Politics
8:30 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Libertarian Party Leader Says Members Open to Supporting Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd
Credit Creative Commons

  The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky says his members could be persuaded to vote for Ashley Judd over Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, but the Hollywood actress needs to distance herself from President Obama.

Judd has met with Democratic donors in Louisville and courted state leaders such as Gov. Steve Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, in recent weeks.

Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman says he isn't sure if they are running a challenger in 2014. But his members would need to know more about Judd’s fiscal views first, adding there is some agreement with the actress's social views such as same-sex marriage.

"From a libertarian perspective on the gay marriage issue, we tend to take more of the approach that the government shouldn’t be sanctioning marriage anyway. The relationship between two people does not need government involved. I don’t need to ask the government if this guy can be my friend or ‘hey, can I move in with this person’,” he says.

Judd is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage and abortion, and recently gave a speech on women's reproductive rights in Washington, D.C.

Libertarians have criticized McConnell’s leadership as much as Tea Party activists, chiefly over his support of the bank bailout in 2008. A libertarian-leaning super PAC blasted McConnell and pledged to support the right kind of challenger— independent, Libertarian, Tea Party or Democratic—against the GOP leader if they should emerge.

"Mitch McConnell is a poster-boy for everything that’s wrong with politics: a career politician who’s made tens of millions while Kentucky families suffer," Liberty For All Executive Director Preston Bates said in January. "He’s raised the debt ceiling, called TARP a success, and is fresh of raising taxes on Kentucky’s families. Simply put, he’s anything but a tea partier."

But Moellman says part of the problem libertarian-leaning voters would have with backing Judd over McConnell is her support of the president, who lost Kentucky by 22 points last fall.

“Some of my friends have tried to do the research. We don’t really know where she stands on a number of issues that are important to libertarians. Obvious she is very in line with Barack Obama and supported his campaigns. And I suspect that may seriously hurt her chances for winning a general election in Kentucky,” he says.

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