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Home Front: Politix
Democrats, tea party unite vs. Mitch McConnell
2013-01-29
[DYN.POLITICO] Tea party activists looking to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a GOP primary may get some help from an unlikely source: Democrats.

Big Democratic donors, local liberal activists and a left-leaning super PAC in Kentucky are telling tea partiers that they are poised to throw financial and organizational support behind a right-wing candidate should one try to defeat the powerful GOP leader in a 2014 primary fight.

The idea: Soften up McConnell and make him vulnerable in a general election in Kentucky, where Democrats still maintain a voter registration advantage. Or better yet, in their eyes: Watch Kentucky GOP primary voters nominate the 2014 version of Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock, weak candidates who may actually lose.

"We are doing a lot of reaching out to some of the tea party folks across the state," said Keith Rouda, a field organizer with the liberal group MoveOn and the Democratic super PAC, Progress Kentucky. "What we're finding -- at least in this stage of the race -- we're finding that our interests align. It's unusual."

Progress Kentucky has begun circulating petitions urging Republicans to jump into the race, and Democratic donors active in Bluegrass State and national politics are privately making it clear they're willing to help bankroll a tea party candidate. Neither the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee nor the Kentucky Democratic Party is involved in the unorthodox efforts at this point, officials said.

Sarah Durand, president of the Louisville Tea Party, said Democratic donors and activists have told her that they'd be willing to spend seven figures in a GOP primary to help a candidate willing to challenge McConnell. Durand said the challenge for tea party groups is to recruit a candidate who wouldn't hand the seat to the Democrats, even though, she said, tea party leaders across the state are not satisfied with McConnell's three-decade tenure in Washington.

"I guess the fear would be ending up in the Dick Lugar situation where you oust the incumbent and end up with a Democrat," Durand said. "But I really think if Sen. McConnell can't garner some enthusiasm within the tea party, which is going to be very difficult at this point, then he's going to have a really tough road ahead in this election cycle."

Behind the scenes, the wily McConnell and his veteran campaign staff are moving swiftly to snuff out any primary challenge.

McConnell's staff has attended more than 100 tea party meetings in the state over the past two years, and the leader himself has stumped at three tea party rallies, including one with Sen. Rand Paul -- the junior senator from Kentucky who was elected in 2010 on a tea party wave -- in the state capital of Frankfort last August.
Posted by:Fred

#5  Dems have been doing this already. No alliance necessary.
Posted by: Titus Ulans4144   2013-01-29 13:24  

#4  Just remember that these Donks have the same mindset as those who thought providing guns and materials to AQ for Syria wouldn't result in the blowback in Libya and Mali.
Posted by: Procopius2k   2013-01-29 12:15  

#3  Unholy alliances have a way going awry. How many times have the Pubs been able to trust the Donks on anything? Thee Pubs seem to get rolled every time.
Posted by: JohnQC   2013-01-29 09:59  

#2  Politico's wishcasting again?

Notice that the only DIRECT quote is from a fascist, er, "Democrat". The Tea Partier is never quoted, just paraphrased.

Also "wily" McConnell? "Snuff out" primary challenge?
Posted by: Rob Crawford   2013-01-29 09:18  

#1  Big Democratic donors, local liberal activists and a left-leaning super PAC in Kentucky are telling tea partiers that they are poised to throw financial and organizational support behind a right-wing candidate should one try to defeat the powerful GOP leader in a 2014 primary fight.

And you can trust them, cuz they're not like the others...
Posted by: tu3031   2013-01-29 00:22  

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