Opposition to Civil Rights and Support for Big Banks in KY-SEN

The Senate primaries in Kentucky grow stranger and stranger by the day. In the Repub primary, Dr. Rand “Ron’s Son” Paul has said that he opposes all civil rights legislation, and in the Democratic primary, you have to wonder if Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo would have been only the second Democrat to oppose Wall Street reform in yesterday’s cloture vote.

In an editorial refusing to endorse either candidate in the Repub primary, the Louisville Courier Journal wrote of Paul and secretary of state Trey Grayson (emphasis my own):

[Grayson] is positioning himself to be a loyal foot soldier in Mr. McConnell's destructive, dishonest effort to undermine virtually every initiative from the Obama administration. The trouble with Dr. Paul is that despite his independent thinking, much of what he stands for is repulsive to people in the mainstream. For instance, he holds an unacceptable view of civil rights, saying that while the federal government can enforce integration of government jobs and facilities, private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, or gays, or any other minority group. He quickly emphasizes that he personally would not agree with any form of discrimination, but he just doesn't think it should be legislated…

Mr. Grayson seems to have been blindsided by [Paul’s insurgent success]. He seems physically and mentally dazed, and uncomfortable in his own skin as he responds by rolling out extreme right-wing positions. His rapid movement to the far right leaves many wondering what he really stands for.

One of the two Democratic candidates isn’t much better. Yesterday, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson was the only Democrat to oppose Wall Street reform, but if Mongiardo were a sitting Senator he might have been the second. At a recent forum, Mongiardo said that “too-big-to-fail” isn’t a problem: “These banks and these insurance companies didn't fail because they got too big; they failed because they deregulated. Regulations had been in place for decades and generations.” His Democratic opponent, however, state Attorney General Jack Conway, has shown a sharper understanding of the problem: “Some of those companies got too big and it's because they had these silly derivatives that they hid from the public.” To be fair, the scandal-plagued Mongiardo has called on fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell to stop blocking regulatory reform, but he was awful silent while McConnell was lying up a storm about the bill’s substance, and has virtually echoed the Repub leader’s language on health care reform.

Thankfully, polls show that this race can be a bright spot for Democrats in an otherwise dark year – but it won’t be worth it if we nominate Mongiardo. He might be a little better than the two Repubs, but who cares when the guy’s already to the right of Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln? If he’s this conservative now, how much worse will he get outside of a Democratic primary?

Conway has picked up a lot of momentum lately, including support from the Kentucky Professional Firefighters Association, Steelworkers Local 14581, Teamsters Local Union No. 651, Daily Kos, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the Northern Kentucky Enquirer. He’s closed the gap in the polls against Mongiardo, and can win the primary on May 18 – but only if the Netroots put him over the top. Please, help a progressive brother out and donate to the Conway campaign.

Democrats Air First Ads In KY-Sen

Both Democrats running in Kentucky's Senate primary aired their first ads this week. Here's Attorney General Jack Conway's:

The other Democrat in the race, Lt. Gov. Mongiardo, is also up with his first ad. He gets away from the white background look but focuses even more on the outgoing Bunning rather than the current GOP opponents. Worse yet, both candidates have purchased only limited airtime while the Republicans, Rand Paul and Trey Grayson, are blanketing the state. One piece of good news, however, is that both Democrats attack Jim Bunning and the Repubs, whereas the Repubs attack each other.

This race matters, and Conway is the right candidate. We’re going to lose some incumbent Democrats this November. It’s hard to tell exactly who and quite how many this early, but some are goners for sure. The best way to offset those losses is to flip some open Republican seats. New Hampshire and Missouri may be our best bets, but let’s not rule out Kentucky.  

Democrats don’t get the pleasure of running against Bunning, but an open seat in a state with a Democratic Governor and a bitter GOP primary is nothing to sneeze at, either. All hypothetical General Election match-ups (some of which are out of date) have the Repubs ahead, but with one Rasmussen exception for Mongiardo-Paul, always below 50%.

From mountaintop removal mining to gay rights, Conway has definitely shown himself to be the progressive in this race. He'll make a better candidate, too, as he doesn’t carry Mongiardo’s baggage. They may be evenly matched against Repubs now but Mongiardo was unable to beat Bunning in 2004, and his own profane comments about the seat and Gov. Beshear could come back to haunt him in the general.

It seems to me that Jack Conway, who only slightly led Mongiardo in the last poll (December), is a candidate just waiting for Netroots support. The primary is May 18.

Democrats Air First Ads In KY-Sen

Both Democrats running in Kentucky's Senate primary aired their first ads this week. Here's Attorney General Jack Conway's:

The other Democrat in the race, Lt. Gov. Mongiardo, is also up with his first ad. He gets away from the white background look but focuses even more on the outgoing Bunning rather than the current GOP opponents. Worse yet, both candidates have purchased only limited airtime while the Republicans, Rand Paul and Trey Grayson, are blanketing the state. One piece of good news, however, is that both Democrats attack Jim Bunning and the Repubs, whereas the Repubs attack each other.

