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Revision as of 11:57, 20 August 2013

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell.jpg
U.S. Senate, Kentucky
Incumbent
In office
1985-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 29
PartyRepublican
PredecessorSam Brownback (D)
Leadership
Senate Minority Leader
2007-Present
Compensation
Base salary$193,400/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$26,973,164
Term limitsN/A
Education
High schoolduPont Manual High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Louisville
J.D.University of Kentucky Law School, Lexington
Personal
BirthdayFebruary 20, 1942
Place of birthTuscumbia, Alabama
ProfessionAttorney
Net worth$27,306,524
ReligionBaptist
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell (b. February 20, 1942, in Tuscumbia, Alabama) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Kentucky and currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader. McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984.[1]

McConell previously worked as the Deputy U.S. Attorney for Legislative Affairs from 1974 to 1975 and as a judge-executive of Jefferson County, Kentucky from 1979 to 1985.[1]

McConnell is running for re-election to a sixth term to the U.S. Senate in 2014.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, McConnell is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

Biography

McConnell was born in 1942 in Tuscambia, Alabama, but was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He earned his B.A. from the University of Louisville in 1964 and his J.D. from the University of Kentucky Law School, Lexington in 1967.[3]

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of McConnell's professional and political career[1]:

  • Deputy U.S. Attorney for Legislative Affairs, 1974-1975
  • Judge-Executive of Jefferson County, KY, 1979-1985
  • U.S. Senate, 1985-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

McConnell serves on the following Senate committees[4]:

  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Rules and Administration Committee

2011-2012

McConnell served on the following Senate committees[5]:

Issues

Controversy

Release of strategy session recordings

A controversial Super PAC, Progress Kentucky--formed in December 2012 to oppose the re-election of Sen. McConnell in 2014 mid-term elections, claimed responsibility for the secret taping of an inflammatory strategy session held by McConnell.[6]

Leaders from Progress Kentucky allegedly taped campaign workers and McConnell himself at a February meeting during which several staffers made disparaging remarks about actress Ashley Judd, who briefly considered challenging McConnell.[6] Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, who founded Progress Kentucky, released information regarding how they managed to recorded the secret strategy session.[6]

On February 2, McConnell opened his campaign headquarters in the Watterson Office Park in Louisville and invited trusted Republican activists and select media outlets to an open house.[7][6] The event lasted roughly two hours. Afterward, McConnell and several campaign advisors held a strategy session in an office meeting room. Morrison and Reilly did not attend the open house, but stated that they arrived later and were able to hear the meeting from the hallway.[7]

The audio of the meeting, in which the campaign discussed potential candidate Ashley Judd’s mental health and other strategies, was eventually leaked to Mother Jones magazine.[8]

In response to the situation, the McConnell campaign immediately requested the FBI investigate the matter, and FBI officials met with McConnell staffers on April 10, 2013.[8] McConnell's campaign manager Jesse Benton released a statement on behalf of the campaign stating, "...reports that left-wing activists illegally recorded a private meeting inside our campaign headquarters are very disturbing. At this point, we understand that the FBI is immersed in an intensive criminal investigation and must defer any further comment to them."[8]

Political positions

Presidential preference

2012

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Mitch McConnell endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [9]

Fiscal cliff negotiations

In October of 2010, McConnell told the National Journal in a phone interview that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”[10] The quote reverberated through the psyche of the Democratic party, dovetailing with rising concerns about the governing intentions of the tea party plunging Republican leadership into a call to arms that carried over until President Obama's victory over GOP nominee Mitt Romney on November 6, 2012. Since McConnell's now famous words failed as prophecy (but succeeded as motivation for Democrats to re-elect Obama) he has shown a redoubled effort to criticize the job performance of Democratic Senators and the Obama administration, particularly with regard to negotiating a deal to mitigate the impact of the looming "fiscal cliff." McConnell rejected a recent proposal from the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that included a $50 billion spending boost in the coming year. “The president is out continuing to campaign, the secretary of the treasury is coming in here and making completely unrealistic proposals and the majority leader is out trying to blow the Senate up at a time when we ought to be trying to narrow our differences and come together and do something important for the country," he later lamented to the press.[2]

McConnell is considered an establishment Republican during a time of internal recalibration for the party. The shift began after the 2010 midterm elections saw several stalwart moderate Republicans overhauled by tea party conservatives. As such, his record of cutting deals across the aisle, specifically the three stage debt deal he made with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that came to a head last year, makes McConnell a potential target for a tea party challenge in 2014, when he plans to seek a sixth-term in office. The possible threat has some critics from both parties speculating that the 70 year old Minority Leader's recent behavior on the topic of the fiscal cliff is a calculated effort to advance his chances for re-election. Supporting this theory are numbers showing Obama won just over 3% of Kentucky's 120 counties in the 2012 general election, despite there being significantly more registered Democrats than Republican voters in Kentucky. McConnell's outspoken contempt for the Democrats in this round of fiscal cliff compromise discussions could effectively mollify conservative skeptics within his party at little to no detriment to his standing among Democratic voters next election.[2]

