The nod from Caswell is a key pickup for the Bevin campaign that comes weeks after two prominent tea party activists in Louisville backed McConnell in next year's GOP primary.
In a Courier-Journal op-ed, Caswell says McConnell is more concerned with increasing his own political power than conservative principles.
"Sen. Mitch McConnell represents the old guard in Washington D.C. that cares more about holding on to power than defending the principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual freedom. Those are the principles that Matt Bevin believes in. I know he believes in those fundamental conservative ideals because he has embodied them in his life's experiences," she says.
The endorsement from Caswell was likely helped by a web video attacking the activist.
It's a relatively small $30,000 ad buy, but the 60-second spot slams McConnell’s votes on immigration reform, Wall Street bailouts and the debt ceiling.
Daniel Horowitz is the policy director of The Madison Project. He says the Kentucky Senate race is about McConnell’s leadership and a larger debate about the GOP at-large.
"We want to have a long-form discussion both about McConnell’s record in Kentucky and also really a discussion over the future of the Republican Party. Is this going to be the party of Reagan, Cruz and DeMint or is this the party of Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell? And it’s about time we had this fight over the future of the party," he says.
The 133rd Fancy Farm Picnic was held this weekend in Graves County. Up until just a few weeks ago, many would have expected an off-year for the political event. But with high profile entrances into the 2014 U.S. Senate race, it can perhaps be said now there are no “off-years” at Fancy Farm.
A national political action committee is backing Louisville businessman Matt Bevin over Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's Republican primary election, saying the incumbent has refused to use his leadership position to fight for conservatives.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Madison Project describes itself as a PAC that supports small-government and anti-abortion candidates across the country.
Bevin has already been endorsed by The United Kentucky Tea Party, a coalition of 14 different groups across the state. But this is a sign that Bevin is also getting national attention from organization's outside of the state.
Madison Project spokesman Daniel Horowtiz says the group is proud to endorse Bevin mainly because of his background as an entrepreneur. The group isn't sparring McConnell any criticism, however.
"After 28 years in the Senate and over 10 years in leadership, Senator Mitch McConnell has become the embodiment of stale moss-covered leadership. It's not just his votes for Democrat proposals, such open borders, bailouts, fiscal cliff tax hikes, debt limit increases, green energy stimulus, and funding for Obamacare, it is that fact that McConnell has refused to use his leadership role to fight for conservatives." he says.
Asked about the Madison Project's decisions to back Bevin, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton dismissed the group.
"Are they still around? I thought they were defunct," he says.
Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:00 pm
Kentucky state Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says candidates like Mitch McConnell's Tea Party backed primary challenger would rather see the federal government explode and be destroyed than work towards a limited government approach.
The comments come as more GOP state office holders are voicing their support for McConnell over Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.
In public appearances and campaign messages, Bevin, who is endorsed by the United Kentucky Tea Party, has ripped McConnell for not being conservative enough.
But Stivers says McConnell doesn't control all of what goes on in Washington and has to make difficult choices as leader of the 45-member GOP caucus in the Senate.
"And I think some people—mainly some like Mr. Bevin—would just see government explode and be destroyed and have no government at all," Stivers told WFPL in a telephone interview. "But I think Senator McConnell tries to strike a balance of a necessary evil of having some government and not too much."