Mitch McConnell’s Tea Party Problem. Sunday, Jul 27 2014 

You’ve got to wonder how many Kentucky Republicans are like Barbara Knott. She just quit the Daviess County GOP executive committee because she’s not for Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Knott heads the Tea Party in Owensboro, seat of Daviess County in conservative western Kentucky, heretofore mostly McConnell country.

Knott, who says she’s sticking by other Republicans, backed Matt Bevin, the senate minority leader’s tea party-leaning challenger, in the May 20 GOP primary. McConnell clobbered Bevin.

On May 21, a lot of Bevin-for-Senate yard signs went into trash cans, but not the big one in Knott’s yard. Her 4-by-8-foot “Retire Mitch” sign is still up. She vows it won’t come down until after election day, Nov. 4, according to Phillip Bailey, news editor at WFPL radio in Louisville.

McConnell and Bevin pledge allegiance to President Ronald Reagan. But they nuked the Gipper’s famous 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.”

Team Mitch bashed Bevin as an “east coast con man” and all but called him a crook. Bevin slammed McConnell as “Mudslinging Mitch” and even put his daughter up to labeling McConnell a liar in a TV commercial.

Naturally, McConnell called for party unity after he won. Bevin didn’t desert to Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat who wants McConnell’s job. But Bevin’s not on the Team Mitch cheerleading squad either.  

Some tea party stalwarts have migrated to Mitch. Yet we won’t know if Knott represents the exception or the rule until after the votes are counted on election night.

Evidence suggests she might not be a lone mutineer. "Probably more than half of the executive committee feels like Barbara Knott does,” Bailey quoted Chris Holt, Daviess County GOP chair. “It’s about 50-50, so my job as chair is to try to bring both together. I'm not sure if Daviess County will go for McConnell or not." McConnell carried Daviess County in 2008.

In any event, few tea partiers will likely go for Grimes. But more some might hop on the David Patterson bandwagon. Patterson is the almost unknown Libertarian third-party candidate.

Patterson is no threat to Grimes. It’s impossible to believe anybody inclined to vote for the captain of Team Switch would rally to Patterson.

On the other hand, Patterson seems bound to peel off some Republicans of the Barbara Knott persuasion.

But McConnell’s larger worry has to be turnout. Who knows how many Bevinites just won’t vote in the senate race?

Either way, it’s advantage Grimes.  A vote for Patterson is almost certainly a vote that would have gone to McConnell.  Likewise, almost all tea party-types who opt to steer clear of the polls on election day would have otherwise cast ballots for a Republican senate candidate.   

Everybody says the vote will be close. But it wouldn’t take many Bevin loyalists to jump ship for Patterson, or to go fishing on election day, to swing the race to Grimes.

All along, Team Mitch bragged that their guy would zoom ahead in the polls after the primary because the GOP would close ranks behind McConnell.

Yet Grimes has a slight lead in almost every poll. She is also raising more money than McConnell and is smashing fund-raising records, to boot.

Meanwhile, Grimes and McConnell will be the headliners on Aug. 2 at Kentucky’s annual Fancy Farm political picnic, said to be the largest such conclave of its kind in the country. The national media flocked to last year’s picnic. Doubtless, even more big-time scribes and TV talking heads will be back again.

At the 2013 picnic, Grimes got off the most memorable line of the campaign so far: “If the doctors told Sen. McConnell that he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it.”McConnell forced a pained smile that made him look like he might have a kidney stone.

Team Mitch probably figured they’d have the election sewn up by Fancy Farm 2014. The game plan had McConnell smoking Bevin in the primary, pulling the party together afterwards, pulling way ahead of Grimes in the post-primary polls, burying her under an avalanche of cash and all but flying on automatic pilot to a happy landing on election day.  

Now on Fancy Farm eve, it looks like Team Mitch is sweating, and not just from the heat of another scorcher of a Kentucky summer.

