In Video, McConnell Calls for Aggregate Limits & End to PACs

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April 9, 2014
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Last week the Supreme Court threw open the doors to even more money in politics. The McCutcheon decision eliminates aggregate campaign donation limits (previously set at $123,000). It builds on the Citizens United decision making it still easier for super wealthy individuals and interests to purchase elected offices.

The lawyers representing McCutheon cited, among the top reasons for their victory, the amicus brief of Mitch McConnell, which they called “extraordinarily helpful.” [link]

McConnell has a long history with campaign finance — early in his career he began to focus on the issue and once in the Senate made it his central expertise. (He’s led 20 filibusters to stop various campaign finance bills). This work to loosen the bowels of the big money sphincter helped propel McConnell to the Republican minority leadership. Last week’s Supreme Court decision has been hailed as “McConnell’s Triumph.” [link]

Over his now almost 30 year Senate career, McConnell’s views on campaign finance have changed in some considerable ways.

  • Once upon a time, McConnell was opposed to “dark money.”
  • Once upon a time, McConnell was in favor of shutting out Super PACs.
  • Once upon a time, McConnell was even in favor of aggregate limits.

As McConnell’s views have ‘evolved’, so too have the dynamics of the American electorate — and looking forward, those changes are likely to continue. As demographics swing, voting patterns are likely to go with them, making massive amounts of campaign money even more important to controlling elections. We all have one vote, but we don’t all have a million (or a billion) dollars.

In the video below, Mitch McConnell says, “He who crafts the rules, controls the game.” And right now, Mitch McConnell is clearly crafting the rules.

See Also:

By the Numbers:
  • Mitch McConnell currently trails his Democratic opponent, with a new poll affirming the previous ones, putting Grimes 1% point ahead. [link]
  • Mitch McConnell is less popular than President Obama in the state of Kentucky. [link]
  • Eight in ten of voters were opposed to the Citizens United decision — 85% of Democrats, 76% of Republicans and 81% of independents. [link]
  • Just 16% of Americans believe limits on total contributions to candidates are a violation of free speech rights, and 64% say they are not. [link]
  • Half of all Americans support publicly financed elections. [link]
  • 58% of Americans says we need new campaign finance laws. [link]
  • 60% of Americans wouls support “a federal law that imposes tough, new campaign finance laws for politicians, lobbyists and super PACs.” And 72% would support “tough, new anti-corruption laws.” [link]

***

“I’ve worked in the private sector and I’ve worked in the government, and the most honest, most intelligent, most hard working people I’ve ever met, have been people here. Politicians.” –Mitch McConnell. [link]

Cock Fight: Horse Torturing McConnell crew celebrates Humane Society’s Bevin statement?

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April 4, 2014
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Team Mitch is in an excited tizzy because the Humane Society has called on Matt Bevin to quit the race for attending a cockfight… one day after the Humane Society blasted McConnell for defending horse torturers. And then both Bevin and McConnell used the exact same rationale to defend their defense of animal torture. Here’s how it happened:

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin went to a States’ Rights rally that was also a cockfighting event — beefy men adorn hapless birds with stick-on metal nails and hollar while them birds claw each other to death — and that got Matt Bevin in trouble.

The Humane Society put out this statement.

Organized criminals want to repeal Kentucky’s already weak anti-cockfighting statute. We have plenty of evidence that they are brazenly breaking the law, strapping razor-sharp knives and icepick-like gaffs to the legs of roosters, throwing them into a pit and forcing them to hack each other to pieces—just so they can shout out bets and be titillated by the violence and bloodletting.

Bevin’s claims about not knowing ring hollow, as he is now parroting the language of anyone who defends animal cruelty but masks their true intent by speaking of “states’ rights.” His campaign spokesperson told the Lexington Herald-Leader his position on cockfighting: “Matt doesn’t believe this is a federal issue, and the state government can handle it.”

