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McConnell Pays Expenses if You Show Up, Cheer

GOP covers meals and lodging in exchange for enthusiasm
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2014 3:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mitch McConnell is in what the Courier-Journal of Louisville calls the "fight of his political life" against Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, with the newspaper's latest poll showing them in a statistical dead heat. No surprise, then, that the Senate minority leader hopes to have his campaign events jam-packed with loud and happy supporters. So much so that that the state Republican party is offering to bus supporters around with McConnell for three days this week, with meals, lodging, and transportation included, reports the Hill.

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"You would join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events," reads an email sent out to prospective campaign groupies. Democrats accuse McConnell of trying to "purchase grassroots support" and say it smacks of desperation. Crowds at Grimes' events tend to be strong and energetic, but she continues to be dogged by her ties to President Obama in a state where his approval ratings are anemic. She served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, for example, but refuses to say whether she voted for the president, notes MSNBC. Bill Clinton was back in the state this afternoon campaigning for her. (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)

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