Back in Washington, the buzzards seem to stirring from their roost, if not quite circling. GOP bigwigs blabbed to Politico about who might succeed McConnell as the top senate Republican. Naturally, the Grimes campaign fired off the Politico story in an email. The headline asks, “What if Mitch McConnell loses?”

The speculation must have Team Mitch turning up the AC to max cool and buying antiperspirant in bulk.

Mitch McConnell Turns His Back On Kentucky Seniors. Thursday, Jul 10 2014 

In Other News… KFC blowout edition, Grimes up by 2, Louisville is small-business friendly, Mockingjay trailer online Friday, Jun 27 2014 

Photo by Kentucky for KentuckyOh No, You Didn’t: Last week, I led with the story of young 3-year-old Victoria Wilcher, whose grandmother, Kelly Mullins, says she was asked to leave a Mississippi KFC because her facial scars from a recent pitbull attack upset the … Continue reading

Mitch McConnell Stops Student Loan Debt Relief And Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Is Coming To Ky. Thursday, Jun 12 2014 

Elizabeth Warren: "One way I'm going to start fighting back is I'm going to go down to Kentucky and I'm going to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes," Warren said. "She's tough, she's feisty, she endorsed the student loan bill, said she wanted to bring down interest rates for Kentuckians. ... So my view is I'm going to get out there and try to make this happen for her."

Alison Lundergan Grimes: “Senator McConnell’s blatant disregard for the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians crushed by student loan debt is deeply disconcerting.  This vote against our middle-class families underscores the fact that my opponent has been in Washington for far too long and just does not get it.  I call on the Senate to pass both the legislation to ease student loan burden as well as the bipartisan bill to address problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Kentucky students and veterans deserve a champion who will fight for them in the U.S. Senate – not stand idly by and ignore the needs of real people.

Mitch McConnell Is A Lot Like Eric Cantor. Arrogant And Out Of Touch! Wednesday, Jun 11 2014 

Senator Mitch McConnell lives in Washington, D.C. (217 C St NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20002 to be exact) and never makes himself publicly available to the average Kentuckian except for one brief yearly appearance at the Fancy Farm Picnic.

I challenge anyone to find where Senator McConnell will be appearing publicly next in Kentucky. Senator McConnell also avoids the press and bloggers while making himself available to the Chamber of Commerce and folks like Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran.

Senator Mitch McConnell has also proposed a debate without an audience. I guess he doesn’t want to endure being that close to common folks for an hour or two. Yes, Senator Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor are very much alike when it comes to arrogance and ignoring their constituents. Eric Cantor paid the price. Will Mitch?

In Other News… Calipari’s new deal, Yarmuth on McConnell, Ed Lee, Spanish Gold, and the worst man in the world Friday, Jun 6 2014 

John CalipariThe $52.5 Million Man: University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach John Calipari signed a big boy contract extension yesterday, as reported by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, Los Angeles Times and ABC News. The contract is worth $52.5 million. Which … Continue reading

In Other News…McConnell on Kynect, Louisville on lists, Cyrus refutes Lawrence Friday, May 30 2014 

Mitch_McConnell_FeaturedPotayto, Potahto: So let me tell you right out of the gate that this is a really strange week of items. Not a lot of traditional stories, but still a lot to talk about. And I hate to lead with Sen. … Continue reading

In Other News…McConnell, Grimes advance to November, and Cardinals land new recruits Friday, May 23 2014 

Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnellPrimed: Tuesday was the big day for the primary elections, which makes Sen. Mitch McConnell of the great state of Kentucky our lead story again this week. I try to switch it up. I do. But this is the hand … Continue reading

Mitch McConnell Invites Alison Lundergan Grimes To Three Lincoln-Douglas Style Debates! Wednesday, May 21 2014 

A Lincoln-Douglas style debate without an audience?

