“Members of the Democratic group Kentucky Progress were behind a leaked recording of a private conversation among Sen. Mitch McConnell and his campaign staff about potential rivals, a local Democrat alleges.
“The tape was not made by bugging the Republican senator’s office but by standing in the hallway while the conversation occurred, Jacob Conway, a member of the executive committee of the Louisville/Jefferson County Democratic Party, told Louisville news station WFPL.”
The publication that ran the recorded conversation, Mother Jones, says it did not know the origin of the tape. Republicans are pointing to a report that left-wing groups met to plot out their attack strategy and that a non-editorial Mother Jones employee attended. However, there is no evidence that any particular escapade was discussed at the meeting. (Rather it smacks of the sort of JournoList conduct, a blurring of lefty pundits and Democratic operatives, we’ve seen before.)
The National Republican Senate Committee is going bonkers over the report. Communications director Brad Dayspring tells me, “It is looking increasingly likely that this was a coordinated hit by the left and it’s telling that the DNC and DSCC remain silent about what they knew about the illegal tape and when they knew it.” He reiterated, “It’s an ongoing criminal investigation, and now that reports suggest Kentucky Democrats were aware of this in February, the DSCC and the DNC should be clear about when they found out about the illegal recording and what they found out about it.”
According to Republican operatives, a series of events that all transpired on the same day: left-wing Public Policy Polling released a Kentucky Senate poll, Majority PAC released a microsite attacking McConnell, and Mother Jones posted their story featuring what appears to be illegally obtained audio, quickly followed by DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil tweeting about the McConnell staff involved. A couple of days later CREW (which attended the liberal group confab referred to above) filed a complaint against McConnell based on the tape. Well, let’s just say they all sing from the same hymnal.
Meanwhile, the purported Democratic taper(s) at the left-wing group may be in a heap of trouble since recording without consent is illegal under both state and federal law. McConnell is about the luckiest man alive, and any Dem who now attacks will carry the burden of his or her party’s dirty tricks. If this were a right-wing plot against a top Democrat there would be wall-to-wall coverage on the cable networks and front-page coverage with the magazine involved taking a beating, but don’t expect too much coverage from the MSM or commentary or much of anything from the lefty pundits, who were only interested in the tape’s contents. Like Benghazi, Libya, in their minds’ if they don’t cover it, it’s not news. Gee, you’d think the “media critics” would notice that egregious bias.