Retired Kentucky Steelworker Jim Pence is doing his bit to help retire Sen. Mitch McConnell.
“Social media is the way to go,” said Pence, who lives in Glendale, Ky., and belonged to United Steelworkers Local 423 in Louisville.
McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, is up for reelection next year. Few senators are more anti-union than McConnell, whose AFL-CIO COPE score for 2012 was zero.
Pence has opened a pair of Facebook pages: “Ditch Mitch” and “1,000,000 Strong Against Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014.”
So far, “Ditch Mitch” has collected more than 600 “likes” and “1,000,000 Strong” has registered more than 2,600 thumbs-ups.
“We’re shooting for a million likes,” Pence said. “We aren’t affiliated with anybody and we don’t want any money from anybody. This is a grassroots effort.”
The pages -- https://www.facebook.com/DitchMitchMcConnell and https://www.facebook.com/JaneLeeKY -- have been open for about six months. Jane Lee in Brandenburg, Ky., is helping with the million strong page.
“McConnell will be tough to beat,” conceded Pence, who carries a USW associate member card in his wallet.
But the Bluegrass State’s senior senator might be in hot water in his home state. A December survey released by Public Policy Polling showed that just 37 percent of Kentuckians like the job McConnell is doing. Fifty-five percent don’t, the poll also revealed.
Numbers like those have more than a few Kentucky Democratic bigwigs – and the national media – abuzz over the prospects of movie and TV star Ashley Judd moving back to Kentucky to challenge McConnell on the Democratic ticket.
A blogger-videographer, Pence has been taking on the senator for years. He often features his videos on “Hillbilly Report,” his blogsite -- http://www.hillbillyreport.org/.
He recently posted a clip of McConnell singing “My Old Kentucky Home.” “He obviously doesn’t know the words,” Pence said.
He captioned the video, “I’ll Bet Ashley Judd Knows The Words To ‘My Old Kentucky Home.’”
Jeff Wiggins, a brother Steelworker and Kentucky union leader, is a fan of Pence, but not of McConnell.
“We all know that Mitch McConnell is one of the most anti-union senators in Washington,” said Wiggins president of the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and Steelworkers Local 9447. “I love the way Jim Pence gets after him on ‘Hillbilly Report.’”
Wiggins is happy to help Pence and Lee hit the million mark. So is Chris Ormes, president of Steelworkers Local 1241 in Bardstown, Ky. “Mitch McConnell is anti-worker and anti-union and we need political leaders in Kentucky who are here for us. Unions work well for Kentucky but Mitch McConnell doesn’t work well for unions.”