Paul and McConnell will be together again to raise money

07/15/2010 02:11 PM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell turns the microphone over to GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul at the Republican "unity rally" after the May primary.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate candidate Rand Paul will headline an Aug. 10 joint fund-raiser in Lexington for the Kentucky Republican Party and Paul’s campaign.

It’s the latest example of how the two Republicans have joined forces after McConnell backed Paul’s GOP opponent in the primary and after Paul criticized McConnell and others last year for supporting the bank bailout bill.

McConnell and Paul will be joined by the four Republican members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation — U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers of Somerset, Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville, Geoff Davis of Hebron and Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green — at the Lexington home of Kelly Knight, according to an invitation obtained by cn|2 Politics.

The minimum contribution at the evening event is $2,500. Money from the event will be divided between the Paul campaign and the Republican Party’s efforts on behalf of GOP candidates this fall.

Individuals can give up to $12,400. Of that, $2,400 is the federal maximum contribution to a candidate, in this case Paul. The rest goes to the party.

McConnell has lent his help, including his fund-raising infrastructure, to Paul’s campaign since the primary. For instance, McConnell sent out an email to supporters encouraging them to give to Paul just before the June 30 quarterly deadline.

“I am glad to have Sen. McConnell on board now,“ said U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, who endorsed Paul during the primary  while McConnell supported Secretary of State Trey Grayson in that race. “It can really help loosen up some major fund-raising.”

In terms of solidifying large blocs of voters, Bunning was less certain about McConnell’s effect on boosting Paul’s candidacy.

“It surely didn’t help his opponent in the primary, did it?” Bunning said in an interview Saturday.

Paul has taken some criticism for embracing McConnell and receiving fund-raising help in Washington from other GOP Senators, some of whom supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program, also called the bank bailout bill, in the fall of 2008. Paul pledged not to accept support from those Senators during the primary as a contrast with Grayson, who attended a similar fund-raiser in Washington with McConnell and other Republican senators.

In addition to formal fund-raisers, such as the one in Lexington, Paul will attend a series of grassroots events to collect donations. For instance, he will speak at a “Randraiser” in Laurel County on Thursday, July 22, at the London Community Center, according to an electronic invitation. The minimum contribution at that event is $50. And among the hosts of the event will be state Sen. Tom Jensen of London, former state Sen. Albert Robinson and Laurel Circuit Clerk Roger Schott.

- Ryan Alessi


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