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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) has once again outraised Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) in their 2014 Senate race — and all of a sudden, McConnell no longer seems so enthusiastic about the use of money as free speech.

In the first three months of 2014, Grimes raised $2.7 million, edging McConnell’s $2.4 million haul. McConnell still holds a decisive financial advantage in the race; his campaign has almost $10.4 million in cash on hand, more than double Grimes’ total.

That said, McConnell’s campaign has already spent more than $7 million in the 2014 election, only to see a slight decline in his polling numbers. And it seems that the new fundraising totals have made the Republican leader’s campaign defensive.

“The very same ultra-rich liberal elite who bankrolled Barack Obama into the White House are pulling out all the stops for Alison Lundergan Grimes,” spokeswoman Allison Moore told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “Kentuckians know darn well her entire campaign is funded by those who seek to destroy Kentucky values and our way of life and the only way they can accomplish that is by getting rid of the man responsible for stopping them, Mitch McConnell.”

Moore’s implication — that Grimes is wrong for taking money from wealthy out-of-state donors — is rather ironic, considering that few politicians raise money from the “ultra-rich elite” better than McConnell does. According to the Wall Street Journal, as of December 31, 80 percent of McConnell’s campaign contributions came from donors outside of Kentucky (good for a total of more than $9.3 million). And the top donors to his campaign committee — which include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs — don’t exactly scream “Kentucky values.”

McConnell has also benefited from outside groups that have jumped directly into the race; $3.4 million has already been spent in support of the Republican, according to GOP ad-tracking firm SMG Delta.

Although McConnell’s campaign is now feigning outrage that Grimes has raised big sums from “Obama’s liberal Hollywood friends” like Jeffrey Katzenberg, the senator is generally one of the nation’s most outspoken defenders of outside money in politics. In 2012, McConnell led the opposition to the DISCLOSE Act, which would have required political groups to disclose campaign contributions of more than $10,000. At the time, the minority leader argued that full disclosure could be used as a “political weapon,” enabling the government to unleash “harassment and intimidation tactics” against those who donate to opposition candidates.

Today, it appears that McConnell would like to turn the weapon against the “liberal elite” backing Grimes.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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  • bckrd1

    It would be a beautiful sight to see McConnell hoisted by his own petard. A beautiful sight indeed.

  • Sand_Cat

    Is it news to anyone that McConnell is a hypocrite?

    • longtail

      It would seem that the man manages to be hypocritical every time he speaks. I have no idea why Kentucky doesn’t feel they can do better.

  • Mortalc01l

    The only thing bigger than the known Universe, is Republican hypocrisy.

    • ralphkr

      Yep, Moralc, I remember when it was proven by the Republicans (long time controllers of my state) that there was voter fraud being committed and as absolute proof of their accusation: A smattering of votes for Democrats. Everyone KNOWS that any vote for a Democrat is an illegally cast vote. This was also about the time when one of our Senators was thundering his indignation that some outfit tried to buy his vote for $5K. (Most of us realized that his REAL indignation was that he felt that a Senator’s vote should cost much more than $5K!)

      • Allan Richardson

        Personally, I would favor a Constitutional Amendment so that DENYING someone his or her vote illegally, even through “accident” or “error” (which are almost always covers for vote suppression), would cost the state treasury $100,000 in damages. The vote suppressors OWN BASE voters would be more than a little upset if that 10,000 vote margin cost them a billion dollars!

  • Daniel Jones

    You see, McConnell thinks only REPUBLICAN money is speech.

  • David Bresett

    This kinda thinking, where only one side should get campaign funds brought in by a truck, is what will sink the republican party.

  • mikem42

    I’ve had hope before, only to have it dashed. Can you imagine a moderate, sensible woman Senator from the great Commonwealth of Kentucky? I can, and it would be a wonderful thing for the state, and it’s “way of life”. McConnell owes his way of life to Washington D.C. and it’s lobbyists.

    • obibecker

      Dems outnumber GOP registered voters in Kentucky. Propaganda will win this election. The name calling by the McConnell spokesperson is the key to the election. liberal hollywood elite, blah blah. “just us plain folks” is his game. Nevermind all that money from Goldman Sachs .

  • jointerjohn

    Another illustration of what I have been saying all along, the republicans don’t actually believe in anything.

  • ps0rjl

    Wow a Republican getting his butt kicked by outside money! Mitch can thank his friends at the Supreme Court for this. Karma’s a bitch.

  • terry b

    McConnell has continuously proven what a terrible senator is all about. I’d pay to see him lose. Helps Kentucky and the country. Plus makes me feel good to see someone like him go down.

  • latebloomingrandma

    A classic example of they can dish it out, but not take it.

  • Buford2k11

    Hey, McTurtle…ya shouldn’t have sold your soul to the debil…it is time to pay up….

  • longtail

    It does seem to indicate that Republican money is free speech while Democratic money is bribery. Anytime Leader McConnell feels like it, he can attack campaign reform. I’ll be behind him 100%.

    • Budjob

      Dump Turtle face,and the Senate will be much,much better off!!

  • Bryan Blake

    As a member of the political elite he has a chief of staff and other employees to run his day. If he goes out to dinner and on the rare occasion he is not being courted by lobbyist his staff probably pays the bills.

    As a member of the elite he has probably forgotten that real money is printed on both sides. How you use it determines what it does or does not do for you. Sometimes you get a horse and most of the time you get an ass.

  • Jambi

    After several decades of his hick bullshit, Kentucky should be ready for a change…

  • Pamby50

    Way to go Allison!!! Keep raising the money to help you will. The turtle knows he is a hypocrite.

  • kevin robinson

    wouldn’t it be deliciously ironic, that after all these years of lusting to be the majority leader, the gop finally takes over the senate, but ole ‘marble mouth’ loses his own individual race?

    • Allan Richardson

      I’d prefer Democratic control of both houses to irony any day, but in the worst case, irony would be some consolation. Love to see HIM at the unemployment office! Wouldn’t happen though, Faux Nooz has a contract ready for his John Hancock just in case. Plus speaking fees and a ghost-written book deal, and …

  • MollyBee64

    McConnell (representing the RNC) also testified on behalf of McCrutcheon, the millionaire who just recently got the Supreme Court to finish dismembering the few restrictions on big money donors left after Citizens United (corporations are people, too). P.S. The Tea Party also testified for McCrutcheon. I hope the ferver with which both support big money control of our democratic election process comes back to bite them in the a_s.

  • Elle’s Island

    As part of the “economic stimulus” conjured up by our resident marxist agitator in 2009, $384,949 was wasted on studying duck genitalia.

    • Allan Richardson

      About 1% of what the Senate has been spending on the fake scandals like Benghazi and the IRS (which in REALITY has been scrutinizing BOTH sides equally), not to mention the 50+ “show” votes to repeal Obamacare and (if they could) take health care AWAY FROM 8 MILLION AMERICANS who have it now, causing 45,000 UNNECESSARY DEATHS A YEAR, EQUIVALENT TO 15 9/11 ATTACKS.

      Maybe you could borrow your friend’s golden lasso and wear it yourself so you would have to tell the truth; then ask her to rope the GOP leadership and right wing pundits.