Weekend Slingshot: Tight 6th District race, Conway's brother and key donors in the news

10/25/2010 06:28 AM

cn|2 Politics’ “Weekend Slingshot” round-up compiles all the juicy Kentucky political stories from the weekend that will be buzzed about as the next week of political drama unfolds.

Chandler-Barr race turning into a barn burner

The Mason-Dixon poll of 500 registered voters in the 6th congressional district shows Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler now clinging to a modest 4-point lead over Republican challenger Andy Barr. The poll was conducted Oct. 15-19 and taken for the Lexington Herald-Leader, WKYT-TV and WAVE in Louisville. Just a month ago, Chandler’s lead was 14-points in the cn|2 Poll.

(We will have the results of the latest cn|2 Poll on the 6th District during Monday night’s edition of Pure Politics.)

But a lot has happened in the last month in that race, including an onslaught of brutal ads from both sides. Here’s a sample of their latest commercials against each other:

And the New York Times, in its latest update of the U.S. House races, rated the 6th District as a toss-up on Sunday.

Conway’s brother in the spotlight and not in a good way

The Louisville Courier-Journal’s Ralph Dunlop reported Saturday that the Matt Conway lied under oath when asked whether he was tipped off by police that he was under investigation. He is the brother of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Attorney General Jack Conway.

Jack Conway’s office said the attorney general was told of the situation and urged his brother to seek legal representation, according to the article.

It’s unclear how this might affect the U.S. Senate race, if at all. But the news surfacing 10 days before Election Day can’t be a good thing for the Democrat’s campaign.

U.S. Senate race still burning at high temperatures

Conway and Republican candidate Rand Paul face each other for their last debate of the campaign on Monday night on Kentucky Educational Television. It should be a doozy.

Conway’s now famous “Aqua Buddha” ad has taken the race to soap-opera like levels in which neither of the candidates have come off looking particularly senatorial, as analysts, such as Al Cross and Joshua Green of the Atlantic have recently written.

Paul’s campaign is still trying to turn Conway’s ad against the Democrat with a second commercial that slams him for airing the “Aqua Buddha” spot.

As Pure Politics reported Friday night, Conway has moved on to a new ad strategy over the weekend — hitting Paul for supporting a plan to replace the income tax with a 23% national sales tax.

That’s the same approach the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee took against Paul in a spot starting last Thursday.

Big Kentucky donors get attention

Two political donors with ties to Kentucky received some national attention last week for the checks they’ve written to American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the groups chaired by Inez banker R. Michael Duncan, the former Republican National Committee chairman. Those groups were co-founded by a group of Republicans, including Karl Rove, who doesn’t have a formal position with the groups but does provide strategic advice.

  • B. Wayne Hughes, the public storage company owner and owner of Spendthrift Farm in Fayette County, has contributed $2.3 million, according to the Washington Post.
  • And Joe Craft, the coal mine owner and prominent donor to University of Kentucky athletics, gave the groups $2 million, according to CorpWatch.org.

And the Courier-Journal’s Tom Loftus detailed the influence being wielded in Kentucky by Corbin banker and businessman Terry Forcht and his wife, Marion. (The article was a print exclusive).

The Forchts, their family members and employees of their businesses have doled out $1.1 million to political campaigns over eight years, Loftus wrote. Most went to Republican candidates, but some of it has gone to a few Democrats.

Here’s an excerpt:

To cite just one example, in the last five days of June the Forcht contributors gave $21,450 to Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul, $16,850 to Republican congressional candidate Andy Barr, and $3,000 to the re-election campaign of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.

…  A Courier-Journal analysis of databases for state and federal campaign contributions shows that Forcht and his wife, Marion, have made 391 political contributions since Jan. 1, 2003, totaling $530,281.

- “Weekend Slingshot” is compiled by Ryan Alessi


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