Bluegrass Action Fund drops anti-Bevin ad focusing on MIT claims and bailouts; Bevin denies he ever listed MIT graduation on LinkedIn page

05/06/2015 01:36 PM

Bluegrass Action Fund has released a new ad against Matt Bevin, reviving arguments that the Louisville businessman scrubbed his online LinkedIn profile of references to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, accepted a $100,000 taxpayer bailout and praised the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program in a 2008 letter to investors.

Bluegrass Action Fund, a Kentucky political action committee chaired by Joe Burgan, Hal Heiner’s former campaign manager, released the 30-second spot on Wednesday. The ad is airing “heavily in most of Kentucky,” Burgan said in an email to Pure Politics.

“First Matt Bevin was dishonest about his résumé,” a male narrator says in the BAF ad. “Bevin claimed he attended prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), but newspapers report Bevin didn’t tell the truth.

“Bevin’s Connecticut family business took a $100,000 taxpayer-funded bailout. Bevin even praised the Wall Street bailout,” the narrator continues in the ad, which can be viewed here:

The MIT claim stems from March 2013, before Bevin challenged U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Senate primary, in a report by The Hill. Before the Washington, D.C., publication printed the story, Bevin had apparently changed his LinkedIn profile, but The Hill captured a screenshot of the profile, which can be viewed here and lists MIT at the top of the education section. The LinkedIn citation stemmed from a business program unaffiliated with the institution, according to another report by The Hill.

Bevin, during a debate on Kentucky Sports Radio on Wednesday, adamantly denied ever referencing MIT on his LinkedIn page.

“That’s not a résumé, number one,” Bevin said. “Number two, it has never said that.”

He added later, “I have never claimed, nor have you ever seen a copy of this résumé? No, because it doesn’t exist, and the reality is…”

“So you’re saying there was no profile on LinkedIn that said…” KSR host Matt Jones began to ask.

“Never, never in my life have I ever claimed to have graduated from MIT, ever,” Bevin said.

The ad again references a $100,000 grant obtained in Connecticut after his family’s business, Bevin Brothers Manufacturing, was destroyed by fire. The Washington Post gave a McConnell ad making similar claims three out of four Pinnochios.

When asked about using the term “bailout” in the spot, Burgan responded via email, “Matt Bevin’s Connecticut family business took a $100,000 bailout from the taxpayers. Merriam defines bailout as, ‘a rescue from financial distress.’ What would Matt Bevin call it?”

The ad also resuscitates a claim that Bevin lauded the TARP program and the federal takeover of mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a 2008 letter to investors during his time as president of Veracity Funds. Politico, in a February 2014 piece, reported that Bevin’s campaign dismissed his signature on the letter, saying the firm’s chief investment officer drafted the analysis and, as president, Bevin signed “every prospectus” and “Matt’s signatures were a formality that were not intended to be an endorsement of the opinions of others.”

After Wednesday’s KSR debate, Bevin called the ad “the same old disproven lies from the past.”

“If you will use regurgitated, disproven lies from previous years when other people tried the same nonsense and they were refuted, but that’s all you’ve got as an effort to try to make yourself look better is to spread those same lies, to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to smear other people, it’s pathetic,” he said.

The new PAC has ties through Burgan and its former chairman, Alan Philp, to a pro-Heiner group, Citizens for a Sound Government, attacking Bevin and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

Burgan said in an email he continues “to have a good working relationship with CSG,” where he served as spokesman.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.


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