John Cheves has uncovered a perfect example of the sickening misdeeds and terrible leadership of Mitch McConnell.
While McConnell opposing USDA inspectors for the Tennessee Walking Horse industry may not seem like a big deal on the surface, we encourage you to read up.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pressured the U.S. Department of Agriculture for years to back off its enforcement of the Horse Protection Act, even threatening to cut the agency’s funding, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Leader.
McConnell has supported the Tennessee Walking Horse industry in its battle against USDA inspectors who look for evidence of soring, the illegal practice of deliberately injuring a horse’s front feet to get it to step higher in an exaggerated style known as “the Big Lick.”
At the same time, the industry gave McConnell tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and hired his Senate chief of staff, Niels Holch, as its Washington lobbyist and attorney.
Holch, the McConnell aide turned lobbyist, declined to comment.
In a curt 1998 letter to the USDA, McConnell said the industry was upset about government inspectors — the industry canceled an important horse show, he said — and he warned the agency that he would cut its horse-protection budget for the next year if it didn’t give primary authority for soring inspections to the industry.
And this is the guy Kentucky wants as its United States Senator?
Meanwhile, McConnell’s opponent has done nothing but discuss gas prices. Nothing about Iraq, McConnell’s ties to Red China, nothing about his USDA threats, nothing about his corrupt involvement with the Bush Administration. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
We are reluctant to criticize Bruce Lunsford, whom we consider a friend and all-around good guy. But. We’re two months out from election day. If something doesn’t happen as soon as possible, it will start becoming clear that Bruce Lunsford is only in this race to force McConnell to spend his wad of millions in Kentucky. If the Lunsford campaign doesn’t stop vetting every single word ever uttered by Bruce, progressives and other Democrats are going to start giving up in droves.
Contrary to popular belief amongst Democratic leadership, voters ARE paying attention right now. Kentuckians aren’t dumb hillbillies who don’t have a clue about what’s going on. They’re consuming and digesting everything that comes out of this senate race. And they’re left wanting more.
It’s time to step up to the plate. Maybe not time for the bloodied, red meat of the final two weeks of the race. But it’s almost a month too late to start framing McConnell. It’s nearly too late to begin typecasting him as the problem. Playing nice just doesn’t work.