Kentucky Democratic Senate Primary Payoff Scandal

If allegations are correct, there is more than one way to win a primary election in the good ole state of Kentucky.

Kentucky Republicans have requested US Attorney David Hale to launch an investigation into the reported payoff scheme of Democrats vying for the chance to face off against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Democratic US Senate Candidate Ed Marksberry said he was offered favors if he would pull out of the primary race against Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky Secretary of State.

In a letter that Marksberry gave to, he was approached by Grime’s father Jerry Lundergan, former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party expressing concern about Marksberry’s role in the primary race.  Then Marksberry reported that a third party individual told him that if he withdrew from the primary and Grimes defeated McConnell to win the Senate seat that he would be owed a favor if he ever needed it.  Marksberry wrote:

“Whatever that means, I don’t know.  But I took it that if I ever needed some help in the future, I could call in my political equity with him.”

Wanting to see Grimes defeat McConnell, Marksberry said he contacted Jonathan Hurst, a Senior Advisor for Grimes’ campaign and proposed:

“If they would agree to find a spot on their campaign for my manager and pay off my web designer debt, then I would happily abide by their request.”

Initially Hurst ‘freaked out’ when Marksberry approached him about the favor promised by the third party individual, but once he calmed down, things were worked out.  Marksberry explained:

“We had a deal, we didn’t have a deal and then we had a deal.  I didn’t like what I just witnessed; they showed a lack of being cool under pressure and made me feel like a cheap prostitute.”

Marksberry said that he didn’t feel right about the deal and ended up backing out of the deal even though he withdraw from this year’s Democratic primary.  The ordeal seems to have stirred his ire as he now says he’ll run for the US Senate seat anyway but as an Independent and not a Democrat.

Of course, Grimes’ campaign is denying all of Marksberry’s allegations.  They are trying to discredit him by claiming that he initially lied about the supposed deal telling a local news station that nothing happened.  His denial was made before he decided to go public with his story.

Steve Robertson, Chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party said that the favors outlined in Marksberry’s letter violate federal law.  He wrote in his letter to US Attorney Hale:

“Mr. Marksberry’s account could not be more clear: This constitutes a promise of private employment by, at the very least, Secretary Grimes’ agents in exchange for her federal candidacy in violation of (the law).”

I live in Kentucky where unfortunately liberal Democrats control much of the state politics.  Our Democratic Governor Steve Beshear is such a loyal Obamanite it’s pathetic.  As Secretary of State, Grimes is very much a part of the same state political machine as Beshear.  It will be very interesting to see what happens and if in fact Grime’s campaign is guilty of violating federal laws.  Hopefully it will be enough to kill her chances of running for the US Senate seat of McConnell.  I’m not a huge McConnell fan, but I don’t want to see the Democrats gain any seats in the Senate this year.