This race matters, and Conway is the right candidate. We’re going to lose some incumbent Democrats this November. It’s hard to tell exactly who and quite how many this early, but some are goners for sure. The best way to offset those losses is to flip some open Republican seats. New Hampshire and Missouri may be our best bets, but let’s not rule out Kentucky.  

Democrats don’t get the pleasure of running against Bunning, but an open seat in a state with a Democratic Governor and a bitter GOP primary is nothing to sneeze at, either. All hypothetical General Election match-ups (some of which are out of date) have the Repubs ahead, but with one Rasmussen exception for Mongiardo-Paul, always below 50%.

From mountaintop removal mining to gay rights, Conway has definitely shown himself to be the progressive in this race. He'll make a better candidate, too, as he doesn’t carry Mongiardo’s baggage. They may be evenly matched against Repubs now but Mongiardo was unable to beat Bunning in 2004, and his own profane comments about the seat and Gov. Beshear could come back to haunt him in the general.

It seems to me that Jack Conway, who only slightly led Mongiardo in the last poll (December), is a candidate just waiting for Netroots support. The primary is May 18.

Democrats Air First Ads In KY-Sen

Both Democrats running in Kentucky's Senate primary aired their first ads this week. Here's Attorney General Jack Conway's:

The other Democrat in the race, Lt. Gov. Mongiardo, is also up with his first ad. He gets away from the white background look but focuses even more on the outgoing Bunning rather than the current GOP opponents. Worse yet, both candidates have purchased only limited airtime while the Republicans, Rand Paul and Trey Grayson, are blanketing the state. One piece of good news, however, is that both Democrats attack Jim Bunning and the Repubs, whereas the Repubs attack each other.

This race matters, and Conway is the right candidate. We’re going to lose some incumbent Democrats this November. It’s hard to tell exactly who and quite how many this early, but some are goners for sure. The best way to offset those losses is to flip some open Republican seats. New Hampshire and Missouri may be our best bets, but let’s not rule out Kentucky.  

Democrats don’t get the pleasure of running against Bunning, but an open seat in a state with a Democratic Governor and a bitter GOP primary is nothing to sneeze at, either. All hypothetical General Election match-ups (some of which are out of date) have the Repubs ahead, but with one Rasmussen exception for Mongiardo-Paul, always below 50%.

From mountaintop removal mining to gay rights, Conway has definitely shown himself to be the progressive in this race. He'll make a better candidate, too, as he doesn’t carry Mongiardo’s baggage. They may be evenly matched against Repubs now but Mongiardo was unable to beat Bunning in 2004, and his own profane comments about the seat and Gov. Beshear could come back to haunt him in the general.

It seems to me that Jack Conway, who only slightly led Mongiardo in the last poll (December), is a candidate just waiting for Netroots support. The primary is May 18.

KY-Sen: Bunning Showing Signs Of Retiring?

If true, this blows:

Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning, the most endangered Republican up re-election in 2010, appears headed for retirement after giving his leading GOP rival the blessing to prepare to run for his seat next year.

Bunning's retirement would be a huge victory for national Republicans who have grown increasingly nervous that the 77-year-old two-term senator would lose a critical race as the party tries to cling to its diminished minority in the Senate.

On Thursday afternoon, Kentucky GOP Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced that he would form an exploratory committee to run for Bunning's seat - a move that Kentucky GOP operatives say is a precursor to Bunning's retirement. Grayson's entry will come as a relief to Kentucky Republicans and Senate GOP leaders, who may now have reason to believe their party could hold on to this seat.

A recent PPP poll showed Bunning tanking below 40% in head-to-head match-ups against 4 different Democrats. Bunning dropping out was always the only way the GOP was going to keep this seat and the fact that Bunning is likely to step aside for Trey Grayson to run is even better news for Big John Cornyn. Grayson polled the best against those same Democrats, even defeating two of them. The Democrat that fares best against Grayson and indeed against all potential comers: Rep. Ben Chandler who beats Grayson 40-34.

Update [2009-4-30 17:26:59 by Todd Beeton]:Mark Nicklaus says beware of this story:

Until Bunning confirms this story, I would view it with a great deal of skepticism as this smells like another weak Politico hit piece with nothing in it but "GOP operatives" who are trying to bring down Bunning. This is part of the coup, not a plan that Bunning is part of.

It may very well work and Bunning may realize his days are numbered and he needs to retire, but don't be surprised if later today he flips out and says the story is BS.

After all, this is a Politico story. View with skepticism.

After all, Bunning did just say yesterday that he didn't expect to face any primary opponent, signaling his full intention to run for re-election (Grayson for the record has said he will not primary Bunning.)

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