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Tea Party group launches ad blaming Mitch McConnell for gay-marriage ruling

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

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

By Sam Youngman
syoungman@herald-leader.com

A national Tea Party fundraising group aligned with Louisville businessman Matt Bevin plans to launch a radio ad Tuesday that blames Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for a court ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II, who issued a final version of his ruling last week, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush on the recommendation of McConnell. Heyburn served as general counsel for McConnell when he was Jefferson County judge-executive in the early 1980s.

“Republican voters strongly disagree with Judge Heyburn, and Sen. McConnell should admit that recommending him was a mistake,” the Senate Conservatives Fund said in a statement.

The group’s ad also notes that Heyburn ruled in 1998 to overturn the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion.

“Who recommended this liberal judge?” one actor says in the ad.

“Mitch McConnell,” another actor replies.

“McConnell should admit right now that recommending Judge Heyburn was a mistake,” the first actor says. “He knew this judge wasn’t a conservative and promoted him anyway. Now we’re stuck with gay marriage.”

Both actors go on to say they plan to vote for Bevin in Kentucky’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

The group said it will spend $29,000 to run the 60-second ad statewide.

In a statement, McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore called the group’s claims “absurd and pathetic.”

“This is the kind of ad voters expect to hear from people who are days away from boxing up their personal effects and auctioning off the remaining printer cartridges in the office,” Moore said. “It is so absurd and pathetic that they ought to stop troubling radio listeners with the obligation of switching stations and admit they have no justification to attack Senator McConnell.”

After Heyburn made his initial gay-marriage ruling earlier last month, McConnell issued a statement condemning the decision and saying that Kentuckians should not have gay marriage “forced on us.”

“I will continue to support traditional marriage and fight to make sure that Kentuckians define marriage as we see fit and never have a definition forced on us by interests outside of our state,” McConnell said.

SCF’s radio ad also accuses McConnell of “political cronyism,” suggesting that he recommended Heyburn because Heyburn had donated to McConnell and served as his county campaign chairman.

“McConnell knew Judge Heyburn was not a conservative, but he promoted him anyway,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “Now Judge Heyburn is forcing his liberal views on Kentucky.”

Filed Under: ElectionsMatt BevinMitch McConnellRepublican PartyUS Senate Race

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Comments

  1. MM says:

    Now we, too, have an Attorney General who has decided that his personal view regarding a piece of the state Constitution is more important than the oath he swore upon election. An honorable person would step down.

  2. Buck Feshear says:

    This is just stupid. It’s like blaming Bush 43 for Obamacare because John Roberts was the deciding vote on the Supreme Court upholding it. McConnell was not responsible for Heyburn’s ruling. I’m for Matt Bevin and I disagree with Heyburn’s ruling but I don’t blame McConnell for that. There’s plenty for conservatives and loyal Republicans to be upset with Mitch about, but this is not one of those things.

  3. ralph+emerson says:

    Conway should be removed from office.

    His view does not trump the views of those citizens who voted for the constitution to be amended.

    He would rather circumvent the law than fight to enforce it.

    He needs to go.

  4. Big+Ben+4+liberty says:

    Unfortunately Mr. Emerson, Jack(off) Conway won’t be held accountable for his misuse of the AG office. Instead he will one of the KY Dumbocrats seeking the governor’s mansion next year.

  5. Buck Feshear says:

    This is a golden opportunity for some Republican in the House to file impeachment proceedings against Conway for failure to do his duty and fulfill the obligations of his oath of office.

  6. Dan says:

    OK, I don’t even like McConnell, I’m a liberal. However, Matt Bevin must be either uninformed or ignorant of the legal system to attack McConnell for this ruling. It was DOMA that allowed the states to NOT recognize same sex marriage. That was struck down recently by the Supreme Court. This judge can only rule based upon the authority of the Supreme Court. So, now that DOMA has been repealed, no state can deny the recognition of same sex marriage.