The Chatter: Bevin haunted by past praise of bank bailout plus fights over donations ramp up

02/11/2014 10:55 AM

After vigorously bashing the federal intervention in the 2008 banking crisis with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, documents Politico obtained showed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin at least signed off on a very different view when he was head of an investment firm at the time.

Bevin has been hitting McConnell on the TARP vote throughout his campaign, consistently reminding voters of McConnell’s vote in favor of the $700 billion federal bailout of the banks in 2008.

But according to documents obtained by POLITICO , Bevin personally signed a company report that praised the federal government’s intervention, TARP funding and the nationalization of troubled mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The report obtained by POLITICO for investors of Veracity Funds signed by Bevin on Oct. 28, 2008 as president of the fund reads:

“Most of the positive developments have been government led, such as the effective nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the passage of the $700 billion TARP (don’t call it a bailout) and the Federal Reserve’s intention to invest in commercial paper. These moves should help to stabilize asset prices and help to ease liquidity constraints in the financial system.”

A spokeswoman for the Bevin campaign told POLITICO that the commentaries for the company were written by chief investment officer of Veracity Funds and that Bevin’s personal signature on pieces of commentary were a formality as his role as president of the company.

But Bevin is already getting hit on the document by Republicans and members of the media. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, host of “Morning Joe”, called Bevin a “snake oil salesman” because of his comments.

The McConnell campaign has latched onto it, saying it plays into two of the campaign’s narratives against Bevin: that he is “Bailout Bevin” and that he can’t be trusted.

“This is nothing short of a con-man being caught red-handed in the middle of a sale,” said McConnell Campaign Spokeswoman Allison Moore. “If it wasn’t clear that Matt Bevin isn’t who he says he is after his MIT debacle, it sure is now.”

Bevin gives Kentucky a minute of Common Sense

After the news of the documents broke, Bevin released a new radio ad Tuesday hitting McConnell on the Affordable Care Act.

In the one-minute long statewide radio ad buy titled “Kentucky Common Sense”, Bevin says McConnell has changed his opinion on the Affordable Care Act from wanting to repeal it to just wanting to change it.

Bevin goes on to say that it seems like McConnell just doesn’t get it when it comes to the Affordable Care Act and that Kentucky needs a more conservative Senator.

“Unlike Mitch McConnell, I will never compromise our principles to please the Washington D.C. crowd,” Bevin says in the ad.

Campaigns under fire for fundraising contributions

Each of the state’s parties are hitting the campaigns of Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, calling on them to give back campaign contributions from controversial donors.

The Republican Party of Kentucky sent out a statement Monday pointing to a $250 donation to Grimes’ campaign from former state Representative John Arnold who resigned last year amid sexual harassment allegations.

The RPK called on Grimes, who has campaigned on women’s issues, to give back the donation from Arnold as well as a $ 500 donation from Director Woody Allen, citing child molestation charges by his adopted daughter#! that went public over last month.

“If Alison Lundergan Grimes really cares about standing up for Kentucky women, she should return both former Representative John Arnold’s and Woody Allen’s donations to her campaign,” said Kelsey Cooper, RPK Communications Director. “If she doesn’t return the donations, we can only assume she either condones sexual harassment and disgustingly inappropriate behavior in the workplace, or she’s more concerned with her liberal allies’ campaign cash than the women of Kentucky.”

Similarly, the Kentucky Democratic Party called on McConnell to give back a $2,500 donation from Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour citing the pardoning for convicts by Barbour before leaving office.

“It is deeply troubling that Mitch McConnell’s campaign is bankrolled by Haley Barbour, someone who let convicted killers, sex offenders and child molesters roam free,” Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said in a statement Tuesday. “McConnell ought to immediately return Barbour’s contribution. The people of Kentucky deserve better than a senator who not only fails our working families, but also aligns himself with the likes of Haley Barbour.”

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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