On June 28th… Senator Mitch McConnell, candidate for re-election and Senator John McCain, candidate for President, will hold a joint fundraiser in Louisville. The two have often been at odds over the very issue of campaign fundraising. McCain has sought to limit the use of money in campaigns… while McConnell has often said it equals free speech. McConnell reasons that only because of time purchased by candidates, can they speak the unfiltered truth to the public.
McCain joined with Democratic Senator Russell Feingold in 1995 to sponsor a campaign finance reform bill. It eventually passed in 2002, essentially amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. McConnell then led a group of plaintiffs who sued over the measure. Much of it was upheld in a Supreme Court ruling.
McCain has spoken many times on the need to reduce the influence of money in the political system. But this is a crucial election year and McConnell and McCain both need money for their fall efforts ahead. So later this month, they’ll put aside any differences they may have on campaign finance or other issues and hold the Kentucky event.
Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson is clearly interested in a political future. Is he interested in being a U.S. Senator? Yes. Is he interested in being governor? Yes. On Kentucky Newsmakers, Grayson indicated he would be interested in the 2010 U.S. Senate contest IF Senator Jim Bunning were to have a change of heart about running for re-election. And he is also touted as a strong challenger in the 2011 governor’s race. Grayson has to go somewhere because he is term limited. But the young Northern Kentucky political figure knows the old saying when it comes to politics… “timing is everything.” For now, he has some time to study the landscape.
That senate race could interesting. All kinds of names are floating around on the Democratic side. Most prominent are Lt. Governor Dan Mongiardo who very narrowly lost to Bunning in 2004 and Attorney General Jack Conway who is staying very visible with high profile initiatives in his current post. Other names thrown around include Heather French Henry or her husband Steve Henry, Auditor Crit Luallan and Greg Stumbo who studied a challenge to Mitch McConnell. State Finance Secretary Jonathan Miller would no doubt be interested in elective office again. Which brings up the scenario of Congressman Ben Chandler possibly eyeing the senate seat and potentially leaving the 6th district congressional seat open in 2010. It has been rumored for years and not denied that former First Lady Phyllis George has an interest in a high profile run.
Whoever takes up the Democratic cause will likely get started shortly after this year’s elections. A senate race requires money, money, money and organization.
Some points to ponder… Bill Bryant
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