Massie and GOP donor dispute candidate's insinuation that they discussed Super PAC

02/23/2012 01:22 PM

Republican congressional candidate Thomas Massie and a Northern Kentucky philanthropist and GOP donor both denied discussing the formation of a Super PAC to support Massie’s bid for the 4th Congressional District.

One of the other Republican candidates in the race, Marcus Carey, posted on his campaign site Thursday morning that Richard Knock, a Northern Kentucky investment company executive and philanthropist told him he met with Massie and was going to form a Super PAC.

Carey, in his post, said Massie also confirmed the meeting with him. And Carey said it raises questions about whether Massie and Knock were coordinating. Campaign finance laws bar candidates from discussing strategy or coordinating with people associated with Super PACs, which are independent campaign groups that can raise unlimited money from donors and corporations.

But Massie’s campaign manager Ryan Hogan said Massie and Knock did meet earlier this month and “he is pleased to have teh support of Dick Knock.”

“But he has never requested the formation of, nor coordinated with, any
said organization. While his opponents are spending their time running a
negative campaign, Thomas is out gaining support from conservatives in
the 4th District by talking about the issues that matter in this race,” Hogan said.

Carey said in a phone interview that he has raised legitimate questions.

“If he says it didn’t happen and dines that they talked about it, I’ll leave it up to voters to decide,” Carey said.

Knock, for his part, denied talking about a Super PAC with Massie but, in a phone interview with Pure Politics, he wouldn’t say much more about his potential role in the upcoming GOP primary for the 4th Congressional District.

Here’s the transcript of the questions and answers during that phone conversation:

Q- Did you talk with Mr. Massie about forming a Super PAC?
A – No.

Q -Did you meet with Mr. Massie?
A -None of your business.

Q – Are you supporting Mr. Massie?
A – None of your business.

Q – These are pretty serious questions about coordination that another candidate has put out there.
A – Let them be out there.

Q – Are you planning to put together a Super PAC?
A -I’m going to terminate this phone call.

Q -Well, these questions are now out there. Is there going to be a …
A – I don’t know. You’ll have to talk to whoever is going to be doing that.

Q – So you are aware of one?
A – I didn’t say that.

Q – Are you aware of one?
A – You can’t find it out from me.

Massie and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore answered questions from Pure Politics about whether they expected SuperPACs to get involved in the race.

Knock has been a staunch supporter of Republican candidates, especially in Northern Kentucky. And, according to campaign finance records, he also was an early supporter of Republican U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, whose decision to step down after this year opened up the 4th District.

Knock gave Davis’ campaign $2,000 in December 2001 in advance of his first bid for the seat in 2002. In all, Knock gave Davis’ campaign $15,021 over 10 years.

He also previously gave money to the campaigns of three candidates who are now running in this open 4th District GOP primary, including $900 in 2006 to Carey’s unsuccessful bid for the Kentucky Supreme Court’s 6th District.

Carey said he didn’t realize Knock had given to him.

Knock also contributed $2,850 since 1997 to Moore’s campaigns (and $1,000 to the Appeals Court campaign for Boone’s wife, Joy).

And he wrote a $250 check to Alecia Webb-Edgington’s run for the state House.

In addition to Carey, Massie, Moore and Webb-Edgington, three other candidates are seeking the GOP nomination for the seat on May 22. They include Fort Mitchell businessman Tom Wurtz, Oldham County developer Walt Schumm and Brian Oerther, a teacher who lives in Oldham County.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.