Fiscal Cliff vote

Voted "Yes" McConnell voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists were critical of President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[12][13][14]

McConnell was 1 of the 13 Republican senators who joined Paul in his filibuster.[15][16]

According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster.[17][18]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[19]

Elections


Mitch McConnell, "Demand Answers"

2014

See also: United States Senate elections in Kentucky, 2014

A news report released on November 30, 2012 featured McConnell stating his intentions to seek re-election to a sixth term in 2014. “I’m running. Read my lips, I’m running,” he said.[2] McConnell's re-election prospects looked grim as of the following January, when Politico reported that a coalition of influential Democratic individuals and organizations had formed around a strategy to assist tea party activists in the search and campaign for a Republican primary challenger to defeat McConnell, or at least weaken him for battle in the general election. The Democratic party already has a voter registration advantage in Kentucky, and party members involved in the strategy believe that by lending financial and organizational support to a formidable primary challenge, they can truly maximize their chances of electing a Democrat to the U.S. Senate seat. "What we’re finding — at least in this stage of the race — we’re finding that our interests align. It’s unusual," reasoned Keith Rouda, a field organizer with the liberal group MoveOn and the Democratic super PAC, Progress Kentucky.[20]

Campaign manager

McConnell's 2014 campaign manager, Jesse Benton, was recorded as telling an Iowa activist during a phone call in January 2013:

"Between you and me, I’m sort of holding my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in ’16, so that’s my long vision."[21]

In response, the campaign's official Twitter account posted a picture of Benton and McConnell with Benton holding his nose and the caption: "Nothing smells worse than #Obamacare! #NoseGate"[22]

Endorsements

TheTeaParty.net, a national tea party group, declared its support for McConnell in 2014.[23] The endorsement will help him defend himself as some tea party activists are searching for a primary challenger against him during his 2014 reelection campaign.[23] Niger Innis, the chief strategist of TheTeaParty.net said, “With the new revelations that the IRS has been targeting Tea Party groups, we need Sen. McConnell more than ever. He was sounding the alarm about the government’s assault on our First Amendment rights years ago, even when it fell on deaf ears. We all owe Sen. McConnell a debt for his vision and courage.”[23]

Polls

McConnell v. Grimes (May 2014 - Present)
Poll Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) Ed Marksberry (I)Mitch McConnell (R)David Patterson (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Voter/Consumer Research
June 22-25, 2014
42%0%49%0%9%+/-3.5807
Public Policy Polling
June 20-22, 2014
48%0%46%0%6%+/-3.8682
Public Opinion Strategies
June 14-17, 2014
43%0%48%0%9%+/-3.46800
Magellan Strategies
June 4-5, 2014
49%0%46%0%5%+/-3.45808
Rasmussen Reports
May 28-29, 2014
41%0%48%0%7%+/-4.0750
Wenzel Strategies
May 23-24, 2014
44%0%47%0%8%+/-3.95608
SurveyUSA
May 14-16, 2014
43%4%42%4%7%+/-2.61,475
NBC News/Marist
April 30 - May 6, 2014
45%0%46%0%8%+/-2.02,353
AVERAGES 44.38% 0.5% 46.5% 0.5% 7.38% +/-3.35 1,035.38
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


McConnell v. Grimes (December 2013 - April 2014)
Poll Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) Ed Marksberry (I)Mitch McConnell (R)UndecidedSomeone elseMargin of ErrorSample Size
Hickman Analytics
April 24-30, 2014
45%0%46%9%0%+/-4.4500
Gravis Marketing/Human Events
April 15-17, 2014
36%9%43%12%0%+/-3.01,359
Kaiser Foundation
April 8-15, 2014
43%0%44%3%8%+/-4.01,026
Public Policy Polling
April 1-2, 2014
45%0%44%12%0%+/-3.8663
Wenzel Strategies
February 8-11, 2014
42%0%43%15%0%+/-3.061,002
Survey USA
January 30-February 4, 2014
47%0%42%12%0%+/-4.91,082
Rasmussen Reports
January 29-30, 2014
42%0%42%10%6%+/-4.5500
Public Policy Polling
January 24-26, 2014
44%0%45%11%0%+/-3.9640
Gravis Marketing/Human Events
January 2, 2014
37%8%42%13%0%+/-4.0683
Public Policy Polling
December 12-15, 2013
42%0%43%15%0%+/-4.21,509
AVERAGES 42.3% 1.7% 43.4% 11.2% 1.4% +/-3.98 896.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


