Matt Bevin

Politics
3:05 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Kentucky Senate President Says Matt Bevin Wants Government to 'Explode' and 'Be Destroyed'

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky state Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says candidates like Mitch McConnell's Tea Party backed primary challenger would rather see the federal government explode and be destroyed than work towards a limited government approach.

The comments come as more GOP state office holders are voicing their support for McConnell over Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.

In public appearances and campaign messages, Bevin, who is endorsed by the United Kentucky Tea Party, has ripped McConnell for not being conservative enough.

Arguing Kentucky deserves better, the Bevin campaign points to McConnell's vote for the bank bailouts, Patriotic Act and debt limit increases as prime examples of him talking like a conservative in the state and caving to Democrats in Washington.

But Stivers says McConnell doesn't control all of what goes on in Washington and has to make difficult choices as leader of the 45-member GOP caucus in the Senate.

"And I think some people—mainly some like Mr. Bevin—would just see government explode and be destroyed and have no government at all," Stivers told WFPL in a telephone interview. "But I think Senator McConnell tries to strike a balance of a necessary evil of having some government and not too much."

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Politics
12:01 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

State GOP Lawmaker Compares Matt Bevin Candidacy to 'Don Quixote' Fantasy

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, is backing McConnell over Bevin
Credit File photo

The entry of Louisville businessman Matt Bevin into the U.S. Senate race has Kentucky Republicans discussing who is the more conservative between the investor and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But one state GOP lawmaker is urging the party to remain loyal to McConnell for standing up to President Obama's agenda.

A coalition of Tea Party groups in the state are backing Bevin’s candidacy and outside groups have indicated they’re willing to do so as well.

The primary challenge to McConnell has gained national attention for an already high-profiled race.

McConnell's campaign have referred to Bevin as a "nuisance" and "con man" in the past week, and are pressuring Kentucky TV stations to take down the challenger's first ad for alleged federal election violations.

Observers say this is unchartered territory politically, but the early defense amongst McConnell's supporters is he remains the person who can best advocate for conservative values in Washington.

State Senator Damon Thayer is majority floor whip who represents parts of northern Kentucky, which is heavily Republican. He says McConnell is a conservative leader despite Tea Party criticisms, adding this primary contest won't split the GOP.

"I know what it's like to have a Tea Party primary. I had one last year, and I got 63 percent of the vote. And that's because a lot of Tea Party folks stuck with me because of my conservative values. And I think there will be a large number of Tea Party folks joining with mainstream Republicans to give Mitch a big victory in the primary," he says. "I’ve met Matt a couple times, he’s obviously successful and a nice guy. But he’s a rookie engaging in a Don Quixote-like episode of jousting at windmills that ultimately will prove unsuccessful for him."

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Politics
6:53 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

VIDEO: Matt Bevin Discusses Tax Delinquency Allegation, Tea Party Support and Rand Paul

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin further addressed attack ads by incumbent Mitch McConnell's re-election along with a few other issues in the early primary campaign.

The McConnell campaign is pummeling Bevin's candidacy by spotlighting how his Connecticut-based bell-making company received a bailout  and allegations the business failed to pay its taxes.

Watch:

Bevin Brothers Manufacturing did receive a $100,000 state grant in the form of a forgivable loan after it was destroyed in a fire last year. But the GOP challenger says the money went to buying needed machinery and represents less than 10 percent of the money being put in to rebuild the company.

Bevin says East Hampton residents lobbied to preserve the company—the last bell manufacturer in the country—and to keep American workers employed.

"If anyone should know a bailout it should be Mitch McConnell," he says. "If you compare that to the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of our dollars that have been wasted at the hands of career politicians like Mitch McConnell. If he thinks this is a bailout it's an indication of the fact that he literally has no idea how the private sector works, which isn't a surprise since he's never served a day in his life in that sector.

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Politics
2:24 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Republican Senate Candidate Matt Bevin Touts Conservative Beliefs, Differences with Mitch McConnell

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin

Saying it is time to take the country back from "elite, professional" politicians, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin officially announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to overthrow incumbent Mitch McConnell.

Bevin is a 46-year-old investment executive and military veteran who owns a bell making company in Connecticut. He has never run for public office before, but Bevin did contribute to Sen. Rand Paul's Senate campaign in 2009.

For months, Bevin has been meeting with Tea Party groups in the state leading up to this primary bid.

The United Kentucky Tea Party endorsed Bevin immediately, saying his private sector experience makes him an entrepreneur with the knowledge to "balance a budget."

And for most of the speech, Bevin outlined his conservative vision for the country, advocating for less  government spending, lower taxes and a full repeal of President Obama's health care law.

"I’m asking you to join me in a pledge. A pledge our Founding Father took very, very seriously. A pledge to devote our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to take back our country from the elite, professional (and) career politicians who are destroying the very fabric of our country," he says.

Bevin says entering the GOP primary isn't about McConnell personally, but in a TV ad launched Wednesday makes it clear the Bevin campaign plans to tap into conservative frustration with the five-term senator.

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Politics
3:26 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Conservative Groups Planning to 'Prosecute' Mitch McConnell in GOP Primary

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin

National conservative groups are closely watching Kentucky in anticipation that Louisville businessman Matt Bevin will run against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's GOP primary.

A Bevin news release says the investor will be making an announcement in Frankfort on Wednesday as part of a 3-day event that includes eight campaign stops across the state.

Last Friday, several Tea Party activists with direct knowledge told WFPL Bevin is entering the Republican primary for McConnell's seat. The movement has remained ferociously critical of McConnell over the years and just this week the United Kentucky Tea Party issued a blistering letter slamming the GOP leader's voting record as not conservative enough.

Now sources with national right-leaning advocacy groups tell WFPL they are eager to get involved in a Republican primary battle in the Bluegrass, and are preparing  to support Bevin over McConnell.

"Over the next few days we plan to endorse very soon and come in very hard to prosecute the case against Mitch McConnell," says a source with a conservative PAC. "We are all in.  Whatever it takes, we're going to help raise money for [Bevin] and we're going to particularly work on ground game."

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Politics
5:09 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Kentucky Tea Party Sources: Louisville Businessman Will Challenge Mitch McConnell in GOP Primary

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin will run against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 GOP primary, several Kentucky Tea Party activists have confirmed with WFPL.

For the past few months, Bevin, who is owner of the Connecticut-based Bevin Brothers Manufacturing, a bell-making company, has been meeting with Tea Party activists who are frustrated with McConnell's representation.

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