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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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April 25, 2014 - 4:17 pm

The Tea Party challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is under fire for speaking at an event that supported legalized cockfighting, saying he appeared at the rally as a supporter of states’ rights.

A small-town paper, The News Journal in Corbin, Ky., broke the story earlier this month of Senate hopeful Matt Bevin’s appearance at the closed-press Gamefowl Defense Network event, billed as a “states’ rights rally” on the candidate’s itinerary.

“I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin told the paper. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”

However, undercover footage obtained by a local TV reporter at the rally was released late Thursday showing Bevin speaking after the event leader, who told the crowd that they were assembled “for the sole purpose of legalizing gamecock fighting at the state level.”

“There is not a cause, there is not an issue, nothing we believe in that we could not bring to fruition if we turn out to vote,” Bevin told the crowd of 700 cockfighting enthusiasts before being asked, “Will you vote to support the effort to legalize gamecock fighting in the state of Kentucky?”

“I support the people of Kentucky exercising their right, because it is our right to decide what it is that we want to do, and not the federal government’s. Criminalizing behavior, if it’s part of the heritage of this state, is in my opinion a bad idea. A bad idea. I will not support it,” Bevin responded to applause.

This afternoon, Bevin released a statement regarding the invitation to Corbin “to discuss my candidacy at an event where folks had gathered to address various states’ rights issues.”

“I am genuinely sorry that my attendance at an event which, other than my comments, appears to have primarily involved a discussion of cockfighting, has created concern on the part of many Kentucky voters. I understand that concern,” he said. “I am not and have never been, a supporter of cockfighting or any other forms of animal cruelty.

Bevin added that he was, however, “a strong supporter of states’ rights.”

“Regardless of any personal views on this issue, animal rights are not an enumerated power granted to the federal government under the Constitution. Such decisions should be left to each state to decide,” he continued. “I made the decision to speak at the gathering in Corbin because I support our 10th Amendment rights, not because I support or condone every topic discussed at the event.”

McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a statement that “Matt Bevin’s cockfighting episode will go down in history as one of the most disqualifying moments in Kentucky political history.”

“Twenty years from now, we will all remember the time when the East Coast con-man thought so little of Kentuckians that he pathologically lied to us about absolutely everything until an undercover camera caught him red-handed at a cockfighting rally,” she said.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I love dogs, horses...used to take the kids to the petting zoo. I loved it as much as they did.

So, I'm surprised at my own reaction. I'm having a hard time getting upset at chicken crime. In fact, if I was to visit a friendly land where this betting event took place and they brought the losers to KFC and served them to me, I am likely to be more concerned about the sodium content.

I don't know why. I know I'm supposed to care more about chicken crime. I really reacted negatively to dog fighting. And I get upset when I see horses starved and abused.

I'm not one in a rage against McConnell or Cantor. (I HAVE disowned John Boehnghazi)

But Chicken Crime is for whatever reason, not moving the needle on this primary challenge for me. I should care more...I just don't. I guess unlike Obama...I don't see dogs as food...but that IS how I see chicken.

Yeah, yeah...roosters and hens are different. But I'm not going to get sucked into that war on women fowl.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Has anyone seen Matt Bevin and Michael Vick at the same time?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
States don't have rights.
States have powers.
People have rights. (And powers.)
Where states have rights, people don't.

As for whether it should be decided at the State level whether or not to allow cockfighting, or other forms of animal bloodsports . . .
Sure.
And it is the right of every other decent human being in the rest of the United States to tell them what a bunch of depraved savages they are if they allow it.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
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He's done. Stick a fork in him.


Idiot.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just commenting on the stupidity of it.

For a politician these days to address such an obvious hot-button issue in this way is just handing a loaded gun to the enemy.

The importance of the issue of federalism is difficult to overstate, but this was not the issue to use to champion that principle.

This was just stupid. The left and the RINOs are going to beat him to death with this club, and he carved it himself and handed it to them.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"For a politician these days to address such an obvious hot-button issue in this way is just handing a loaded gun to the enemy."

And being actually pro-liberty and just mouthing platitudes is what separates the Tea Partiers from the RINOs.

"For a politician these days to address such an obvious hot-button issue in this way is just handing a loaded gun to the enemy.

And you with your blinkered attitude are helping them do it.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love dogs, horses...used to take the kids to the petting zoo. I loved it as much as they did.