McConnell v. Grimes (April 2013 - October 2013)
Poll Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) Mitch McConnell (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
DFM Research
October 21-27, 2013
40%41%19%+/-4.4600
Lake Research
Ocotber 24-29, 2013
37%37%19%+/-4.0603
Public Policy Polling
October 14-15, 2013
45%43%12%+/-2.81,193
Lake Research
August 5-15, 2013
46%40%14%+/-1.45,000
Wenzel Strategies
July 23-24, 2013
40%48%12%+/-3.9624
Melman Group
July 20-24, 2013
44%42%14%+/-3.9750
Public Policy Polling
July 19-21, 2013
45%44%11%+/-2.81,210
Wenzel Strategies
June 1-2, 2013
40%47%14%+/-3.9623
Public Policy Polling
May 23-34, 2013
45%45%10%+/-4.2556
Public Policy Polling
April 4-7, 2013
41%45%14%+/-5.51,052
AVERAGES 42.3% 43.2% 13.9% +/-3.68 1,221.1
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for McConnell is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, McConnell raised a total of $26,973,164 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[29]

Mitch McConnell's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (Kentucky) Won $20,991,678
2002 U.S. Senate (Kentucky) Won $5,981,486
Grand Total Raised $26,973,164

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are McConnell's reports.[30]

Mitch McConnell (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[31]4/15/2013$7,383,877.63$1,829,561.34$(572,576.13)$8,640,862.84
July Quarterly[32]7/15/2013$8,640,862.84$2,203,364.34$(1,266,897.60)$9,577,329.58
Running totals
$4,032,925.68$(1,839,473.73)

2013

Top recipients of lobbyist contributions

On a list of Top 10 Recipients of Contributions from Lobbyists in 2013 from Open Secrets, McConnell ranked 4th on the list with $84,700 in lobbyist contributions.[33]

2008

Breakdown of the source of McConnell's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

McConnell won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that election cycle, McConnell's campaign committee raised a total of $20,991,678 and spent $21,334,523.[34]

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, McConnell is a "moderate Republican leader, " as of June 21, 2013.[35]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[36]

McConnell most often votes with:

McConnell least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, McConnell missed 81 of 9,537 roll call votes from Jan 1985 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 0.8%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[37]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. McConnell paid his congressional staff a total of $2,482,775 in 2011. He ranks 28th on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 31st overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Kentucky ranks 40th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[38]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, McConnell's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $9,946,049 and $44,667,000. That averages to $27,306,524, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth increased by 0.34% from 2010.[39]

2010

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, McConnell's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $9,839,049 and $44,587,000. That averages to $27,213,024.50, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[40]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

2012

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. McConnell ranked 15th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[41]

2011

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. McConnell ranked 11th in the conservative rankings among U.S. Senators.[42]

Voting with party

2013

Mitch McConnell voted with the Republican Party 90% of the time, which ranked 18th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[43]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Mitch + McConnell + Kentucky + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Personal

McConnell has been married to his wife, Elaine Chao, since 1993. He has three daughters from a previous marriage.[44]

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bioguide "Mitch McConnell" Accessed June 21, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Star Telegram, "Mitch McConnell has one eye on Obama, another on 2014," November 30, 2012
  3. Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Mitch McConnell," Accessed October 20, 2011
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  5. U.S. Senate Official Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed October 20, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 NY Daily News "Liberal group Progress Kentucky behind Mitch McConnell campaign recordings, Democratic official says" Accessed April 11, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 WFPL "Source: Progress Kentucky Behind Mitch McConnell Campaign Recording" Accessed April 11, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Politico "Progress Kentucky official resigns" Accessed April 11, 2013
  9. MSNBC, "Boehner, McConnell endorse Romney for president," April 17, 2012
  10. RealClearPolitics, "The mythology of Obama's obstacles," September 27, 2012
  11. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  12. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  13. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  14. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  15. The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
  16. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
  17. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
  18. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  19. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  20. Politico, "Democrats, tea party unite vs. Mitch McConnell," January 28, 2013
  21. Politico, "Blog: Mitch McConnell campaign chief 'holding my nose,'" August 8, 2013
  22. Twitter, "Team_Mitch," August 8, 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Politico "Targeted Tea Party Group Endorses Mitch McConnell" Accessed May 14, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1990," accessed March 28, 2013
  28. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  29. Open Secrets "Mitch McConnell" Accessed April 3, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission "Mitch McConnell 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 24, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed July 26, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed July 26, 2013
  33. Open Secrets "Top Recipients of Lobbyists Cash in 2013" Accessed July 3, 2013
  34. Open Secrets "Chris McConnell 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed March 1, 2013
  35. Gov Track "Mitch McConnell," Accessed June 21, 2013
  36. OpenCongress, "Rep. Mitch McConnell," Accessed August 2, 2013
  37. GovTrack, "Mitch McConnell," Accessed March 29, 2013
  38. LegiStorm "Mitch McConnell"
  39. OpenSecrets.org, "McConnell, (R-KY), 2011"
  40. OpenSecrets.org, "McConnell, (R-Kentucky), 2010"
  41. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  42. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  43. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  44. Official Senate Page "Biography," Accessed October 20, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Huddleston
U.S. Senate - Kentucky
1985-Present
Succeeded by
-