2014 Kentucky Senate race

Politics
10:20 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Conservative PAC's Radio Ad Echoes Matt Bevin Attacks on Mitch McConnell

A conservative group is launching its first radio ad in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race criticizing Republican Senator Mitch McConnell for his voting record.

Led by former Republican Congressman Jim Ryun, the Madison Project endorsed McConnell’s GOP primary opponent Matt Bevin last month, and is running what they say will be the first of many statewide ads against the incumbent.

It's a relatively small $30,000 ad buy, but the 60-second spot slams McConnell’s votes on immigration reform, Wall Street bailouts and the debt ceiling.

Listen:

Daniel Horowitz is the policy director of The Madison Project. He says the Kentucky Senate race is about McConnell’s leadership and a larger debate about the GOP at-large.

"We want to have a long-form discussion both about McConnell’s record in Kentucky and also really a discussion over the future of the Republican Party. Is this going to be the party of Reagan, Cruz and DeMint or is this the party of Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell? And it’s about time we had this fight over the future of the party," he says.

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Politics
11:06 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Matt Bevin Calls on Republican Leaders Not to Retreat on Defunding Obamacare

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit mail.com

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin is criticizing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for not taking the lead on de-funding President Obama's health care law.

The pressure comes a day after Boehner told House Republicans he does not support threats to shut down the federal government over Obamacare.

In an earlier letter signed by 80 GOP House members, including Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., conservative lawmakers urged House leadership to reject any spending bill that funds the new health care law.

Bevin has been appealing to Kentucky conservatives in his bid against McConnell in next year's primary election that this is another example of McConnell not doing enough to stand up against the president.

"As the leader of the Republican Party, Sen. McConnell should be leading the charge to de-fund Obamacare not retreating with his tail between his legs," says Bevin. "Kentucky voters have a right to know: Will Mitch McConnell join Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in fighting for taxpayers or will he join Speaker Boehner in caving to President Obama?"

But just this week, Paul stood with McConnell in Kentucky to say shutting down the federal government over Obamacare was a "dumb idea."

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Politics
11:38 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Matt Bevin Asks: Why is Mitch McConnell so Unpopular?

Sen. Mitch McConnell and businessman Matt Bevin
Credit File photos

In an increasingly bitter primary race, Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin is releasing a new web video blasting incumbent Mitch McConnell for being one of most unpopular lawmakers in Washington.

The online ad says McConnell has a history of voting for "liberal policies" and comes as Bevin faces intense scrutiny for supposedly exaggerating educational ties to MIT on his LinkedIn resume.

McConnell and Bevin's campaigns have been increasing their attacks against one another this week in online exchanges, one of which involved real estate mogul Donald Trump at one point.

Bevin's 50-second ad pounds McConnell for votes on abortion, immigration reform and the bank bailouts among other issues.

Watch:

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Politics
9:01 am
Wed August 21, 2013

EMILY's List Endorses Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky Senate

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes

The powerful pro-choice group EMILY's List is endorsing Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The group had encouraged Grimes to get in the Senate race as early as March, and has been helping the first-term secretary of state raise money in a bid to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell next year.

In an e-mail to supporters, EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock called Grimes an "energetic rising star" who can beat McConnell.

"Mitch McConnell is one of the least liked senators in the country for a reason—he’s hopelessly out-of-touch with the needs of his state," Schriock said. "Alison is working tirelessly to make sure that Kentuckians’ voices are being heard."

EMILY's List is a political action committee that works to elect Democratic women who support reproductive rights. Last year, the group raised close to $52 million and is known to have an extensive national campaign network.

Grimes has avoided hot button national topics for the most part and her campaign website doesn't address social issues but rather focuses instead on jobs, veterans issues and protecting entitlements.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Scolds Mitch McConnell Ad Targeting Matt Bevin

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Creative Commons

Highlighting an appearance at the Kentucky State Fair this week, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is scolding the latest attack ad by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell against his primary opponent Matt Bevin.

The Grimes campaign says instead of "mudslinging" she is working with Kentucky's military service members.

From a Grimes spokesperson:

"As Senator McConnell turns to mudslinging his Republican opponent yet again, Alison Lundergan Grimes honored our men and women in uniform at the State Fair's Military Monday.

Kentuckians are ready for a leader in the U.S. Senate—not a career politician who has wasted decades in Washington playing political games."

It's the first comment from Grimes's people regarding the GOP battle. It also seeks to promote the "Grannies for Grimes" arm of her campaign in an effort to get attract senior votes.

