By Sam Youngman
Matt Bevin’s campaign dismissed a Wednesday afternoon report that said the Louisville businessman provided false information when filling out paperwork to receive a grant in Connecticut.
BuzzFeed published a story Wednesday that said Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, reported in documents that his company had no liens or delinquent taxes hanging over it when applied to receive a $100,000 state grant in June 2012 to reopen the bell business he has there.
The story reported that Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Co. did have a lien of about $74,000 against it at the time, which the company had been paying off on a schedule agreed to by the IRS until the bell factory was hit by lightning and burned.
Sarah Durand, a Bevin spokeswoman, said BuzzFeed story reflects growing nervousness within the McConnell camp ahead of next May’s primary.
“This issue was discussed in depth months ago in the press, but as Mitch McConnell and his cronies hit new levels of desperation, they will do anything to try to stop Matt’s momentum,” Durand said in a statement. “Conservatives from across Kentucky are rallying to join Matt and send a U.S. Senator to Washington who will actually work to defund ObamaCare and stand up to Harry Reid and President Obama instead of giving [them] a blank check.”
The BuzzFeed story noted that the IRS agreed to suspend payments on the lien after the fire, and that Bevin paid the remaining balance in full later in 2012.
The Connecticut factory has already been a target of McConnell and his allies, as Kentucky’s senior senator hit Bevin on the day Bevin announced his campaign with the accusation that he had accepted a government bailout by taking the money.
Bevin told BuzzFeed that he did not seek out the grant, but agreed to apply for the state money after town officials, seeing the their economic backbone lying in rubble, asked him to reopen the factory.