UPDATED AT 3:46 P.M.
FRANKFORT — Republican Rand Paul’s campaign for the U.S. Senate will hold a rally at 3 p.m. Tuesday in front of U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning’s Lexington office to support Bunning’s blockage of unemployment and health care benefits for over 1 million jobless Americans, including 119,230 Kentuckians.
David Adams, campaign manager for Paul, said Monday he will be representing Paul at the rally.
Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, said he plans to lead a protest at Bunning’s Lexington and Louisville offices Tuesday if the extension of benefits is not resolved.
Mongiardo’s campaign said it sent out e-mails Monday to about 40,000 supporters, calling Bunning’s actions “to reduce the deficit on the backs of the unemployed disgraceful”.
Mongiardo also callled Paul and GOP candidate Trey Grayson “Bunning clones” for their support of Bunning’s position.
Grayson and Paul have applauded Bunning’s stance for demanding that programs be paid for.
Another GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, Todd County businessman Bill Johnson, said Monday that he supports Bunning.
“Frankly, unemployment benefits are currently 99 weeks or almost two years,” Johnson said in a statement. “While I support extending the benefits for a short period of time longer, we must find a way to pay for those benefits. I do not support extending unemployment benefits beyond two years.”
Johnson also said he supports eliminating the Department of Education to free up $45 billion a year and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to save $10.5 billion a year.
Bunning supports the extension of benefits but thinks the $10 billion cost should be paid for from unspent stimulus funds and not added to the national debt.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway has a petition on his Web site to protest Bunning’s position.