Another conservative group endorses Matt Bevin over McConnell in U.S. Senate race

syoungman@herald-leader.comJanuary 22, 2014 

Matt Bevin, left, is challenging incumbent Mitch McConnell in the battle to be the GOP's nominee in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

With the May primary inching closer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's enemies are lining up to help Republican challenger Matt Bevin. FreedomWorks PAC announced Wednesday it was joining the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project in endorsing Bevin, marking a new entrant into McConnell's dispute with conservative fundraising groups.

"For far too long, Mitch McConnell has sat on the sidelines of pivotal fights, helping the Democrats pass unprecedented surveillance powers, the TARP/Wall Street bailout, numerous tax hikes and debt ceiling increases and Medicare Part D," Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks president, said in a statement.

Kibbe also accused McConnell of orchestrating the "McConnell-Reid sellout bargain to increase the debt limit and fully fund a broken health care law, getting a $1.2 billion 'special project kickback' in the process."

McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said Freedomworks was once a "constructive partner in the conservative movement" but now has changed its focus to "conservative cannibalism in order to pay the bills."

"So today, instead of standing with Kentucky conservatives, a group that used to pride itself on grass-roots empowerment has endorsed a self-funding New England millionaire who takes taxpayer bailouts and falsely claims he attended MIT," Moore said.

After watching the past two election cycles as conservative groups backed candidates who then lost general elections to Democrats, McConnell is using his own re-election fight as a proxy war against the fundraising groups.

Sam Youngman: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @samyoungman. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.

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