Former Kentucky treasurer Jonathan Miller is blaming fellow state Democrats for helping push actress Ashley Judd out of the upcoming U.S. Senate race.
Judd announced last week she is declining to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2014, citing a need to focus on family. The speculation on other reasons why Judd isn’t making a bid are plentiful, but supporters are speaking up.
In an editorial, Miller says a “dizzying blur of false testimony” promoted by a handful of Democratic consultants and strategists in national stories was part of the reason Judd declined.
From The Daily Beast:
While many may legitimately believe that (Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan) Grimes is the better candidate, many of those who have been quoted impugning Judd, or have done so on background, also have personal motives: some stand to profit from a Grimes campaign, some may have been trying to redress perceived “disses” by the actress, and some may be aiming to keep Grimes out of the 2015 gubernatorial race, where she could undermine their preferred candidates.
One can assume Miller is talking about Democratic strategists and donors such as Dale Emmons, Nathan Smith and Jim Cauley, who were openly critical of a Judd candidacy and quoted in several local and national stories.
Miller also takes aim at the media, saying it was duped into running false narratives against Judd such as a report she compared running against McConnell to being raped.
“I was at that dinner and never heard her say anything remotely like that,” he says. “What’s more, such a statement would have been completely inconsistent with the way I’ve heard Ashley discuss her horrifying experiences as the youthful victim of sexual assault—how they defined her in adulthood; how they propelled her to champion women’s empowerment across the globe.”
The piece reveals the Judd camp was frustrated with the consistent barrage, and how the media carried those stories. If Judd’s omnipresent celebrity was an asset in terms of name recognition it was also a pitfall in that it made every rumor about the prospective candidate a viable story for some outlets.
Judd was effectively running without announcing, however. And the Judd camp—Miller, Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, etc.—was woefully unprepared to protect her candidacy in the interim period between speculation and announcement.