A new outside group has kicked off a fundraising effort to help Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin win in November.
Fighting for Kentucky, a super PAC run by two Kentucky Republicans and one from Texas, said it has $100,000 in pledges and hopes to raise $1 million by Sept. 15.
In a fundraising email sent to Republican donors Wednesday afternoon, the group's founders said they are not bound by state laws that ban corporate donations to candidates and limit other contributors to $1,000.
"To win, this campaign will cost millions of dollars, so our super PAC is raising unlimited contributions to level the playing field against the Democratic machine," the group's founders said in the email message. "Our super PAC has no limit for individual contributions and can take corporate contributions."
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Since the primary election, only the Republican Governors Association has run television ads on Bevin's behalf. Bevin's campaign hasn't gone on the air even though his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jack Conway, and a pro-Conway super PAC have run ads for weeks.
In Wednesday's email, Matt Mackowiak, a Republican operative who works in Texas and Washington, D.C. and is the group's treasurer, wrote that the $1 million budget will enable the super PAC to "effectively use TV, radio and mail advertising in the final six weeks and help Matt Bevin win."
When told of the new group's efforts, Daniel Kemp, a Conway spokesman, said Wednesday that "no amount of misinformation from Matt Bevin or his allies can distract from his lies about his failure to pay taxes and his positions on critical issues like early childhood education — and his refusal to release his taxes, a long and bipartisan tradition in Kentucky."
Despite Mackowiak's Texas roots, the super PAC is based in Lexington, and Mackowiak has teamed up with Louisvillians Larry Hausman and Justin Leighty to run the outside group.
The fundraising email includes a web ad that features audio of Bevin's primary night victory speech played over stock footage of Bevin talking to voters and his family.
Focusing on Bevin's criticism of Common Core education standards and his support for "right-to-work" legislation and "ending Obamacare in Kentucky," the group said it is raising money "to help tell Matt's positive story and educate Kentuckians about the differing visions between the Republican and Democratic tickets."