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Politics
10:28 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Mitch McConnell Campaign Ad: Matt Bevin 'Dishonest' About MIT Résumé

A copy of the certificate Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin received.

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a stinging attack ad against primary challenger Matt Bevin over his claims of educational ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the 30-second spot, McConnell's campaign highlights reports from The Hill earlier this year about the Louisville businessman's LinkedIn page.

In March, Bevin had listed MIT under his education profile based his attendance at an entrepreneurial program on the MIT campus.

Critics argued Bevin was misleading people that he was either a MIT graduate or graduated from a MIT affiliated program.

Bevin later revised his social networking page after school officials told The Hill it was a three-week seminar with no formal link to the school.

Watch:

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Politics
4:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Mitch McConnell Receives Endorsement from Key Louisville Tea Partier

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Credit File photo

Tea Party activist and Louisville Councilwoman Marilyn Parker is endorsing Republican Senator Mitch McConnell days after complimenting his primary opponent.

The nod gives McConnell a key tea party figure, but it comes as the senator faces growing criticism from his political right on Obamacare as a prominent conservative PAC is pledging to run ads against him.

When asked Wednesday whom she was supporting in the GOP contest between McConnell and businessman Matt Bevin, Parker told WFPL she was undecided but praised the latter for bringing up good questions by entering the race.

In a surprising reversal Friday morning, however, Parker says she wanted to make sure voters knew she is backing McConnell for re-election.

"I have always supported Senator McConnell for U.S. Senate," Parker said in a statement. "Today I am issuing a formal endorsement to clear up any doubt about my support for Senator McConnell's conservative record, his leadership role in Washington representing Kentucky and our national interests, and his institutional knowledge for getting the right policies implemented."

Bevin is being supported by the United Kentucky Tea Party, which represents over a dozen groups across the state.

But the endorsement from Parker—along with the former vice president of the Louisville Tea Party—is a crafty chess move that gives Team Mitch a bit of breathing room as more rank-and-file activists openly criticize his campaign.

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Politics
10:01 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman, Tea Party Activist Says Matt Bevin Raising 'Good Questions'

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18
Credit Parker campaign

Tea Party activist and Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker says businessman Matt Bevin’s entry in the Kentucky U.S. Senate primary against incumbent Mitch McConnell is good for Republicans in the state.

Parker hasn't endorsed either candidate and remains undecided on whom she’ll vote for in the primary contest.

But the city lawmaker believes the Bevin campaign is putting federal accountability and small government at the forefront of the 2014 campaign.

"Matt Bevin is raising a lot of good questions and he’s very articulate, and I think people will take note of him," she says. "And he’s going to bring issues that really the voters need to take a look at."

Earlier this year Parker had urged other Tea Party activists to reconsider a possible challenge to McConnell because of his leadership position in Washington. Attending the opening of the McConnell campaign headquarters, Parker told WFPL it was important not to jeopardize the senator's seat.

But that was before Bevin entered the race with the endorsement of more than a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky as well as support from outside conservative groups.

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Politics
11:02 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Louisville Tea Party President Warns McConnell Attack Ad Could Benefit Bevin

Senator Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Frankfort, Ky.
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The president of the Louisville Tea Party says local members could endorse Senate Republican candidate Matt Bevin over incumbent Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary after she was featured in an online attack ad.

A web ad released by the McConnell campaign this week questioned Bevin's conservative credentials and affiliation with the Tea Party.

The online spot also points out Bevin has donated to Democrats, namely $500 to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in his 2010 primary battle. It shows he gave another $250 to Wendy Caswell, who is a registered Democrat but also a founder and current president of the Tea Party in Louisville.

Caswell ran for state House last year. She says the spot is misleading because she ran as a fiscal conservative with no Republican in the race, adding McConnell is alienating local Tea Party members.

"I don't know how you can make an ad that in the beginning says Bevin has never supported the Tea Party and then in the next instance show my face and I'm the president of the Tea Party. That's pretty contradictory," she says. "I was really surprised, but this certainly isn’t the way to get the Tea Party involved or excited about your election."

Thus far the Tea Party movement in the state has been decidedly behind Bevin, with a group of over a dozen groups under the United Kentucky Tea Party backing him over McConnell.

But the GOP leader retains the support of fellow Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and was endorsed by the former vice president of the Louisville Tea Party last month.

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Politics
1:42 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Controversial Liberal Super PAC Progress Kentucky Shuts Down

Credit progresskentucky.com

The controversy-plagued super PAC Progress Kentucky is no more.

The Federal Election Commission has posted the termination letter acknowledging that Progress Kentucky founder and treasurer Shawn Reilly sought to close the PAC.

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