Mitch McConnell

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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Politics
11:02 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Pro-Mitch McConnell Super PAC: Alison Lundergan Grimes is Obama's "Rubber Stamp"

A super PAC backing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election bid is up with a new attack ad calling Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a rubber stamp for President Obama's agenda.

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership launched the $270,000 television ad buy Friday at a time where Grimes has tried to distance herself from the president, who is unpopular in the Bluegrass State.

The 30-second spot uses footage of a 2011 interview Grimes did with Kentucky blogger Jim Pence, who runs the website HillBillyReport.org. Pence asks Grimes if she supports the national Democratic Party platform, to which the secretary of state replies: "I do, Jim."

According to KSL co-founder Scott Jennings, this is an admission Grimes backs the "blueprint" of the Obama administration, including the stimulus package, environmental regulations and Affordable Care Act.

Check it out:

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Politics
4:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Backing GOP Incumbent Over Liz Cheney Primary Challenge

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky's two senators are backing Republican incumbent Mike Enzi of Wyoming for re-election over Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who announced she intends to run in the GOP primary next year.

Cheney is a co-founder of the non-profit group "Keep America Safe" who moved to Wyoming last year with the hopes of running for Senate.

Enzi said Cheney told him she wasn't going to seek his seat unless he was retiring.

After hearing her announcement, Enzi, who made it clear he's running for re-eleciton told The Washington Post: "Obviously that wasn't correct."

But the Cowboy State lawmaker can count Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul in his column.

Paul openly mocked Cheney's residency issues when asked about her running.

"When I heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia," Paul told Politico.

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Politics
12:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Democrats Continue Campaign Against Mitch McConnell as 'Guardian of Gridlock'

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

National Democrats say Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's leadership is hurting Kentucky families and workers with his use of the filibuster.

Just this week senators were able to broker a deal on President Obama's nominations to avoid the "nuclear option" being pushed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who dubbed McConnell the "guardian of gridlock" recently.

A review of the 60-vote threshold used  by minority leaders since 1988 does show McConnell's tenure has seen a record-breaking use of the tactic, which senators hope to avoid since Reid's successful threat.

In light of those successful negotiations, however, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is continuing to blast McConnell's senatorial maneuvering, particular on economic measures.

Democrats argue the GOP leader has blocked key legislation providing incentives for businesses who don’t offshore, increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment insurance.

"Time and again Mitch McConnell has turned his back on Kentucky workers and chosen to engage in partisan political gridlock," says DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky. "Kentucky workers deserve better than a Senator who is so thoroughly wedded to special interests that he forgets to fight for his state. Mitch McConnell even voted to block an extension on unemployment insurance during the economic crisis. It’s clear that after nearly 30 years in Washington he isn’t just part of the problem he’s the main source of it."

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Politics
8:15 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Files Paperwork for Senate Race

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes filed paperwork with the U.S. Senate clerk to officially enter the race to take on incumbent Mitch McConnell next year.

Two weeks ago Grimes, a Democrat, announced her intentions to run for the seat held by the Republican leader at the urging of state and national Democrats.

Since then Grimes has been courting national donors with an ambitious fundraising goal between $26 to $30 million. This past weekend, Grimes reportedly impressed those at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee retreat in Martha's Vineyard.

In her first campaign e-mail message, Grimes says she has received overwhelming support since announcing and plans to build a grassroots campaign to match McConnell's hefty fundraising machine.

"This campaign is going to require all of us to stand up," says Grimes. "We need to stand up to the Washington insiders and their Super PACs. We need to stand up and demand that we elect leaders who will work to move Kentucky forward."

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Politics
6:44 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes to Headline Fancy Farm 2013

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

The campaigns of Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have confirmed both will be attending the 2013 Fancy Farm picnic, Kentucky's premier political event.

The picnic will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two since Grimes announced her intentions to run against McConnell in next year's election.

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Politics
5:28 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Nate Silver Gives Alison Lundergan Grimes One-in-Five Chance in Senate Race

Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

Election guru Nate Silver is giving Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes a 20 percent chance of beating Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's election.

The Democrats hold a 54-46 majority in the Senate and are expected to regain the New Jersey seat later this year.

But the early speculation is Republicans will pick up at least three seats in 2014.  It's possible the GOP have enough to gain the majority, but Silver puts control of the Senate as a "toss-up" overall.

In regards to the Bluegrass, he says McConnell's seat could be vulnerable given his noted unpopularity, but the "fundamentals" favor the GOP leader over Grimes.

From FiveThirtyEight:

Kentucky. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, has only break-even approval ratings, and Democrats got one of their better potential recruits in Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state.

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Politics
10:16 am
Thu July 11, 2013

McConnell Campaign Raises $2.2 Million in Second Quarter

Flexing its financial muscle the campaign to re-elect Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is reporting it raised $2.2 million in the second quarter.

The numbers haven't been reported with the Federal Election Commission, but campaign manager Jesse Benton confirmed the substantial amount with WFPL.

McConnell has now raised over $15 million in total and has close to $10 million on-hand as he seeks a sixth term in office.

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