Politics
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  

Tea party group accuses McConnell campaign of ‘childish’ behavior

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A tea party group in Kentucky is accusing the campaign of Mitch McConnell, the state’s senior Republican senator, of “childish” behavior ahead of the annual rowdy Fancy Farm political picnic this weekend.

In an email sent to supporters Thursday, the Northern Kentucky Tea Party said McConnell’s campaign is behind a ploy to intentionally keep Republicans from hearing his new primary opponent, Matt Bevin, speak at Fancy Farm on Saturday.

“We have just been advised that maybe Senator Mitch McConnell has made arrangements for the GOP sponsored buses to leave for home IMMEDIATELY after the ‘elected’ politicians speak at Fancy Farm,” the email obtained by The Daily Caller read.

“This may mean that anyone riding the bus will not get to hear Mr. Matt Bevin, Mitch McConnell ‘Senatorial Nuisance,’ speak.”

Bevin, a Kentucky business who is relatively unknown in the political world, entered the Republican primary against McConnell last week.

The Northern Kentucky Tea Party added: “This is a typical childish underhanded power play on Mitch McConnell’s part!”

But asked about the transportation arrangements, McConnell campaign spokesman Jesse Benton explained that the buses are “paid for directly by our campaign and will be filled with avid McConnell supporters.”

Benton said the buses carrying McConnell supporters will depart the event before people like Bevin or Ed Marksberry, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, address the crowd.

“We have no interest in having Republicans heckle or boo Mr. Bevin, so they will depart after the elected officials speak, but before Mr. Marksberry and Mr. Bevin speak,” Benton said in an email.

The Fancy Farm, Ky. barbecue picnic is referred to by organizers as “Kentucky’s inaugural event for the statewide fall political season.” Politicos travel from all over the state for the event, which is known for getting particularly rowdy when the politicians speak.

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