Liberal PAC Progress Kentucky Founders in Mission to Oust McConnell

Saturday, 13 Apr 2013 10:47 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Troubles continue for a liberal super PAC in Kentucky that formed four months ago with a goal of unseating Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Progress Kentucky has raised only $1,000 in the four months since it began, but already, its members have made national news in its failed attempts to embarrass McConnell, The Washington Post reports.

First, in February, the group apologized for tweets made about McConnell's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan. They claimed McConnell's views on outsourcing were tied to her ethnicity.

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Most recently, two people affiliated with the super PAC are being blamed for a secret recording of a McConnell campaign strategy meeting, which federal authorities are investigating. The recording, released on the Mother Jones website, revealed McConnell and his aides discussing material that could be used against actress Ashley Judd, who has since decided not to challenge McConnell's seat.

The actions were meant to hurt McConnell, but ended up allowing him to use the super PAC's action in his commercials and to portray the group's liberal tactics as being 'Nixonian.”

Meanwhile, Progress Kentucky's treasurer resigned this past week, and an attorney for group leader Shawn Reilly blamed his fellow group member, Curtis Morrison, for the campaign meeting tapes.

Morrison has also lost his day job, the Post reported, after he was fired from his freelancing position for an online news site in Louisville.

The latest news marks more bad times for a group that had a mission to beat McConnell, who is one of the most powerful Republicans in the United States. However, their efforts may have been doomed from the beginning, given Kentucky's strong red-state status.

Reilly and Morrison were already well-known in Louisville for their activities, but even people who know them are surprised that they're now part of the national news. Reilly was involved in Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a group that held numerous protests in 2007, including one outside McConnell's house. In addition, Morrison was involved in the Occupy movement in Louisville.

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