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
But according to a letter written by Robbins and Hall’s lawyer and obtained by the Free Beacon, the two men were “shocked and outraged” after seeing the footage was used in the “10 Hour Bus Ride” ad for McGrath’s Senate campaign.
The ad was posted to YouTube last month and has garnered nearly 30,000 views.
“Our coal miners risk their lives to fuel our country and our growth into a world power,” McGrath says in the video. “I’m Amy McGrath, and we owe them.”
“They did not know and were never told that they were being filmed for a political advertisement,” attorney Christopher L. Thacker said in the letter.
“Randy and Albrow are not partisan political activists for either party,” he added. “However, they are personally offended at seeing their images being used in a political attack ad that does not reflect their personal feelings or beliefs. It is simply wrong for the McGrath Campaign to use individual miners suffering from black lung disease as political pawns without their permission or consent.”
Thacker goes on in the letter to say his clients plan to pursue any and all legal remedies if the McGrath campaign does not stop using their clients’ images in the ad.
McGrath’s campaign told the Free Beacon it has no plans to take down the ad and that all the “miners were fully informed that they were being filmed for an ad and even signed up for McGrath hats and t-shirts.”
According to the Free Beacon, the law firm representing Robbins and Hall said the McGrath campaign has yet to respond to their letter.
In her ad exploiting Kentucky coal miners, @AmyMcGrathKY asks,"Which side are you on?"
My question to @SenSchumer and the DC establishment is: Whose side are you on – Amy McGrath's or the Kentucky coal miners she used for political gain?@youngturks @chucktodd @axios @HillTVLive https://t.co/G9lXgTPHnB
— Mike Broihier (@MikeForKY) September 5, 2019
Amy McGrath’s primary opponent responds
Mike Broihier, a Democrat running against McGrath in the Kentucky primary, accused her of using the state’s coal miners for “political gain.”
“My question to @SenSchumer and the DC establishment is: Whose side are you on – Amy McGrath’s or the Kentucky coal miners she used for political gain?” Broihier tweeted on Thursday.