Matt Bevin

Politics
2:37 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Former Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidate Endorses Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate

Former Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Larry Forgy

Former Kentucky gubernatorial nominee Larry Forgy is backing challenger Matt Bevin over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's Republican primary battle for U.S. Senate.

Forgy is a Lexington attorney who once served as the state chairman for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns in the 1980s.

In 1995, Forgy made an unsuccessful bid for Kentucky governor against Democrat Paul Patton.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Kentucky Tea Partiers to Mitch McConnell: 'Bring it On'

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Tea Party activist are preparing to wage a primary war against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who they argue is trying to bully the party's conservative base.

The pledge comes after The New York Times reported national Republicans are attempting to undercut an activist group that has endorsed McConnell's primary opponent, Matt Bevin, in a fight one McConnell aide compared to a bar fight.

Senate Conservatives Fund has poured over $300,000 in attack ads targeting McConnell thus far.

In response, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is discouraging GOP campaigns and organizations from working with ad firms that cooperate with SCF.

"This article over the weekend simply steeled our resolve," says United Kentucky Tea Party spokesman Scott Hofstra, who represents a roundtable of over a dozen groups in the state. "We are so convinced that we need to replace Mitch McConnell, and we are prepared for the fight."

Questions remain if the Tea Party has the muscle to take on the GOP leader, who has amassed as many political favors in the Bluegrass as campaign dollars.

Sen. Rand Paul remains a steadfast supporter of McConnell's and Bevin's anemic fundraising totals last month did not bode well for the insurgent candidacy.

Hofstra admits they won't be able to compete with McConnell's financial haul, but confirmed with WFPL that state tea partiers are now coordinating and training activists with The Madison Project—which has also endorsed Bevin—to create a grassroots network.

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Politics
10:06 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Matt Bevin Misleading Voters About Relationship With Rand Paul, McConnell Campaign Says

Credit Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons and foxnews.com

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign says primary opponent Matt Bevin is misleading  voters about his relationship with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul during the 2010 race.

It is the latest joust in the increasingly ugly GOP primary battle, with McConnell and Bevin putting their ties to Paul and his high-profile status at the center of the contest.

Asked why Paul is endorsing McConnell in the 2014 primary, Bevin told The New York Times it's due to Paul's political aspirations.

But Bevin added the two share the same principles and were somewhat close three years ago.

From NY Times:

I've known Rand a long time. I was there the night he was elected. I was with him in his suite before he went down. He knows full well that he and I are cut from very, very similar cloth—and that he and Mitch McConnell are not. He understands that.

That is make believe, according to McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton, who is Paul's nephew and ran his general election bid three years ago.

"The truth is, Rand does not know Matt Bevin well," Benton says. "The senator tells me that he has spoken to Bevin only briefly, two or three times, and with each conversation he affirmed his support for McConnell in the 2014 Senate race.

"Mr. Bevin’s latest fiction is insulting to the hundreds of Kentuckians who worked hard, supported Rand form the beginning, lead organized community groups, knocked doors, made phone calls or invested financially before it became clear he was going to Washington."

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Politics
6:59 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Saying GOP Challenger Could Face Jail Time, Mitch McConnell Going for Knockout Against Matt Bevin

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and GOP challenger Matt Bevin
Credit File photos

It is safe to call the Kentucky primary race between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and challenger Matt Bevin a nasty contest.

The latest offensive from McConnell says his Tea Party-backed opponent isn't just misleading the public about his past, but argues Bevin may have committed a criminal act in the process that could be grounds for imprisonment.

From the outset McConnell's ruthless campaign told voters Bevin, a Louisville businessman and investor, was an "East Coast con man" whom they couldn't trust.

Even as TV attack ads against Bevin's business record were dubbed mostly false by fact-checkers, the pummeling has escalated and expanded.

As first reported by Buzzfeed last week, Bevin's Connecticut-based bell-making company (Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Co.) sought a $100,000 state grant after it burned down from a fire four years ago.

The online news site found Bevin's company applied for the grant saying it didn't owe any local, state or federal back taxes while failing to disclose a $74,000 IRS lien.

Another Connecticut document obtained by WFPL is dated June 16, 2012. It shows Bevin signed some of the paperwork personally, which stated there were "no federal tax claims or liens" against his company.

McConnell's campaign didn't leave this to just their political operatives, who eagerly attacked Bevin's trustworthiness. Team Mitch also found a Connecticut lawyer who said Bevin could face a $2,000 fine or a year in jail.

"Mr. Bevin apparently admitted that his company paid the tax lien off on September 11, 2012 and the lien was released on Nov. 7, 2012. So, at the time Mr. Bevin signed the certificate under oath, a tax lien in fact was filed against his company contrary to the representations made in the certificate," attorney Peter J. Martin, a Connecticut attorney, said during a McConnell campaign conference call. "Now, I am not a prosecutor, I am not a judge and I am not a jury, but if I was Mr. Bevin’s attorney I would be very concerned."