The Humane Society went on to call for Bevin’s withdrawal from the race. That got the McConnell camp very excited.

Here are a couple tweets from McConnell adviser Josh Holmes and one from his spokeswoman, Allison Moore:

Problem is… Team Mitch’s sudden interest in protecting helpless animals is disingenuous at best.

One day before the Humane Society addressed Bevin’s fowl transgression, the exact same Humane Society blasted McConnell for sponsoring legislation that will codify — and make worse — horse torture and put horse torturers in charge of torturing more helpless horses.

Since Holmes, Moore and the rest of the McConnell camp failed to tweet it out, here’s that statement from the Humane Society:

Federal legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN, with Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, Rand Paul, R–KY, and Johnny Isakson, R-GA, as original cosponsors, would weaken protections for horses under the federal Horse Protection Act by placing enforcement authority in the hands of individuals with ties to the Tennessee walking horse industry. This would codify – and actually make worse – a scheme of self-regulation that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General called a failure and recommended be abolished. The bill, S. 2193, is intended as a companion to H.R. 4098, which was introduced in February by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, and has been widely condemned by the horse industry, veterinary community and animal welfare groups.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said: “[McConnell's] new bill will do nothing to end soring of Tennessee walking horses. It amounts to a prescription for continued abuse of horses by the ‘Big Lick’ faction of trainers who seek to gain an advantage in competitive shows by intentionally injuring the animals. It puts a criminal faction of the industry in control of oversight.”

So… for those of you keeping score:

  • Team Mitch is endorsing the views of the Humane Society.
  • The Humane Society says Matt Bevin is courting an animal cruelty industry run by “organized criminals”
  • The Humane Society says Mitch McConnell is seeking to defend and protect an animal cruelty industry run by “a criminal faction.”
  • In defending his defense of cockfighting, Matt Bevin said it was part of our heritage because the founding fathers did it. [link]
  • In defending his defense of horse soring, Mitch McConnell said it was “a century-old tradition.” [link]

***Note to Matt & Mitch: One century ago, women couldn’t vote. Our founding fathers were active participants in slavery.***

If we’re going by the views of the Humane Society, it seems like both these men should quit the race.

 

#MitchTake: Mitch McConnell reacts to Duke’s Christian Laettner hitting “The Shot” (Video)

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March 27, 2014
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Last night on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon jabbed Mitch McConnell over his Duke-themed campaign ad (see it here). The far larger problem for the McConnell campaign has come from another late night source, The Daily Show.

The Daily Show the other night added to their quiver of #McConnelling videos with #MeConnelling, #MitchTakes and #McConnellhey videos. Watch:

So… Mitch McConnell’s #MitchTake reaction to his beloved Duke Blue Devils and Christian Laettner hitting “The Shot” over the Kentucky Wildcats:

And here’s Matthew McConaughey explaining that from the fourth dimension, Mitch McConnell — viewed here in 3D — is actually a flat circle (or a crushed beer can):

And if you missed it earlier this week, the first #McConnelling Duke video:

Sen. Stivers Tells KSR He’s Blocking Rupp Arena Because He Hasn’t Read Documents He’s Had for Days

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March 26, 2014
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The Republicans in the Kentucky State Senate, led by Senate Prez Robert Stivers, have blocked the Rupp Arena renovation project. They passed a budget that didn’t include the money for Rupp putting the plans to remake Rupp in serious jeopardy.

The Senate and House will enter negotiations and there is still a chance the funding will be restored — however…

On the state’s most powerful political radio show this morning, Kentucky Sports Radio, Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond gave Bobby Stivers a call to discuss the issue, and if you listen to Stivers, it doesn’t much sound like he has any intention of letting his Senate Republicans move forward on Rupp financing.

