The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and Washington has asked the FBI to investigate whether or not Mitch McConnell is in hot water. CREW is asking if "Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), violated federal law and Senate rules by misusing Senate staff or resources to conduct opposition research on potential campaign opponents."
(CNN) – One of the questions to emerge from that secret recording of a Mitch McConnell campaign strategy session is whether it proves the Senate Minority Leader is caught on tape misusing his congressional staff. [...]
In the Mother Jones transcript, a campaign strategist at the McConnell meeting in February is quoted as thanking "LAs" or legislative assistants (legislative assistant being a title for a specific congressional staff position) for their work in developing opposition research on potential opponents, including actress Ashley Judd, who has since decided against a run for the Kentucky seat.
"So I'll just preface my comments that this reflects the work of a lot of folks: Josh, Jesse, Phil Maxson, a lot of LAs, thank them three times, so this is a compilation of work, all the way through," the unidentified strategist is quoted as saying in the liberal magazine's transcript.
Yes CNN, "the liberal magazine's transcript" is making all kinds of biased liberal assumptions in its biased liberal transcript. Good thing unbiased "liberal media" source CNN pointed that out.
The question CREW is asking is whether the adviser said, "thank them for their free time." You can hear that part in the first few seconds of the audio above, starting at about :25, ending at about :33.
As CNN notes, Congressional staffers are allowed to volunteer their personal time to political activities. Socialists!
Before I read the full post or anything that would sway me one way or the other, I listened to the recording several times, and each time I thought I heard "three times," with an S at the end. Then I read the rest of the report to understand that the conclusion wouldn't favor Team McConnell. Fine by me.
Listen carefully yourselves and let me know what you think.
Mitch McConnell and his aides were laughing it up at a secret meeting about opposition research they did on Ashley Judd's depression issues-- because, you know, her suffering, coping, and openness about it was so hilarious.
John Dean's reaction was, “McConnell campaign recording sounds like one of Nixon’s Tapes.” Here’s the AUDIO and Ashley Judd’s response.
Now Jacob Conway, who sits on the executive committee of the Jefferson County, Kentucky Democratic Party, is saying that Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, who founded and volunteered for Progress Kentucky, respectively, bragged to him about how they recorded that meeting:
Jacob Conway, who sits on the executive committee of the Jefferson County, Ky. Democratic Party:
"The only reason that I came forward with what I knew was I was trying to protect the Democratic Party. I believe in our party's values, and I was doing what I thought was best for the party because I did not want their bad behavior, their poor mistakes — I shouldn't say "bad behavior" — their mistakes, their lack of judgment to hurt our party's efforts here in the state Kentucky and in Jefferson County, here in Louisville."
Public radio station WFPL is reporting that Conway said neither the local nor the state Democratic party had any part in the incident, but that Reilly and Morrison bragged to him about recording the meeting which they were able to hear from the hallway. Because the door had a vent at the bottom, they were able to document what was going on inside with an iPhone or some other small device.
Since the meeting was audible from the hallway, it's not clear if recording it qualifies as eavesdropping, so this remains the Big Question o' the Day.
Oppo research meeting against Ashley Judd. Recorded February 2, 2013 in Louisville, KY. Read the full story here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...
Last year, David Corn at Mother Jones helped derail Mitt Romney's campaign by releasing bartender Scott Prouty's secret recording of Romney's offensive, tone deaf "47 percent" comments at a fundraiser.
Presenting David Corn tapes: The sequel.
Back in February, good old family values Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) discussed Ashley Judd's history with depression and how it might be used in a campaign. (As you know, Ashley Judd has said she will not run for Senate.) But oops, his little opposition research meeting was secretly taped, and now he wants to turn the smears into a Watergate Moment. Team McConnell wants the FBI to investigate.
But David Corn said in his Mother Jones report that the recording "wasn't the product of a Watergate-style bugging." In fact, on MSNBC just now, he called the accusations an attempt to distract by McConnell, and also said that the Senator has yet to respond to the substance of his reporting.
Ironically, it's the McConnell audio that sounds Nixonian. Just ask former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, or rather, read his tweet above.
The McConnell aides, though, raised the possibility of doing more than calling attention to Judd's well-known history; they discussed how they could make her seem a true weirdo.
Ashley Judd has responded. Via TPM:
"This is year another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C," Judd said in the statement. "We expected nothing less from Mitch McConnell and his camp to take a personal struggle such as depression, which many Americans cope with on a daily basis, and turn it into a laughing matter."
Here's how they talked about the "weirdo" who they found so amusing. This is the voice of an aide, who David Corn refers to as the meeting leader:
"She's clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced. I mean it's been documented. Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she's suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s."
You can find Corn's entire piece here, including more details, audio, and his response to McConnell's accusations.