Kentucky Tea Party guru David Adams (former campaign manager of Rand Paul and Phil Moffett) sent out another email from his Kentucky Knows Best group that kicks more dirt on the electoral grave of David Williams, telling the Republican Party of Kentucky to ditch its effort to elect Williams, in order to save the rest of the Republicans down ticket.
Here’s the text of the email (with the subject line “Cut Him Loose Now’):
Last Chance to Save November
There are several reasons David Williams won’t be elected Governor of Kentucky in November. Voting nine times with Steve Beshear to “balance” the state budget with debt and federal stimulus funds rank high on the list. Dramatically increasing his own pension and then playing dumb when he was called on it didn’t help matters either.
We can waste time arguing about how we got into such a mess, but the fact is we are here. Republican establishment types like to talk about party loyalty at times like this, but how loyal is it to the party and its principles to lose all the down-ticket races trying to prop up a gubernatorial candidate whose fate is so clearly sealed?
Please contact Republican Party of Kentucky leadership and ask them to face reality before it is too late. The down-ticket candidates are doing what they can to separate themselves from David Williams. Forcing them to pretend Williams is leading anything in hopes they might pick up whatever crumbs he leaves behind is a horrible strategy and it will not work. Sinking more of our party’s resources into Williams helps no Republicans.
Republicans and conservatives of all stripes across Kentucky should be able to agree on rejecting Beshear’s former chief of staff in his bid to become the next state Auditor. John Kemper is our best shot at having an independent watchdog in Frankfort.
Adams doesn’t mention who the down-ticket candidates are that “are doing what they can to separate themselves from David Williams,” and the only candidate he specifically advocates helping is state auditor candidate John Kemper. Though polls have shown Kemper, a Tea Party favorite, to be as close to his opponent as any other Republican, he is considered a longshot to win due to his giant fundraising disadvantage to his opponent, Adam Edelen.
LEO Weekly contacted David Adams to ask him what his strategy is behind the email, specifically why he only singled out Kemper, despite the presence of other candidates like Bill Johnson (secretary of state) having strong tea party support.
Adams: It’s probably not the reason that you’re looking for. It was just trying to cut to the chase, that if you want to vote against Steve Beshear, vote against his chief of staff. Don’t put his chief of staff in charge of counting the beans next year if you want to have any opportunity to look in there and see what’s going on, you have to have somebody else.
LEO Weekly: But wouldn’t Bill Johnson count the votes in future elections, if he was secretary of state?
Adams: Sure, and I haven’t quite figured out how to handle any other races. But in my view, the John Kemper race is the most important one.
LEO Weekly: Was he singled out because you think that is the only winnable race, or the most winnable?
Adams: Not really. If conventional wisdom or history or anything reality-based is a guide, if Edelen’s got three quarters of $1 million, then it’s going to be real easy to predict that Kemper’s got an uphill climb. So it’s certainly not just a political calculation.
LEO Weekly: Wouldn’t the attorney general be able to hold Beshear more accountable than the auditor?
Adams: Perhaps. And we could have a discussion about that, and it may be a good discussion to have. I’d love to see this thing going any number of ways. You know, if we’re going to divert resources that would otherwise go to the Williams campaign, should they go to P’Pool, should they go to Kemper, should they go to Johnson, should they go someplace else? So the purpose of the email is more of a conversation starter than a finisher.
Conventional wisdom says that the two Republicans with the best chance of winning this November are Todd P’Pool (attorney general) and Jamie Comer (commissioner of agriculture), largely because of the vulnerability of their opponents, though they also have considerable support from both establishment Republicans and the Tea Party in Kentucky.
Whether or not the RPK shifts its focus and resources toward the down-ballot candidates, this weekend’s Courier-Journal poll showed that Tea Party support in Kentucky is starting to decline, as 79 percent of Kentuckians say that they do not consider themselves a member of the Tea Party, up from 72 percent just two months ago. And at this point, it’s questionable whether the RPK has enough resources to divert in order to save the day down-ballot, as every Democratic candidate but Farmer has built up a nice war chest, and a 30 percent beating of Williams at the top of the ticket might be too much for any Republican to overcome on Nov. 8.