A nonpartisan organization that favors public financing for U.S. elections is targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accusing the lawmaker of being more concerned about keeping his seat than creating new jobs for Kentuckians.
Though his re-election bid is another two years away, it has been noted that McConnell ended last year with $4.2 million in the bank and raised more than $1 million in the final quarter. It is expected the Republican leader will have over $25 million to fend off any potential challenger whether in the 2014 primary or general election.
Public Campaign Action Fund Executive Director David Donnelly criticized McConnell after it was reported he spends considerable time soliciting contributions after Senate business is complete. He says McConnell’s comments about removing the president from office demonstrate where his priorities are.
“Mitch McConnell has said his ‘top priority’ is making President Obama a one-term president and now it seems his second priority is raising big money for his re-election three years away. I imagine the people of Kentucky want to know whether they’re third, fourth, or even further down his list,” he says.
While several opponents are likely to go after McConnell’s massive fundraising effort as a sign that he’s distracted or not concerned about Kentucky’s jobless rate, his office announced earlier this week that a bill he sponsored was signed by Mr. Obama into law and would save jobs in Kentucky and others states as a result.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Obama praised the McConnell bill while discussing trade practices in China. But campaign finance watchdogs say that McConnell’s opposition to campaign finance reform helped lead to the controversial Citizens United decision and that they plan to run several ads highlighting that record in his home state.
“With his opposition to common sense limits on special interest influence on our elections, Mitch McConnell is big money’s best friend,” says Donnelly. “His record of favors for campaign donors shows us all how McConnell’s vision is for elections of, by, and for corporate interests, and we intend to relentlessly share example after example back home in Kentucky.”
The McConnell campaign could not be reached for comment.