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Politics
11:18 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses Matt Bevin

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

The Senate Conservatives Fund is endorsing Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's Republican primary election.

The nod for the Tea Party backed challenger comes days after McConnell struck a deal with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to reopen the government and avoid default.

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Politics
2:29 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Hauls in $2.3 Million for Re-Election

In Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, the campaign to re-elect Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday it raised $2.3 million in the past three months.

This represents McConnell's strongest quarter to date as the incumbent seeks a sixth term in office. 

Overall McConnell has garnered a total of $17.7 million towards next year's election and will report just under $10 million in cash on hand.

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Politics
8:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Matt Bevin Fails to Receive Boone County GOP Nod

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

Despite U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin's pleas for members to vote their "conscience" the Republican Party of Boone County, Ky. bypassed endorsing the political newcomer over incumbent Mitch McConnell in next year's primary.

Bevin supporters had been hopeful the Northern Kentucky group would give his campaign a needed boost in an area that is considered a Tea Party stronghold.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton also attended the meeting and warned members that weighing in would be a "poor mistake" as a county party.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Hurting Mitch McConnell's Approval Rating as Matt Bevin Seeks Key Endorsement

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,
Credit File photo

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's popularity is taking a dive due to the government shutdown, according to a new Gallup survey released Thursday.

The new figures comes as McConnell's GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin is vying to gain the support of a key political organization in Northern Kentucky this week.

Overall, Gallup finds McConnell's net approvals are down by 12 percentage points since Congress failed pass a spending bill to keep federal services and programs running.

From Gallup:

The Republican congressional leaders, Boehner and McConnell, appear to have taken a slightly larger hit from the shutdown than the Democratic congressional leaders Reid and Pelosi, as well as President Obama, given slightly larger declines in the Republicans' net favorables.

(SNIP)

Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but both groups now view Republican leaders Boehner and McConnell significantly more negatively than before the shutdown. Their net favorable ratings have declined between 13 and 19 points among the party groups.

Save House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, all of the major leaders in Washington are suffering from poor approval ratings as the shutdown continues.

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Politics
4:25 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Dwindling Tea Party Support Among GOP May Impact Matt Bevin's Insurgency

Credit Tim Pierce/Creative Commons

A new poll finds fewer Americans support the Tea Party movement and the noticeable dip among Republican voters could impact Kentucky’s U.S. Senate GOP primary race.

According to a Gallup survey conducted earlier this month, opponents of the Tea Party outnumber supporters by a 27 percent to 22 percent.

Most are indifferent to the movement, but the poll shows the Tea Party's favorable rating among GOP voters is 38 percent compared to 65 percent in 2010.

Those numbers could put a damper on Louisville businessman Matt Bevin's primary hopes as he seeks to overthrow incumbent Mitch McConnell with heavy Tea Party support in the state.

Observers say the low approval numbers are a sign the Tea Party is being blamed for the gridlock in Washington in the face of a possible government shutdown.

"It's so much easier to rail against the establishment, people like that when you show enthusiasm and energy," says University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton. "But once you become the establishment and you actually have to govern things change somewhat. One of the reasons the Tea Party is falling out of favor with many Americans is because people are seeing them as part of problem in Washington now."

Clayton says it's hard to compare Bevin's 2014 bid to Rand Paul's insurgency GOP primary candidacy for a number of reasons, but says the Tea Party doesn't appear to have the same strength it did in 2010.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Matt Bevin Praises Ted Cruz, Slams Mitch McConnell on Defunding Obamacare Fight

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin joins a rally by Tea Party activists outside Mitch McConnell's office
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

A group of Tea Party and conservative activists rallied outside of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s Louisville office, calling for the defunding of the president’s health care law.

Joined by U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin, over a dozen demonstrators spoke in support of Republican Ted Cruz of Texas, who held a nearly 24-hour marathon talk on the Senate floor to oppose the Affordable Care Act.

But McConnell disagreed with Cruz's tactic to block a federal spending bill that takes out funding Obamacare in order to keep Senate Democrats from amending the measure.

Instead, McConnell supports having a majority vote to defund the health care law while pressuring Democrats to join the GOP caucus.

Saying the GOP establishment needs to do more those rallying in downtown Louisville took McConnell's leadership to task, however.

"I can’t understand why Mitch McConnell won’t wake up and realize that (Obama) is trying to destroy us and destroy Kentucky. He’s the mouthpiece that not only we have but he represents the Republican Party in all of the United States right now," says Dan Johnson, a bishop at Heart of Fire Church in Louisville. "And if he don’t get off of his butt and get up and do what’s right, if he has any heart for the American people he will not fund Obamcare. It's time to defund Obamacare, it's time America is heard and this needs to end today."

The tactical disagreement in the GOP has been a divisive fight that was brought more to the surface by Cruz, who implicitly criticized leaders in both parties for not heeding the public's apprehensions about the health care law.

McConnell is maintaining Republican senators are united against funding the health care law, and would much rather talk about the Democrats.

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