Casey Ad Goes After Smith Mining Record (Watch Video)

In the most pointed personal attack of the U.S. Senate campaign thus far, Sen. Bob Casey’s latest television commercial blasts GOP challenger Tom Smith for his safety record as the owner of several coal mines.

“He’s made a fortune running unsafe coal mines. 500 accidents and injuries. 2,000 violations. Fire hazards, faulty equipment,” says an announcer. “Now he’s running for Senate with plans that are dangerous for your family.”

The ad pivots to Casey’s ongoing “Tea Party Tom Smith” policy criticisms.

But the hits on Smith’s record as a mine owner are new – and cuts to one of the biggest items on his resume.

Smith started a coal company in the 1980s after several years as a miner. He grew and expanded until his business comprised 5 companies and 8 mines. He sold the business in 2010, and the proceeds have allowed Smith to contributed over $17 million to his campaign thus far.

Coal has been a heavy part of his messaging, too.

“Tom became a coal miner, then mortgaged everything to build his own energy company,” said Smith’s first TV ad. And one of Smith’s most recent ads stars an out-of-work miner who blames Casey for the downturn in the coal industry.

His campaign dismissed Casey’s latest ad as a last-minute act of desperation – and another sign of the Senator’s antipathy toward coal mining.

The allegations in the ad sting, but it’s not clear whether Smith’s record as a mine owner is unusually unsafe. The mining industry has an inherent degree of danger and every operational mine has reported citations, accidents and injuries. It seems like the kind of ad that could be run against any coal mine owner.

Update: Marc Levy of the Associated Press researched Smith’s mine safety record and found that it was a mixed bag:

Tom Smith, the candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania who made a small fortune in the coal mining business, ran mines that routinely performed poorly on a federal statistic that measured workers’ days lost because of on-the-job injuries, federal mining safety records show.

Smith during his time as a miner. Source: Smith for Senate TV ad

13 Responses

  1. Wikipedia says that Tom Smith was a Democrat untill 2011, and a Democratic committeeman until 2010. I wonder what’s up with that? Is he just changing sides to run against an incumbent? Is he really what he claims to be?

  2. Smith thinks teenage pregnancy is like pregnacy as the result of rape. If you are angry old guy who lacks details, understanding or even a clue then yes he is one of you. Oh and let’s not forget he started all that self making with parents school bus company whose sole income was a government contract. That makes him two faced and neither profile remotely approaches the intelligence and leadership of Bob Casey. Get over yourself and deal with the truth, no one wants to wake up Nov 7 to the news that Pat Toomey is Pa’s top intellect in the US Senate. Let’s vote today and end this two bit dog and pony tea party freak show!

  3. Team Casey is desperate and scared and this negative smear tells me that Team Casey is not as confident in the phony Democratic polls as the Democratically slanted media presents.The Democratically owned Inquirer’s polls says Bob Casey has 7 point lead! Who believes that?

    Smearing Tom Smith won’t work and it shows that Bob Casey is not as nice a guy as we all thought.

    Too many people have actually seen, heard and met Tom Smith to think he is heartless and uncaring or would endanger anyone’s safety or heath.

    Bob Casey has never met a payroll, never built a business from nothing, never produced any goods or services. As a politician, Bob Casey is a Tax Taker and, after four years, what has all that tax taking resulted in other than more people unemployed and savings eroded.

    Casey Obama were elected to solve the financial mess not make it worse.

    Anyone in business knows what technical violations of government regulations means in the real world. Nothing and have any employees come forward? Does anyone trust government regulators to give accurate and useful information?

    PS when this is over, the big winners may be Jimmie Lee of Susquehanna for his insightful choice of polling demographic and McLaughlin polling, Tom Smith’s internal pollsters.

  4. Smith wants to do away with the Mining Health and Safety Administration. It gets in his way of extracting more profits at the expense of his workers.

    To paraphrase a former director of the MHSA, every mine owner that has a high injury rate has an excuse and should concentrate on fixing its problems.

    To say that a mine owner is “one of us,” is insulting and denigrates the memories of the thousands of miners who have died because of greed of people like Smith.

  5. What a joke!! Further proof that Smith is going to win. According to Casey, Smith should be prosecuted because he is a millionaire. It is sad that the party of JFK is now for all intents and purposes the Democratic Socialist Party…

  6. Casey hasn’t campaigned positively this entire election cycle. I don’t even think he produced yard signs with his name on them. His two main ads were this and what Ed Rendell referred to as “that stupid tea party ad.”

  7. Tommy, Tom Smith cared so much about the safety of his employees that he kept them at home to heal fully after they were injured instead of having them come back to “light duty” and risk the possibility of further injury. There are no “light duty” jobs in a coal mine. That is why the time off for injury was higher than average. Talk to his employees, he even continued to pay for salaries and healthcare for employees after they were diagnosed with debilitating diseases, like cancer. Many families are eternally grateful for Tom’s generosity and compassion. Tom Smith is never imagined that one day he would run for any political office. Bob Casey has spent his entire life in politics. Smith knows hard work, Casey knows lobbyists.

  8. You guys are total ant-job freaks. Bob Casey can run all the negative ADS he wants it doesn’t change the fact that he is the emptiest suit in the United States Senate who is living off his father’s legacy. Tom Smith actually did something with his own life, rather than trying to channel his father. Plus Casey has a gay lisp

  9. Smith is the typical bossman who didn’t care about his employees and won’t care about his constitutents.

    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  10. good ad, now we see why he wants to protect coal because it makes him money he has no other reason, its the same as haliburton getting all those contracts when cheney was in office…

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