Pro-Paul super PAC goes on the attack with $350K ad buy

10/06/2016 09:26 PM

Concerned American Voters, a pro-Rand Paul super PAC, will make its way onto the Kentucky airwaves on Friday with an ad buy totaling $350,000.

The ad seeks to cast Paul’s Democratic opponent, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, as a potential puppet of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton if elected.

In the spot, the group says Gray has pushed for tax increases and supports “one of the most anti-coal candidates for President in history.”

The group’s senior advisor, Matt Kibbe, told Pure Politics on Thursday that the ad will be running in all of the major television markets in the state. The current buy is set for $350,000, but Kibbe said the group has nearly $2 million in cash on hand if the group deems it necessary to intervene on Paul’s behalf.

“We think the people of Kentucky should know that if Jim Gray were elected to the Senate he would be Hillary’s puppet,” Kibbe said in a phone interview.

Kibbe went on to say that Gray’s endorsement of Clinton in the presidential race suggests that the Democrat “also endorses her support for destroying coal companies and coal jobs.”

“We’re going to hold him accountable for his association with Clinton. We know any vote for Jim Gray is a vote for a supporter of Hillary Clinton,” Kibbe continued.

Gray’s campaign spokeswoman Cathy Lindsey predicted Kentuckians will “see right through this.”

“Jim is an independent businessman, not a politician,” Lindsey said in a statement when contacted about the soon-to-be-released ad. “His record speaks for itself, he’s a non-partisan leader that gets things done.”

Lindsey went on to point out that Gray’s routinely commented that “not every Democratic idea is a good one or every Republican idea a bad one.”

“That’s the kind of leadership Kentucky needs in the Senate,” she said.

Kibbe, the former president and founder of FreedomWorks, said Paul is “one of the few voices willing to hold both parties accountable on fiscal responsibility, on limiting the size of government, on overreaches of federal power, his willingness to take on what he calls the Washington machine.”

While the PAC has just under $2 million in their piggy bank, Kibbie said more could come from donors if it looks like Paul needs the assistance in winning a second term in office.

Under federal regulations, the super PAC cannot coordinate with Paul’s U.S. Senate campaign, but it can play a role by throwing punches on the Bowling Green Republican’s behalf.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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