Not just allegations of abuse. Not just the past two weeks.
It’s the past two months that just happened.
It all started in mid-March when the parents of Jamie Comer’s longtime (former) attorney/advisor/manager, Holly Harris, abruptly abandoned him for Hal Heiner. After weeks of Comer’s ego getting the better of him, refusing to accept constructive criticism, refusing to listen to anything he didn’t want to hear, he turned on Holly. That backfired in the worst way, as her parents had raised him nearly $600,000 in a matter of days. The easy money was gone. The loss of well-respected backers harmed him in a way no one could have anticipated.
It didn’t stop there. Over the course of a few weeks, Comer’s campaign machine fell apart from the inside out. Positions once held by experienced campaign operatives fell into the hands of people barely old enough to vote. Comer had stopped listening to anyone with political sense and in a fit of campaign paranoia opted to solely rely on the advice of lobbyists like Riggs Lewis. His statewide network suffered.
Rather than attempt to smooth things over with the potty trained Republican base, Comer went on a mission of trash-talking all who had abandoned him. He spent considerable amounts of time and energy attacking people like former staffer Grayson Smith. He had his lobbyists working to damage the character of Holly Harris, going so far as to have Lewis try to feed me sordid details about her. (Really? She’s a drunken mess? A degenerate single mother? Please. I’ve known the woman for a decade. That was some really low tripe. If she’d been a man, nothing of the sort would have been uttered.)
It was just dumb, scorched earth politicking at its worst. It’s the kind of thing that became commonplace for Jamie Comer and eventually tanked his campaign.
A rough timeline…
Comer started slipping in the polls.
He flip-flopped on his principles, jumping on issues he’d promised to downplay.
He continued to fall.
Everything was getting to him.
The damage was done and it started hitting home. It was clear the Harris mess was a problem. Clear his reliance on lobbyists was a problem. And members of the press had finally started talking about Marilyn Thomas.
Support in areas like Elizabethtown fell apart.
Comer was in such a froth that things like this were happening on the regular.
He started whitewashing bits and pieces of his candidacy.
While support in Central Kentucky continued to decline.
Abuse allegations were ratcheting up and Comer was struggling to find people to publicly stand beside him in once strong areas of support.
Comer, despite promises to his staff that he wouldn’t go full teabagger, turned his back on Kentucky’s poorest health care recipients on Medicaid.
His campaign staff’s inexperience manifested in the most painful manner.
The campaign shenanigans started to impact his state government office.
Despite being wishy-washy and nervous when Holly Harris pushed forward in standing up to the DEA on hemp, he decided it was time to take all credit for her work.
It couldn’t have been predicted a year prior — when Comer was probably 20 points ahead of everyone — but he was sinking in everyone’s internal polling. He was no longer the leader of the pack.
In one of the most bizarre moment during Comer’s candidacy, he released a pro-life television spot. Something he most certainly hasn’t been at any point in the past four years. He was all about women having the power to make their own informed decisions.
Jamie Comer was just hemorrhaging cash on panicked polling and advertising.
He knew he was losing his chance and went negative against Hal Heiner. Despite promises not to go negative, of course.
Hypocrisy became the name of the game for Jamie.
He embarrassed the living daylights out of everyone with his monster of a pension disaster.
Really, hypocrisy was front and center. He had the audacity to attack Hal Heiner for having former Ernie Fletcher supporters on board… while himself being surrounded by dozens of former Fletcher confidants — including main man Riggs Lewis.
His plans failed to impress.
The appearance of impropriety reared its ugly head.
Because everything was going wrong for Jamie, he and Riggs pushed a story on Sam Youngman.
He went full-tilt revisionist.
We discovered that he appeared to be coordinating with a Super PAC, something he’d hypocritically accused Hal Heiner of doing.
The dam broke. During a statewide radio debate, Comer’s performance lagged behind his colleagues. After that, he started attacking those running against him for things we proved he’d said and himself done.
The Thomas scandal grew by the minute.
It was so bad that Comer threatened to sue anyone discussing the letter Marilyn Thomas wrote. So we published the most horrifying details.
For the first time it started to look like Matt Bevin had a shot.
The Thomas scandal got worse and worse for Comer.
Nothing was going well for Comer so he had his wife appear in an ad.
Major newspapers endorsed his opponents.
When Jamie blamed everyone but himself, everyone hit back.
It was over for Jamie Comer and his puzzle pieces were no longer fitting together. The media was calling him out.
Moral of this story: It wasn’t just abuse allegations that ended Jamie Comer’s political career.
He ended it. Himself.