2014 Kentucky Senate race

Politics
11:08 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Addresses Progress Kentucky, Defends Record on Mental Health Issues

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,

In a new op-ed piece, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell finally addresses a liberal super PAC accused of recording of his campaign office.

McConnell has personally avoided talking about Progress Kentucky directly, but his re-election campaign and surrogates have focused on the groups in TV ads and news releases. 

Some observers have said the issue at hand isn't how the secret recording of the McConnell campaign was obtained, but aides talking about Ashley Judd's struggles with depression as a part of opposition research.

The GOP leader takes time to respond to newspaper columnist Merlene Davis, who wrote McConnell owed Judd an apology for strategizing on how to attack the Hollywood actresses's past mental health problems but not before taking a swipe at the "partisan zealots" at Progress.

From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Shortly after the FBI began investigating a criminal recording at my campaign headquarters, Davis penned an opinion column here echoing the framework of the left-wing journalist who obtained the illegally recorded audio in the first place.

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Mitch McConnell Ad Spotlights FBI Probe, al-Qaeda Comparison

Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a new TV ad Thursday, which continues to pummel liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky and other groups for their attacks.

Asking "how dirty" will Democrats get, the narrator says McConnell is President Obama's number one target while highlighting the FBI investigation into a secret recording of a McConnell campaign strategy meeting.  WFPL broke the story that a local Democratic official alleged two activists involved with Progress were behind the recording.

The ad also digs at Americans United for Change, which launched a commercial which said McConnell's position against gun background checks put him in agreement with the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

"The far left is desperate to hurt Senator McConnell and have resorted to some of the dirtiest tactics in memory," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a release. "Whether it be the left's racist attacks, their spying and illegal recording of our office meetings or comparing Mitch to mass-murderers and Al Qaeda terrorists, Kentuckians are appalled and will not stand for it."

Watch:

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Politics
3:34 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Beshear Calls McConnell Recording 'Deplorable,' Criticizes McConnell's Remarks

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Governor Steve Beshear is criticizing the secret recording of a campaign meeting of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell  that was leaked. 

Two members of Progress Kentucky, Shawn Reilly and Curt Morrison, have been implicated by a Jefferson County Democratic official as being behind who secretly recorded the McConnell meeting.

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Politics
5:08 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Mother Jones Reporter: Kentucky Democrat Discouraged Mitch McConnell Campaign Tape Story

Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn
Credit motherjones.com

The Mother Jones reporter who uncovered a secret recording of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s campaign meeting discussing ways to attack actress Ashley Judd's mental health says a Kentucky Democrat urged him not to write the story.

Journalist David Corn is Washington Bureau Chief for the magazine and appeared on the Diane Rehm Show Monday morning to discuss how he obtained the tape and its contents. He is also the reporter was broke the infamous "47 percent" tape of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Corn says before the original April 9 story about the recordings came out a Kentucky source who "caught wind" of the report discouraged him from writing it and warned the audio would ultimately benefit McConnell.

"There was a person in Kentucky who was sympathetic to the Democrats—let me put it that way—I can’t identify the person. But who got wind that I was going to do the story and contacted me and asked me not to. Why? Because this person wisely predicted that McConnell would come out and make himself the victim and it would help McConnell," he says.

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Politics
1:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

One of Two Men Implicated in McConnell Recording Starts Legal Fund

Curtis Morrison
Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

Curtis Morrison, one of two Democratic activists implicated in recording a campaign strategy session of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, is starting a legal defense fund. 

Morrison tweeted out a link to the gofundme.com page Monday afternoon. The website lists a $10,000 goal.

Morrison does not say whether he was behind the recording.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Being a 'Witness' May Not Keep Progress Kentucky Leader from Being Charged with a Crime

One of two members of Progress Kentucky who, by the account of a Jefferson County Democratic Party official, recorded a campaign meeting between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff is now saying through his attorneys that he was "just a witness."

Shawn Reilly, the executive director of Progress Kentucky, denies anything more than being at McConnell's office when the recording happened, as first reported by WHAS 11.

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Politics
2:58 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Alleged McConnell Recorder Curtis Morrison Isn't Hiding

Curtis Morrison
Credit Rae Hodge / WFPL News

Curtis Morrison, the former Progress Kentucky volunteer who allegedly secretly recorded a meeting between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff, isn't in hiding, despite reports the FBI is looking for him.

WFPL intern Rae Hodge found him at the Flea Off Market in Louisville Saturday. She asked him several questions but Morrison only replied "I appreciate it, but I'm not talking about it right now."

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Politics
8:36 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Source Who Implicated Progress Kentucky Members in McConnell Recording Reaffirms His Story

Jacob Conway, who says two Progress Kentucky members told him they recorded a  strategy meeting between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his campaign advisors, stands by his original story despite a Courier-Journal report to the contrary.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Liberal Group Uses al-Qaeda Recruitment Video to Blast Mitch McConnell Over Gun Control

A liberal advocacy group is launching a controversial new ad targeting Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his opposition to gun control measure that uses an al-Qaeda recruitment video.

Americans United for Change is behind the 30-second spot, which features American-born al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn explaining how lax U.S. laws do not require background checks to obtain firearms.

In the recruitment video, Gadahn calls on Muslims living in the United State to carry out acts of terror and that guns can easily be obtained at local conventions.

The narrator goes on to explain McConnell is against background checks as part of a series of proposed gun control measures in the Senate. He asks: "who does agree with Mitch?"

Watch:

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Politics
8:58 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Mitch McConnell Tape Fallout: FBI Digs In, How Progress Kentucky Helps the GOP, Was it Illegal?

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

With the news broken that Progress Kentucky was behind the secret recording of a strategy meeting between Senator Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff, there are a few questions that remain.

What happens to the people who made the tape?

Jacob Conway with the Jefferson County Democratic Party says Progress Kentucky founder Shawn Reilly and then-volunteer Curtis Morrison made the recording. 

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