Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator is trying to reach out to Tea Party groups as he seeks another six-year term in Washington.
Mitch McConnell needs to shore up support on the Republican right in order to fend off a primary challenge next year. Sen. McConnell knew he would have a challenge from Democrats in 2014. What he was hoping to avoid was a primary challenge from a fellow Republican.
But that’s exactly what he has now, following Louisville investment advisor Matt Bevin’s entrance into the race. Bevin is officially announcing Wednesday that he will seek the GOP Senate nomination, creating a primary fight for McConnell.
McConnell isn't taking the news lying down.
Politico reports McConnell played host to the Tea Party caucus Tuesday in Washington, at a celebration honoring the birthday of former Senator Bob Dole. McConnell has had a strained relationship with the Tea Party, at first largely ignoring the movement, and then trying to mend fences when the Tea Party showed it had become a major powerbroker within the GOP.
Tea party activists have asked a judge to resolve a lawsuit over the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange by granting a summary judgment.
Irvine attorney Michael Dean filed a motion Thursday asking that Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd rule in favor of the activists. They also want a permanent injunction that would essentially shut down the exchange, a product of the federal health care overhaul intended to help uninsured people arrange health insurance coverage.
Attorneys for the state asked last month that the tea party lawsuit be dismissed. But Shepherd refused.
Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange is set to begin open enrollment Oct. 1, and the exchange starts operation Jan. 1.
The tea party has won the first round in a lawsuit that questions the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange that Gov. Steve Beshear set up last year by executive order.
Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd refused to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday, as had been requested by attorneys for the state.
The state argued unsuccessfully that taxpayers don’t have legal standing to challenge the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange, which is intended to help uninsured people arrange insurance coverage under the federal health care overhaul.
Tea party activist David Adams filed the lawsuit last month, claiming Beshear created the exchange without necessary legislative approval. Adams wants Shepherd to order work on the exchange to cease.
Kentucky Tea Party groups are planning rallies Tuesday to protest the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra review.
Two of Kentucky's largest Tea Party groups will protests outside IRS offices in their respective areas: the Northern Kentucky Tea Party will protest in Cincinnati and Louisville's group will join southern Indiana groups to protest in Louisville.
Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the protests show that Tea Party groups won't stand by quietly while the controversy unfolds.
"So this is our way of saying something needs to be done, there needs to be more action taken and that we refuse to be silenced," she says.
The Justice Department is opening an investigation into the IRS reviews.