The Chatter ('14 Senate race edition): Grimes' county clerk flap, McConnell's headaches with his caucus

07/19/2013 09:59 AM

Alison Lundergan Grimes’ email blast asking for donations somehow landed in the inboxes of several Republican county clerks.

The Courier-Journal is reporting that emails requesting campaign contributions from Grimes made their way to several county clerks who are not signed up to receive the communications.

The Republican Party of Kentucky has been quick to try and capitalize on the error and sent a statement to reporters condemning the campaign email.

“This suggests Secretary Grimes used taxpayer resources, an official list, for political purposes. If so, that’s illegal. The Grimes campaign must immediately come clean about where they got the lists for their first campaign email,” said Kelsey Cooper, Communications Director for the Republican Party of Kentucky.

But the campaign for Grimes, who oversees county clerks in her official role as Secretary of State, says they’re not sure why the clerks were sent the email – - and suggested to Courier-Journal reporter Joe Gerth it could be a political trick.

A spokesperson for Grimes campaign told Gerth that the email fundraising went to people who signed up for campaign announcements, and said opponents might have signed up those clerks without their knowledge.

Is McConnell losing his grip on Senate GOP caucus?

Two articles from national outlets are claiming that cracks are forming in the GOP caucus, which is causing problems for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

The Washington Post is pointing to the deal struck by rank-and-file members of the GOP with Senate Democrats as a tipping point for McConnell’s power in the chamber.

Republicans, such as Sen. John McCain, did an end-run around McConnell on the deal, and things got testy between McConnell and other Senate Republicans in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, according to Roll Call .

Democratic aides told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that they’ll be closely watching next week when McConnell’s nemesis Democratic Leader Harry Reid is expected to start debate over a transportation and housing package.

“As one aide noted to me, the question is whether McConnell will be able to reassert control over the Republicans who voted for the bill in committee — and other Republican Senators who might be inclined to support the bill, partly out of parochial reasons and partly because infrastructure spending has historically gotten bipartisan support — and get them to oppose it when it comes to the floor.”

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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