McConnell allies buy $5.2 million of TV time for ads this summer

syoungman@herald-leader.comMay 19, 2014 

Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes

Allies of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are preparing to kick off Kentucky's general election in grand fashion.

Two independent expenditure groups that support McConnell and his policies have bought a combined $5.2 million in ad time for the coming weeks after Tuesday's primary election.

Scott Jennings, an adviser to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership and the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, confirmed the ad buys Monday but declined to comment on the content of the ads.

KSL, a Super PAC that has already spent heavily in an effort to tie likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes to President Barack Obama, will kick things off with $575,000 in ads scheduled to run Wednesday through June 2.

The group already is running an ad that portrays Grimes as a rubber stamp for Obama. It is scheduled to air through Tuesday.

KOC is laying down the big money, buying almost $4.7 million worth of time for ads that are scheduled to run June 5 through Aug. 27.

Classified as a 501(c)4, KOC cannot run election ads as its primary function. The group already has spent millions in Kentucky on issues ads that promote McConnell.

Because of its tax code classification, KOC is exempt from reporting its donor list or how much money it has raised to the Federal Election Commission.

The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported Monday that We Are Kentucky, a Democratic-backed Super PAC supporting Grimes, has raised a total of $293,000. It has spent most of that amount without running any advertising.

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

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