So, I'm surprised at my own reaction. I'm having a hard time getting upset at chicken crime. In fact, if I was to visit a friendly land where this betting event took place and they brought the losers to KFC and served them to me, I am likely to be more concerned about the sodium content.

I don't know why. I know I'm supposed to care more about chicken crime. I really reacted negatively to dog fighting. And I get upset when I see horses starved and abused.

I'm not one in a rage against McConnell or Cantor. (I HAVE disowned John Boehnghazi)

But Chicken Crime is for whatever reason, not moving the needle on this primary challenge for me. I should care more...I just don't. I guess unlike Obama...I don't see dogs as food...but that IS how I see chicken.

Yeah, yeah...roosters and hens are different. But I'm not going to get sucked into that war on women fowl.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one who has ever toured or worked in a chicken processing plant or an egg farm could be opposed to cockfighting and be a rational person.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hope you are deeply ashamed of yourself Mrs. Johnson, for your part in this tendentious hit piece. No left MSM hack could do it better.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Bivens doesn't support cockfighting, but supports their right to legalize it if they can. If there is any "states rights" issue here, it is that it is incontestable to the wise and honest that no federal statute should deal with it.

I am unaware that the attitude, "I detest what you write, but will defend to the death your right to write it!" came with the caveat, "unless it's about cockfighting."

How soon, if the supposed right to dispose of and to risk your property as you see fit, is abandoned by the Right in small, will that loss stay small?

What argument can be made against cockfighting, which cannot be made against bow hunting, or any hunting?

A National Geographic--quite the lefty stalwart these days, along with Scientific American--I looked at just yesterday, contained the impassioned pleas of whackjobs to end the legality of owning any pet but a cat or a dog--and I'm not sure the whackjobs wanted to stop there.

Compared to McConnell, I have no problem with Bivens. Who's done more harm, who's more likely to?

While MCConnell was on watch, we got to the point of Reagan's compromise on immigration again (I hope not all the way), the Reagan era tax reforms were undone, the Gingrich welfare reforms eliminated, Bush got no support for reforming Social Security, and Medicare D happened.

In a lot of ways, that's the least of it.

I think I'm going to go cut Bivens a check.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeesh. McConnell is bad but Bevins has been caught supporting TARP, before he was against it, and now c0ck fighting?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact you didn't read the hit piece to the point of learning that Bevins does not support cockfighting, helps it make sense you think we should pay attention to how Bevins was once in one way similar to McConnell...you pay no mind to how they are different. You are a low information voter.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, it seems Bevins' company evaluated TARP, and as an employee he signed off on the evaluation. There is no evidence available at this time to the effect he personally liked the idea.

Do you have something else, or are you just okay with what you've "heard", say from Mitch?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was thinking I had donated to Bevin's campaign as I can't stand McConnell, but searched my email and didn't find anything. Thank God.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Has anyone seen Matt Bevin and Michael Vick at the same time?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mitch McConnell and his mouthful of marbles is as useful in the fight against totalitarianism as a screen door is on a submarine.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
States don't have rights.
States have powers.
People have rights. (And powers.)
Where states have rights, people don't.

As for whether it should be decided at the State level whether or not to allow cockfighting, or other forms of animal bloodsports . . .
Sure.
And it is the right of every other decent human being in the rest of the United States to tell them what a bunch of depraved savages they are if they allow it.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
They should probably convert to Islam where they would be more at home.

I was thinking I had donated to Bevin's campaign, but searched my email and didn't find anything. Thank God.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The totalitarian impulse runs rampant, left and "right". Just liberty is all but nowhere respected.

From what I can read here, it's you who'd fit better on a prayer rug.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because I don't believe in cruelty for it's own sake so that some frenzied mob of soulless sickos like Michael Vick can get off on it? You are one servilely twisted person and you seem to know very little about Islam too.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You are one servilely twisted person":

Says the dolt licking Putin's boots every chance he gets.

" you seem to know very little about Islam too"

I expect I know more than you do, since you think there's any co-relationship to cockfighting and Islam.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Because I don't believe in cruelty for it's own sake"

Like I said, you'll be trying to prohibit hunting next. The totalitarian impulse.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tom, please take basic logic class.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mark, please show you have any actual counterargument. Both are bloodsports, and one isn't any ickier than the other.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
One can be opposed to cockfighting and not even consider outlawing hunting or owning pets.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're very weird.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I take liberty seriously, and do not confuse it with libertarianism. That makes me sadly unusual.

My other candidate reply was, "Says the person who seems to have named themselves online after a comic book character, or something."
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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