The story went mainstream.
From our earlier story:
Rumor has it that Jim Bunning is so spitting mad that he’s telling people he’ll just resign and let Steve (Beshear) appoint someone.How bout them apples?
And can you even IMAGINE?
UPDATE: Spoke with one of Bunning’s staffers and they don’t deny it. WTF. Granted, it only means he probably said it. But was it in frustration or was he serious?
Whattya know? We were spot-on. Here’s the latest from Joe Gerth and Jim Carroll, who have been burning the phones up ever since our story went live:
Already in conflict with his party’s leaders, Sen. Jim Bunning has reportedly said privately that if he is hindered in raising money for his re-election campaign he is ready with a response that would be politically devastating for Senate Republicans: his resignation.
The Kentucky Republican suggested that possible scenario at a campaign fundraiser for him on Capitol Hill earlier this week, according to three sources who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of Bunning’s remarks.
The implication, they said, was that Bunning would allow Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, to appoint his replacement — a move that could give Democrats the 60 votes they need to block Republican filibusters in the Senate.
“I would get the last laugh. Don’t forget Kentucky has a Democrat governor,” one of the sources quoted Bunning as saying.
“The only logical extension of that comment is, ‘(anger) me … enough and I’ll resign, and then you’ve got 60 Democrats,’ ” said another source who was present at the event.
I’ll tell you who my sources are: Jim Bunning’s staff, folks at the NRSC and a well-known McConnell staffer. The same ones who have been peddling ALL negative Bunning stories lately.
Bunning is now denying the statement, but his own staffers tell us it’s true, that he actually said it, as we reported earlier.
The end is nigh.
UPDATE: No, Reid Wilson, Bunning’s comments were NOT first reported by the Courier-Journal.