Tea Party

It was February of 2009. President Obama had been in office less than a full month. His approval rating was over 60, and nearly 60 percent of the House and Senate seats were held by Democrats. The country seem poised on the edge of a new era, perhaps even another New Deal.

The time has come for us all to take a long, step-back look at this thing we call the Tea Party.

The results from Republican primaries in a dozen states so far this year strongly suggest that the party, such as it was, is over.

It may not have made sense to use the term "party" at any time in this movement's brief history. This year, that fact has become increasingly obvious.

Tea Party groups from across the south and midwest are pledging support in the effort to defeat Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

The five-term Kentucky incumbent is facing a primary challenge from Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.

U.S. Congress

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't the only Kentucky Republican facing Tea Party criticism for the plan ending the shutdown.

Tea Party Leadership Fund launched RINORefund.com this week targeting nearly 100 House Republicans for their Oct. 16 vote to re-open the federal government.

The site encourages donors to withdraw their support and asks for their contributions to be returned, including from Republicans Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie and Hal Rogers of Kentucky.

wikipedia

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has gained another tea party endorsement with Sen. Marco Rubio declaring his support earlier this week.

Rubio stated his support for McConnell’s re-election on FOX News Sunday. McConnell and his GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin have been competing for tea party endorsements.

In the midst of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's lengthy floor speech against the president's health care law, a tea party group is having second thoughts about endorsing GOP Leader Mitch McConnell for re-election next year.

Earlier today, McConnell rejected Cruz's plan to filibuster the House spending bill which funds the government past Oct. 1 but does not pay for Obamacare.

"We'd all be hard pressed to explain how we're against a bill we're all in favor of," McConnell told reporters.

But as a number of high-profiled conservatives—such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus—have come out to support Cruz's floor speech, the Tea Party Nation that backed McConnell in July is publicly reconsidering that decision.

Saying she is proud to have been attacked by Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign, Louisville Tea Party President Wendy Caswell is endorsing Republican Matt Bevin in Kentucky's U.S. Senate primary race.

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.

Matt Bevin, the Louisville businessman seeking to defeat Sen. Mitch McConnell in next year’s Republican primary, will be at next week's Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County - whether he's allowed to take the podium or not. (UPDATE 9:46 A.M 7/25, After an email Wednesday from Fancy Farm Political Speaking Chair to WKMS that Bevin won't be allowed to speak, the Associated Press now says Bevin will speak)

Jeff Gross

Kentucky Tea Party groups are planning rallies Tuesday to protest the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra review.

Two of Kentucky's largest Tea Party groups will protests outside IRS offices in their respective areas: the Northern Kentucky Tea Party will protest in Cincinnati and Louisville's group will join southern Indiana groups to protest in Louisville.

Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the protests show that Tea Party groups won't stand by quietly while the controversy unfolds.

Insider Louisville

  Tea party activist David Adams is once again suing Governor Steve Beshear over the Affordable Care Act. 

Adams first sued Beshear to block him from implementing a state-run health insurance exchange. That suit is pending. And now, Adams is suing to stop Beshear from expanding Medicaid.

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