Several grassroots conservative groups promised they would challenge so-called “establishment Republicans” in the upcoming primaries, and many are making good on their threats: Among them, the Senate Conservatives Fund, which lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a new web ad on Wednesday that labels him a “bully.”
In fact, that is the title of the ad, ABC News reported, adding that the ad draws parallels between McConnell, of Kentucky, and the IRS scandal of last year, in which scores of Tea Party and conservative political action groups underwent extra scrutiny after they applied for tax-exempt status.
The ad, which further claims that McConnell has been “bullying” conservatives, debuted a day after the Senate minority leader introduced a bill that would prevent the IRS from enacting regulations which could restrict the way political action groups on both sides of the aisle engage in political activities.
The SCF’s chosen candidate is Matt Bevin. The Senate fund noted that it putting $100,000 behind the web ad and said it planned to send it to its email list of about 1 million people around the country. Bevin is a businessman and former financial consultant.
The SFC is an outside grassroots organization that has no affiliation to the Republican Party or GOP campaign committees. The group has already spent $1.2 million in the Kentucky race in support of Bevin, ABC News reported.
In the web ad, McConnell is accused of trying to “silence conservatives” and attempting “to intimidate conservative Matt Bevin to stop him from running.” The ad goes onto label McConnell as “desperate” and says he is “headed for defeat in November.”
“McConnell is unpopular in Kentucky because he doesn’t stand for anything,” the narrator says. “His ideology is power.”
As for Bevin, he has become embroiled in a controversy of his own in recent days.
While he has positioned himself as a small-government conservative, Bevin, according to local reports, has come under fire for signing his name to documents that praised government bailouts.
Bevin has made McConnell’s support of government bailouts in 2008 and 2009 a central tenet of his campaign.
According to Politico, Bevin and Daniel Bandi, the chief investment officer and vice president of Bevin's Veracity Funds, signed their names to a 2008 letter to investors that the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, bailout and government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were positive developments.
“Most of the positive developments have been government-led, such as the effective nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the passage of the $700 billion TARP (don't call it a bailout) and the Federal Reserve's intention to invest in commercial paper," Bevin and Bandi wrote in the letter, which the Herald-Leader obtained Tuesday. "These moves should help to stabilize asset prices and help to ease liquidity constraints in the financial system.”
Bevin personally signed the investor letters, reports noted.
Tuesday morning, in an interview with conservative radio host Glenn Beck, Bevin explained:
“There has been no change of heart because I didn't actually sign that thing, or I'm sorry, didn't actually even write that letter. The letter I did not write. I did not write any of the letters that were ever published as investment commentary for Veracity Funds. I was the president and chairman of the board and by SEC laws was required to sign prospectuses when they were sent out.”
He added that it would not have been appropriate for him to change the wording of Bandi’s letter.