Kentucky Political News: McConnell, Bevin, Beshear, and Matt Jones.

Not sure what got into the Courier-Journal’s coffee, but they had a lot of political news today.

FRANKFORT — Boosted by big bundles of Wall Street contributions, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's reelection committee took in more than $3 million during the recent quarter that ended June 30.

The biggest blocks of contributions during the period came from two global financial services firms based in New York: 29 people with Blackstone Group made contributions totaling $95,400; and 14 executives of KKR & Co. are listed as giving a combined $51,000.

According to this report, only 9% of McConnell’s campaign funds came from Kentucky donors.

Oh, and who is the Blackstone Group?  They are basically a hedge fund.  They have primarily given to Republicans, but they also contributed to Hillary Clinton’s 2018 campaign.  And according to In These Times, they are slum lords and shadow bankers.  And Blackstone Group got $20 billion dollars in investments from the Saudis.

And KKR is the same group that brought us leveraged buyouts in the 80’s and 90’s.  They were direclty involved with the RJR-Nabisco leveraged buyout.

  • A well known and liberal radio host, Matt Jones, has been taken off the air for now.  Jones has expressed interest in taking on McConnell next year, and he is letting it be known that this “leave of absence” wasn’t his idea.

LEX 18's General Manager Pat Dalbey announced on Tuesday that Jones is taking a leave of absence as host of “Hey Kentucky!” as he considers entering the Democratic primary for a chance to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Dalbey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jones expressed disappointment with the station's decision in a tweet and suggested other contenders may have been behind his removal.

“I disagree with this decision but It is what it is,” he said. “I still love @hey_kentucky and will return if I do not run. I am disappointed that candidates who raise massive amounts of money are then scared of allowing a person to do his regular job he created. But alas, here we are.”

In case you are wondering, he is talking about Amy McGrath pulling strings to get him placed on leave.  Whether or not this is true, Jones has been critical of McGrath’s campaign.  Jones has said that what helped McGrath in her previous run for the 6th Congressional District was her “authenticity.”  Her recent fuck up about “I would have voted for Kavanaugh for SCOTUS” then “I would not have voted for Kavanaugh” statements seriously dented her authenticity.  And Jones didn’t pull any punches on her campaign strategy:

“I think she has let the national Democratic Party and the consultants consult her to death. They have literally taken the personality out of her,” Jones said. “I would say to Amy McGrath, be Amy McGrath. Because at the end of the day if you’re Amy McGrath and you lose, then you can look in the mirror and say look I did it. If you’re this person they created… you’re gonna lose and you’re gonna feel bad.”

And Jones has an excellent point on the national Democratic Party.  I’ve written about how the national Democratic political consultants have gotten Kentucky wrong.  I was told by John Yarmuth in 2006 that the national Democratic Party insisted that he take on their political consultants.  Yarmuth refused and ran his own campaign.  Everyone said that Yarmuth was too liberal even for Louisville.  And Rahm Emanuel refused to give him money, but Emanuel spent millions on two Blue Dogs running for election in the 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts.

Yarmuth won and the two Blue Dogs were defeated.  And Yarmuth has been easily reelected every since.

I’ll admit that I am open to the idea of Matt Jones running in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate. 

  • Republican Governor Matt Bevin and his Democratic challenger met at the Kentucky Farm Bureau, and they took to throwing verbal punches at each other.  The differences between the two are both personal and political.  

And everyone has already heard about our fiscal deficit hypocrite Rand Paul’s actions on 9/11 responders compensation fund.

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