2014 Election

Politics
3:35 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Conservative PAC Opens Offices in Kentucky Ahead of Bevin-McConnell Contest

A national conservative group is opening five field offices in Kentucky in an effort to help Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin defeat incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in the May primary election. 

The Madison Project will staff Get Out the Vote offices in Louisville, Florence, Owensboro, Glasgow, and Bowling Green.  In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, the group’s political director Drew Ryun said those cities have traditionally been strongholds for Senator McConnell. 

Acknowledging that McConnell will have a powerful financial advantage over the Tea Party’s Matt Bevin, the PAC says it will rely more on a ground game.  The Madison Project played in a role in Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s upset win in 2012. 

A McConnell spokesperson the PAC had a failing strategy if its plan was to attack the five-term incumbent.

Politics
1:45 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Report: Outside Group to Make Major Ad Buy in Kentucky Boosting McConnell, Paul

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

A conservative group is planning to blanket Kentucky in coming weeks with TV ads defending Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. The ad buy will also link McConnell with his fellow Kentucky Republican, Rand Paul.

The website Politico says it’s learned that the nonprofit group Kentucky Opportunity Coalition will spend nearly $400,000 over the next week on the ads. According to a script shared with Politico, the ad will tell viewers that Senators McConnell and Paul are “working together to stop Obamacare.”

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is a 501 (c) (4) group aligned with the SuperPAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership. That group has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on commercials attacking Kentucky Senate Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Democratic groups have also jumped into the fray, with Senate Majority PAC and the group Patriot Money labeling McConnell as an obstructionist who should be retired from office after nearly three decades in the U.S. Senate.

Politics
10:12 am
Thu December 5, 2013

FEC Says 19 Contributors Made Excessive Donations to McConnell Re-Election Campaign

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

The Federal Election Commission says the re-election campaign of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell accepted “apparent excessive contributions” from a dozen individuals and seven political action committees. The claims were made in a preliminary review of the campaign’s disclosure report covering the months of July, August, and September.

The Courier-Journal reports the FEC has told the McConnell campaign that the contributions in question appear to exceed the legal limits.

Under campaign finance law, an individual can give up to $2,600 per election, meaning a person could actually give $5,200 to campaign, with half designated for the primary, and the other half going to the general election.

In each of the dozen cases involving individuals cited by the FEC, the contributors gave the McConnell campaign multiple donations dating back as far as 2009. The most recent donations made last quarter pushed those contributors over the legal limit.

Some of the political action committees cited by the FEC as having made excessive donations include those run by the American Health Care Association, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and Clear Channel.

You can read the FEC letter sent to the McConnell re-election campaign here.

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Politics
5:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Red-State Senators Face Activist Challengers From Within

Timothy D. Easley AP

Re-election trouble is brewing for longtime Republican senators in deep-red states, from South Carolina to Wyoming. And the trouble is from within.

The GOP's restive Tea Party and libertarian wings, energized by their titular leader, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and funded in part by starve-government groups like the Club for Growth, are waging 2014 Senate primary challenges in six states — and counting.

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Politics
11:51 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Louisville Urologist to Challenge Rep. Yarmuth in 2014

Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress will have a challenger next year.

Michael Macfarlane is a Louisville urologist and a Republican who is vehemently opposed to the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Saying the new health law will negatively impact Kentucky jobs and small businesses, Macfarlane announced he will challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth during the 2014 election cycle.

According to the Courier-Journal, the 60-year-old Macfarlane has lived in Louisville since 1992 and has practiced at Jewish Hospital, Norton Healthcare, and Baptist East Hospital.

The 65-year-old Yarmuth has represented Kentucky’s Third House District since 2007, and currently stands as the only Democratic member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation.

Politics
1:10 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

McConnell Adds Nearly $2.3M to Campaign Account

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle.  Campaign manager Jesse Benton said Friday the numbers reflect McConnell's strongest quarter to date for fundraising.

McConnell is facing challenges from Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes. He also has a primary opponent, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Neither of the two have yet released their fundraising totals.

McConnell's campaign said that he received donations from about 6,000 donors. Benton said the McConnell campaign will report nearly $10 million cash on hand.

McConnell is seeking re-election next year to a sixth term.

Politics
12:55 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Key County for Republicans Doesn't Make Senate Primary Endorsement

After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.

The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.

That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".

Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.

Politics
1:43 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Newest Headache

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters following a Republican caucus at the Capitol Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:36 pm

As House Republican leaders acquiesce to their Tea Party faction and tie a government spending renewal to the defunding of Obamacare, don't look for much cheering from the Senate minority leader's office.

That's because what had largely been House Speaker John Boehner's problem now becomes Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell's problem — at least for the next steps of this drama.

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Politics
1:40 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Grimes Campaign: "Empty Dress" Comments a "Misogynistic Attack"

Democratic Senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is taking aim at a Republican strategist’s claims that she is “an empty dress.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Brad Dayspring also said Grimes is “incapable of articulating her own thoughts.” Members of Grimes’s camp joined liberal organizations in denouncing the comments as sexist.

Politico reports the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a fundraising solicitation Wednesday on the heels of the comments, telling supporters to counter what the group called “misogynistic attacks.”

Republican party officials, meanwhile, brushed off the accusations and pointed to the ongoing sexual harassment investigation surrounding Democratic state representative John Arnold of Union County.

Politics
9:24 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Louisville Tea Party Leader Endorses Bevin for U.S. Senate

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin has been endorsed by Louisville Tea Party President Wendy Caswell ahead of next year's primary.
   
Bevin, a Louisville businessman, has been reaching out to tea party activists in hopes of winning the GOP nomination over Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
   
McConnell has also received tea party endorsements, including that of Sen. Rand Paul, and even has a tea party leader managing his campaign for re-election to a sixth term.
   
Bevin said he's grateful for the support of Caswell who leads one of the largest tea party groups in the state.
   
Caswell said she endorsed Bevin because she believes he will stand against wasteful government spending.
   
The winner of the McConnell-Bevin matchup will likely face Democratic front-runner Alison Grimes in next year's general election.

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