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Friday, April 12, 2013

A Super PAC and the McConnell Recording

It appears that the recording of a private conversation at Mitch McConnell's campaign was the result of deliberate eavesdropping, not staff error.  At Salon, Alex Seitz-Ward discusses the likely source, and in the process offers a cautionary tale about how Super PAC activity can backfire on the causes they're trying to help.
Liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky is at the center of controversy after a Democratic strategist in the state said activists affiliated with the group bragged to him that they secretly recorded the audiotape of Mitch McConnell’s strategy meeting that was leaked to Mother Jones this week. If true, they could face criminal sanctions. The treasurer of the super PAC resigned this afternoon.
Now, it’s worth stating that we don’t know for sure that Progress Kentucky produced the tape or is involved in any way — this is just the word of one Democratic strategist, who has an interest in distancing his party from the group.
But it’s not the first time the super PAC has gotten into trouble. In late February, they made a series of offensive “jokes” about McConnell’s wife on Twitter, attacking her for being Chinese-American. Even Ashley Judd felt compelled to issue a public condemnation.
But there’s something important you should know about Progress Kentucky: No one took its members very seriously in Kentucky, even before the slurs or the secret tape. I know this because I once quoted Curtis Morrison, who was one of what appears to be only two or three people associated with the group (he resigned in March), and a number of liberal activists in the state told me to never do it again.