McConnell’s Doctor Problem

Rodney McCray

(Rodney McCray, Louisville doctor of dunkology has not endorsed a candidate.)

Didn’t really get a chance to post about it yesterday, but the Courier ran a fascinating article Sunday about that ad Mitch McConnell has been running featuring what appear to be endorsements by University of Louisville doctors (see the ad on Youtube). Seems that the Senate Majority Leader’s people didn’t inform the trio of doctors who appear in the ad that they’d actually appear in a television ad. Additionally, UofL’s policies prohibit their officials from using titles when making political endorsements (all UofL employees are, of course, free to make political endorsements — just pretend you don’t know where Rick Pitino coaches when he endorses the next library ballot initiative). McConnell, a UofL alum and major factor in securing federal grants for the university, has at this point not authorized his campaign to pull the ads. Gotta wonder how beneficial it would be to keep people talking about the Senate Majority Leader hoodwinking some doctors. Choice quotes from the C-J article:

Dr. Larry Cook, U of L’s executive vice president for health affairs, and Dr. Donald Miller, director of the Brown Cancer Center, said in interviews that they believed their testimonials would appear only on the Web, and not in television ads.

Dr. Laman Gray, chief of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, whose video appeared on the campaign Web site, said he wasn’t sure how the video was going to be used.

Miller and Cook said that they should have asked more questions about how the video would be used.

“We would have preferred to know,” Miller said, though he declined to say if the information would have kept him from making a statement.

Said Cook: “I think, perhaps, I was personally not as precise as I might have been in defining what might be done with the comments that I made.”

Disclaimer: I went to grade school with one of Dr. Cook’s kids, so I know he’s no dummy. But doctors are very busy people (2nd disclaimer: my brother is one), so this kind of oversight isn’t really surprising. The McConnell campaign staff should’ve been far more transparent with what they planned for this footage.

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