So what in the world is up with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and secret tapes?
You might recall last April when Mother Jones published an expose about “A recording of a private meeting between the Senate GOP leader and campaign aides reveals how far they were willing to go to defeat the actor/activist [Ashley Judd].” (The recording can be found here; a transcript is here.)
Last year controversy erupted around that secret recording from February 2013 of McConnell and his aides discussing how they can attack actor Ashley Judd who was considered a potential 2014 challenger to him at the time the recording was made. The tape raised serious ethics questions for McConnell and his staff as Senate ethics rules prohibit Senate employees from participating in any political activities while on the clock, or otherwise receiving government compensation.
As reported by Mother Jones in April 2013:
On February 2, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the US Senate, opened up his 2014 reelection campaign headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, and in front of several dozen supporters vowed to “point out” the weaknesses of any opponent fielded by the Democrats. “They want to fight? We’re ready,” he declared.
According to Mother Jones, “Later that day, he was huddling with aides in a private meeting to discuss how to attack his possible Democratic foes,” including actor/activist Ashley Judd and Alison Lundergan Grimes, the 34-year-old Democratic secretary of the state, who were both contemplating challenging the minority leader in the 2014 mid-term elections. [Grimes ended up being his Democratic challenger.]
During this strategy session—a recording of which was obtained by Mother Jones—McConnell and his aides considered assaulting Judd for her past struggles with depression and for her religious views.
Next the McConnell team turned its attention to Alison Lundergan Grimes:
After running through Judd’s liabilities, the group turned to Alison Lundergan Grimes, the 34-year-old Democratic secretary of the state, who was (and remains) a prospective McConnell challenger. The fellow in charge of the meeting referred to a Freedom of Information Act request filed “through a third party” that aimed to uncover damaging information about her actions in government, and he noted, “The best hit we have on her is her blatantly endorsing the 2008 Democratic national platform.” He also claimed “she definitely has a very sort of self-centered, sort of egotistical aspect.” His evidence? Grimes “frequently” refers to herself in the third person. And to make this point, he played a recording in which Grimes noted she had made the last name of her in-laws “popular” when she married into their family. He seemed to be working with scraps. As of this meeting, the McConnell squad had not dug up much on Grimes.
And these recordings indicate possible criminal acts as the tape indicates that several of McConnell’s legislative aides, whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer, were involved with producing the opposition research on Judd and Grimes that was discussed at the February 2 meeting.
While being questioned by reporters about his campaign’s plans to attack Ashley Judd on April 9th of 2013, McConnell began repeating accusations about “Nixonian” wiretaps and whimpering about some leftist conspiracy regarding his wife’s ethnicity.
It was “quite a Nixonian move,” a deadpan McConnell said. “This is what you get from the political left in America these days.”
As reported by Politico, the next day, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager charged that whoever obtained audio of the Kentucky Republican’s strategists discussing opposition research on Ashley Judd was engaging in “Gestapo kind of scare tactics.”
Fast-forwarding to earlier this year, Nicole Girard reported for Liberals Unite in August that “at a Koch Brothers Summit in Dana Point, California this summer, the conscience-less, corporate shill basically promised our country’s head on a gold platter to his billionaire gang of perverse, psychotic donors.”
Girard goes on to report that “In a leaked audio-recording, the Kentucky Republican swore to devote himself to the singular task of more fully lining the pockets of his audience: people so rich they could survive any tragedy, any sort of economic downturn, another of McConnell’s government shut-downs, effortlessly and without a care.”
Girard concludes her analysis of the recording, writing:
The mounting evidence that we need real economic reform on every level is undeniable but it’s so clear this shell of a man is barely even in possession of himself. The lengths to which McConnell’s donors own him comes through in these cow-towing reassurances that he will, in fact, eviscerate the middle class and poor like a dutiful little boy. What a disgrace. He’s no leader.
McConnell’s thug-filled audience is living proof of the bizarro-world extent to which greed can corrupt. I can’t imagine why these billionaires are never satisfied. Why are they so afraid of allowing hard-working, average people to live with some small semblance of comfort and dignity? What more do they need?
McConnell is, and for a very long time has been, nothing but a detriment to the government and the country. He is the opposite of a patriot and is not fit to lead. It’s time for him to hole up in his shell where he can only cause harm to himself.
Please Kentucky, VOTE HIM OUT.