Wall Street Journal
In a letter addressed to Ms. Grimes Wednesday, Mr. McConnell proposed three Lincoln-Douglas-style debates—a format used by Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in their 1858 Senate race in Illinois. The one-hour debates envisioned by Mr. McConnell would be televised but without a live audience and would allow the candidates to make their points at length with relatively little involvement by a moderator. Read more.

Alison Lundergan Grimes Wins Dem. Senate Primary Now She Has To Deal With Independent Ed Marksberry Tuesday, May 20 2014 

Alison Lundergan Grimes won the Democratic Senate Primary with 77% of the Democratic vote and that means 23% of democratic voters voted for another Democratic candidate.

Alison Lundergan Grimes has a real chance to defeat Mitch McConnell in the general election but, assuming Mitch McConnell doesn’t become embroiled in a scandal, she’ll need every vote she can get to beat him and Progressive Independent senatorial candidate Ed Marksberry might take away enough votes to keep her from winning.

Seems to me Progressive Independent senatorial candidate Ed Marksberry is in the drivers seat when it comes to Alison Lundergan Grimes having a chance to beat Mitch McConnell.

Ed Marksberry is pretty well known in Kentucky Democratic circles. He’s worked to elect many Democratic candidates and ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2010. During his 2010 congressional race he was snubbed by the Kentucky Democratic Party and the Kentucky Democratic Party’s 2010 U.S. Senatorial candidate Jack Conway, but Ed Marksberry remained faithful to the Kentucky Democratic Party until Kentucky Democratic Party fired out a pro Alison Lundergan Grimes email asking for contributions, while ignoring the other Democratic US. Senatorial candidates in including him.

The Email:

“Did you see the news?
Alison Lundergan Grimes has officially declared her intention to run against Senator Mitch McConnell.
This is big news. The next 48 hours are critical. Click here and help us build a grassroots team that will make sure Alison wins.
Alison is the strongest candidate we could’ve had against Senator McConnell, and she will defeat Mitch.
But defeating Mitch won’t be easy. He is going to do everything he can, say what ever he can and throw more mud than our Commonwealth has ever seen in order to win.
Help us start strong. Click here to make a contribution today.”

The email resulted with Ed Marksberry filing a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court against state Democratic Party chairman Daniel Logsdon.

Lexington Herald-Leader
FRANKFORT — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ed Marksberry thinks his party is not playing fairly with his campaign.

Marksberry, an Owensboro contractor who lost a bid for Congress in 2010, filed a lawsuit Monday in Franklin Circuit Court against state Democratic Party chairman Daniel Logsdon, alleging the party is favoring the candidacy of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

"I love the Democratic Party, but if it keeps on doing what it has been doing, it looks like they're ignoring the working class in the party over the rich," Marksberry said Monday during a telephone interview.

Logsdon did not respond to an email and phone call seeking comment. Read more.

Ed Marksberry eventually dropped the lawsuit, dropped out of the Democratic U.S. senate primary race and filed to run as an Independent.

I just got off of the phone with Ed and he tells me he’s well on his way getting the 5000 signatures required to have his name on the U.S. Senate ballot.

It’s a shame it’s come to this, but there’s a price to pay when lifelong Democrats get treated like $hit by the Kentucky Democratic Party and the way it looks now Ed Marksberry is going to make Kentucky Democratic Party pay the ultimate price!

If Alison Lundergan Grimes and the Kentucky Democratic Party really believe they’ll need every vote to beat Senator Mitch McConnell this November, I suggest they reach out to Ed Marksberry and show him the respect he deserves and he might help them win.

Remember the 23% of Democratic primary voters that voted against Alison Lundergan Grimes? I wonder how may of them will vote for Ed Marksberry in the general election?

Reckon Kentucky Democratic Party Chair, Daniel Logsdon, will donate to Mitch McConnell during this election cycle?

Bluegrass Politics
FRANKFORT — The newly appointed chairman and executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party has contributed to campaigns of prominent Republicans in recent years, including U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and former Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Read more.

Stay tuned.

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