Mike Duncan was the chairman of the Young Kentuckians for Nixon in 1972, and was a driver for Richard Nixon when he visited Kentucky during that campaign.
As chairman of American Crossroad's, Duncan is working with Karl Rove (who he's known since college), and well-known GOP operatives Steven Law and Carl Forti.
Duncan is a long-time supporter and fundraiser for Senator Mitch McConnell, a top recipient of contributions from fossil fuel interests.
Duncan is particularly close with Kentucky's most powerful Republicans, including Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), whose 1998 Senate campaign Duncan ran, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is a fervent supporter of Duncan as RNC chair.
Other congressman Duncan enjoys a close relationship with include Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who represents the chairman's district in Kentucky, and his former RNC co-Chair RNC Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.).
Unlike the other candidates for the RNC's chairmanship, Duncan has not come out against the $700 billion financial bailout dubbed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
While he has refused to answer whether he believes burning coal contributes to climate change, in his letter to the New York Times, he acknowledges that closing down coal plants would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"I am more than a partisan animal."
"From time to time, I will call [Karl Rove] and ask him about what he knows."
"Coal offers energy security at low prices that can be achieved in an environmentally sound way."
"There is a direct link between coal-based, low-cost electricity and economic prosperity...On all fronts, we need a strong sense of urgency to support the people and the industry who have fueled the American Dream, and who will continue to do so."
“It is a passion,” Duncan said. “Both my grandfathers worked in mines. It was more of a personal thing than anything else. I saw the need. I think I understand the need that a country can’t have a defensible energy policy unless coal is a part of that.”
“We have to use this period before the election to increase the dialogue on energy and coal production”
"EPA is waging a war on coal, and a war on affordable electricity prices and jobs. EPA continues to ignore the damage that its new regulations are causing to the U.S. economy and to states that depend on coal for jobs and affordable electricity,”