In fact… from start to finish, it sounds like an amateur trying to play politics. As Matt Jones tells Stivers at the end of the call, “This was not your finest hour”

Some highlights:

  • Stivers says he didn’t get the financing documents until two weeks ago, implying that he hasn’t had time to read them.
  • Stivers says he didn’t get the bill until Monday, implying that he hasn’t had time to fully understand that either.
  • He says that because the city of Lexington is using millions of dollars it does have to fund police, fire and low-income housing initiatives, he and his fellow Republicans Senators don’t think they need to pass Rupp financing — which implies that Stivers believes the cops and the fire department and the poor are less important than a basketball arena.
  • He says people haven’t given him information on how it will be funded, apparently forgetting he’s already blamed his opposition on the fact that he only got the documents two weeks ago.
  • Then he blames the Mayor for not giving them a funding package at all… because whatever Stivers got two weeks ago and was unable to comprehend after two weeks doesn’t count and neither does the fact that he had two weeks to clarify his problems but apparently failed to do so.
  • Then Stivers blames the House for getting the bill to him five days ago… at which point you have to wonder about Bob’s reading comprehension abilities… has he been sitting in his office for the last five days slowing dragging his finger across the page and trying to mouth out the words? Was no one in his office available to help? Did he graduate from the University of North Carolina?

Finally, Matt Jones asks Stivers if the Rupp financing doesn’t happen, will he accept the responsibility for that. Stivers again claims he never recieved the documents he already claimed he did receive but was unable to read them in time in part, it seems, because he never received them.

After that, Stivers bombs a question about who he’s supporting in Friday night’s UK/UofL basketball game. But at least he didn’t say he’s rooting for Duke.

 

One of the sticking points for Senate Republicans is the hotel tax plan. It’s the same basic plan as the one in Louisville, except that it’s already in place in Louisville, and state Republicans are worried that if they approve the money for Rupp they’ll hurt their chances of retaking the House because they voted for a “tax increase”. So Stivers and his Republicans in the Senate appear to be gambling that a vote against the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the will of the Big Blue Nation is the safer bet.

#McConnelling: Duke Blue Devils Fight Song & Mitch McConnell

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March 25, 2014
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Die-hard Louisville Cardinals fan & UK Wildcat snubber Mitch McConnell posted a new campaign video this morning. As our founding father Joe Sonka immediately noted, the McConnell campaign used footage of the 2010 Duke Blue Devils celebrating a championship rather than the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats. Theories for the FUBAR vary:

1) No one on his campaign is from Kentucky and they don’t give two dookies about Kentucky.

2) Someone on his campaign did it on purpose just to wojo Mitch.

3) Mitch McConnell is a Louisville Cardinals fan and it was his way of yet again snubbing the obviously superior program and team, a/k/a, the Kentucky Wildcats.

Whatever happened, it seemed time for Mitch and Duke to let their freak flag fly:

***Earlier***
If you missed this video like Mitch McConnell missed the UK Wildcats trip to the White House, here it is again: Mitch McConnell — Louisville Cardinals fan, UK Snubber, Tom Jurich lover, and YUM! Center boondoggle defender:

Go Cards! Go Mitch McConnell! #McConnelL1C4 #McConnelling #KYSen #YieldTheFloor [UPDATE: Mitch is also a Duke fan]

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March 25, 2014
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Talkin’ about Kentucky ba-ba-ba-basketball…

This video pretty much speaks for itself.

The only thing worth adding is that it’s humorous Mitch McConnell has spent so much time lauding Louisville’s Athletics Director Tom Jurich (who’s retained and rehired Coach Pitino and Coach Petrino, respectively) despite Mitch’s own moral highground rule that people be barred from accepting scholarships to the University of Louisville if they’ve had children out of wedlock. [LINK]

Go Cayts! #BBN On, on, U of K! On, on, Blue and White!

***UPDATE***
Mitch McConnell’s got a new campaign ad celebrating Mitch McConnell and the ad features the Louisville Cardinals winning the national championship and also… Duke University winning the national championship. No UK to be seen — see the 1:09 mark:

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