Mitch McConnell

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Politics
3:42 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

'Nosegate' Puts McConnell Campaign Manager Jesse Benton Under Fire

Jesse Benton, middle
Credit Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Mitch McConnell's 2014 campaign manager is under fire this week after a series of reports, including an alleged taped phone conversation that casts doubts on his commitment to Senate Republican leader.

The Economic Policy Journal has published a telephone conversation between Dennis Fusaro, a former aide to Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and Jesse Benton, McConnell’s campaign manager.

Read more
Politics
11:08 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes Officially Kicks Off Senate Campaign in Lexington

Alison Lundergan Grimes' Senate campaign officially kicked off Tuesday in Lexington with an attack on Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's for, among other things,  encouraging congressional gridlock and refusing to allow votes on the Senate floor.

“Indeed, over 400 times, governor, he has stood in the way and blocked votes from ever even coming to the floor,” Grimes said. “While Senator McConnell might be thriving, Kentucky is only barely surviving. After nearly 30 years in office, I’m here to tell you Senator McConnell, it stops now.”

Read more
Politics
5:00 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Senate Candidate Sues Kentucky Democratic Party Over E-mail Supporting Alison Lundergan Grimes

Owensboro Democrat Ed Marksberry
Credit Hillbillyreport.org

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Ed Marskberry is suing the Kentucky Democratic Party for allegedly violating its own by-laws and favoring Alison Lundergan Grimes's candidacy.

When Grimes announced earlier this month she was seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Mitch McConnell the state party quickly sought donations.

In a July 1 e-mail the KDP asked donors to help them build a grassroots effort to defeat McConnell and to "make sure Alison wins." The party's bylaws specifically forbid party officials from endorsing in a primary, however.

Marksberry told WFPL earlier this month he was considering a lawsuit.

But in an interview with The Washington Post, the Owensboro contractor confirmed he filed a suit in Franklin County Circuit Court on Monday.

"If I don’t get some respect, I’m going to pull out and run as an independent," Marksberry says. "They’ve picked on the wrong guy here."

Read more
Politics
7:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Madison Project PAC Endorses Matt Bevin for Senate

Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin
Credit mail.com

A national political action committee is backing Louisville businessman Matt Bevin over Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's Republican primary election, saying the incumbent has refused to use his leadership position to fight for conservatives.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Madison Project describes itself as a PAC that supports small-government and anti-abortion candidates across the country.

The group previously supported Missouri Republican Jim Talent during his successful 2002 senate bid, and raised close to $2 million for political candidates in last year's elections.

Bevin has already been endorsed by The United Kentucky Tea Party, a coalition of 14 different groups across the state. But this is a sign that Bevin is also getting national attention from organization's outside of the state.

Madison Project spokesman Daniel Horowtiz says the group is proud to endorse Bevin mainly because of his background as an entrepreneur. The group isn't sparring McConnell any criticism, however.

"After 28 years in the Senate and over 10 years in leadership, Senator Mitch McConnell has become the embodiment of stale moss-covered leadership. It's not just his votes for Democrat proposals, such open borders, bailouts, fiscal cliff tax hikes, debt limit increases, green energy stimulus, and funding for Obamacare, it is that fact that McConnell has refused to use his leadership role to fight for conservatives." he says.

Asked about the Madison Project's decisions to back Bevin, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton dismissed the group.

"Are they still around? I thought they were defunct," he says.

Read more
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."

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages