Mitch McConnell

Politics
11:42 am
Thu July 11, 2013

McConnell Adds More than $2 Million to Campaign

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

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked another $2.26 million since April, pushing his overall fundraising total to more than $15 million for the election cycle.

Campaign manager Jesse Benton said those totals, which will be reported to the Federal Election Commission on Friday, put McConnell "well ahead" of the fundraising pace of his 2008 re-election bid when he spent some $20 million.

Benton said the FEC report will show McConnell still has $9.6 million on hand.

McConnell is expected to face a strong challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old secretary of state who announced her candidacy last week.

Grimes, a lawyer from a well-connected Kentucky family, launched her bid with tough words for the 71-year-old McConnell, declaring he has lost touch with Kentucky voters.

Politics
3:58 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Beshear Didn't Know in Advance of Grimes' Campaign

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recently announced she was entering Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate race.

Kentucky Governor Steve says he wasn't given a heads up before fellow Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes announced her U.S. Senate bid last week. But he says he doesn't see it as a slight.

The governor said Tuesday he's eager to help Grimes in her effort to unseat five-term Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. Beshear himself lost a Senate race to McConnell in the 1990s.

Beshear and Grimes' father are former political rivals. And Grimes defeated the governor's appointee in winning election as Kentucky's secretary of state two years ago.

Beshear said he didn't get the customary notification of Grimes' intention to run before she called a news conference to announce it.

But the governor says he had already pledged his support in any way possible.

Politics
10:35 am
Tue July 9, 2013

McConnell, Republicans Beat Grimes to the Punch Online

Kentucky Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is losing the online war in the effort to unseat Republican Mitch McConnell.

The first two websites that display following a Google search for the term “Alison Lundergan Grimes for Senate” Tuesday were websites set up by groups aiming to defeat her next year.

The groups behind the two sites paid Google advertising revenue in order to have those websites appear at the top of page, something that is a common practice.

The first return is a website that looks like an official site for Grimes, but is operated by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Featuring a picture of Grimes next to a picture of President Obama, the site declares the 34-year-old Secretary of State is “not ready” for the U.S. Senate, and contains links to media reports critical of last week’s event in Frankfort where Grimes announced she was entering the Senate race.

A “donate” button at the site links to a page where contributions can be made to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The second website displayed following a Google search for the Grimes Senate campaign is a site run by the McConnell re-election campaign that urges viewers to sign an online petition opposing what it calls President Obama’s “war on coal.”  

Grimes has an official Senate campaign website, but it does not appear until the third page of a Google search.

Politics
1:11 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Ashley Judd Ready to Help Grimes Win U.S. Senate Seat

Actress and Kentucky native Ashley Judd

Actress Ashley Judd says she's "ready to fight" beside Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state who announced Monday that she would challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year.

Monday's announcement by the 34-year-old Grimes came under criticism by several observers who described the event as disorganized and uninspiring.

Judd, who had considered the race herself, showed her support for Grimes in a tweet Tuesday.

Judd wrote, "Even in thick woods outstanding news filters through. Thrilled for the people of KY & ready to fight beside"

Judd, a former Kentucky resident now living in Tennessee, announced in March that she wouldn't run against the five-term Kentucky Republican. When Judd decided against a bid, Democratic leaders turned to Grimes as their candidate of choice.

Politics
2:33 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Reviews Are In: Grimes Senate Kick-Off "Underwhelming"

Alison Lundergan Grimes

It's safe to say this isn't the start Alison Lundergan Grimes--or her supporters--had in mind when they envisioned their effort to take out Kentucky's powerful senior U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell.

Grimes ended months of speculation Monday afternoon when she announced she will seek the Democratic party's nomination for the 2014 Senate race. But in doing so, she raised as many questions as she answered.

One of Kentucky's best political reporters, Ryan Alessi of cn/2's "Pure Politics", says supporters who met with Grimes in Frankfort Monday before she announced her decision described the meeting as "unorthodox,” “unprecedented,” “fascinating” and, at times, “surreal.”

According to Alessi, Grimes seemed to be undecided on whether or not to run during the pre-announcement meeting, and asked those in attendance what they thought she should do. After meeting for nearly an hour, the consensus formed that Grimes should run for Senate.

Read more
Politics
8:12 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Report: Justice Department Now Part of Investigation into McConnell Office Recordings

U.S. Justice Department prosecutors are joining the criminal investigation into secret audio recordings made inside Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s Louisville campaign headquarters.

In February, a liberal activist named Curtis Morrison secretly recorded McConnell and re-election campaign staffers talking about tactics they would use against actress Ashley Judd, should she challenge McConnell in next year’s election. Judd later said she wouldn’t run for Senate, but Morrison gave the recordings to Mother Jones, a liberal political magazine that published the audio and transcripts at its website.

McConnell has demanded anyone involved in the secret recordings be prosecuted.

Politico reports that any attempts to subpoena evidence from Morrison would probably need the approval of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has to sign off on any such subpoenas for journalists. Morrison has worked as a paid freelancer for a Louisville-based online news outlet, in addition to his work with political groups that have said their goal is to defeat McConnell in 2014.

Politics
1:49 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Groups Sues IRS Over Targeting, as McConnell Releases Ad on Same Issue

A new online advertisement from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign focuses on the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS—an issue the campaign says it's not going to let slip out of the public discourse.

The nearly three minute ad uses speeches from McConnell on the IRS issue before it became a national controversy, as well as media reports and testimony from IRS officials to Congress.

It also includes a sound bite from former President Richard Nixon speaking in an interview he did on the Watergate scandal during his term as president—a comparison between Nixon and President Barack Obama.

In an interview, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton says that  neither the senator nor his campaign will allow the IRS targeting to stray too far away from the 24/7 news cycle nationally or in Kentucky.

Read more
Politics
2:01 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Poll: Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mitch McConnell Tied in Potential U.S. Senate Matchup

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and potential Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes are tied in a new poll of Kentucky voters, though state Republicans are calling the results a "sham."

The poll, by Public Policy Polling, stated that McConnell and Grimes were each supported by 45 percent of Kentucky voters. In April, a PPP poll showed Grimes trailing by 4 points. In December, she trailed by 7 points.

The PPP poll was paid for by the Senate Majority PAC, an organization founded with the help of Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the current majority leader.

Republicans are characterizing the results as "push polling"—a poll that tries to influence answers through the questions asked.

The PPP poll's critics say the questions directly comment about McConnell, his tenure in the Senate or some of his votes, rather than asking more simple questions as scientific polls often do.

Read more
Politics
12:41 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Lower Tier Candidates May Cause Problems for Democrats in U.S. Senate Race

Now it's Heather French Henry's turn.

The former Miss America has joined a list of half a dozen party activists or leaders waiting for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to decide whether she'll run in 2014 against Mitch McConnell for his U.S. Senate seat.

If Grimes run, she's likely to get enough support to clear out the field. Otherwise, the Democrats have potential candidates known within political circles, but who may be not instantly recognizable with the majority of voters—former state Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gorman or environmental activist Tom FitzGerald, for example.

Without Grimes, Democrats may find themselves with a crowded primary—and that would cause problems in a bid to unseat McConnell, who polls suggest is vulnerable, says Dewey Clayton, a political scientist for the University of Louisville.

Read more
Politics
9:23 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Former Miss America Latest to Openly Consider McConnell Challenge

Former Miss America and Kentucky native Heather French Henry

Former Miss America Heather French Henry is the latest Democrat to consider a challenge to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell next year.

French Henry, a Louisville clothing designer, said Wednesday that she's being encouraged to run, but that she has made no decision.

McConnell is seeking a sixth term in Washington in 2014.

Pages