Witness says political activists behind McConnell office recording


by Adam Walser


Posted on April 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 13 at 12:04 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A new twist about that secret recording made inside Mitch McConnell's Louisville campaign office. We have learned who may have been behind that tape, and we have heard from the attorney of one of the men accused.

Public radio station WFPL was the first to break this story Thursday afternoon.

WHAS11 was able to confirm it through their main source, Jefferson County Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Conway.

Rather than a high tech bugging of McConnell's headquarters, it appears what actually happened was that two McConnell opponents simply recorded a secret conversation from behind a closed door.

“I didn't think anything of it,” Jefferson county democratic spokesperson Jacob Conway said.

He says he has known for months about a recording leaked this week involving a secret strategy session held at Senator Mitch McConnell's campaign office.

“They told me the day it happened. It was told to me by them, Mr. Reilly and Mr. Morrison,” Conway said.

Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, two Louisville political activists formerly associated with the liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky, which states its main goal is to defeat McConnell.

“It should not be a reflection on our party nor should it be a reflection on our candidates,” Conway said.

Conway said one of the men held the recorder to the bottom of a door vent, while the other held the elevator in McConnell's office building in case they needed to make a quick escape.

“They didn't tell me why they did it. I don' t know anything like that. They just got overwhelmed and recorded it. And in today’s world, you have recording devices everywhere you go,” Conway said.

The session was held in early February, hours after McConnell held an open house at campaign headquarters.

During the secret meeting, McConnell's aids discussed exploiting weaknesses in potential rival Ashley Judd, including her liberal views and perceived emotional instability.

The tape received national attention when it was posted by Mother Jones' website earlier this week.

It has also sparked an FBI investigation at McConnell's request.

“I honestly wish this story would go away and we could get back to talking about the real stuff that's facing our country. That's what he wants this to be a news story though. That's why the senator wants it to be a news story,” Conway said.

The attorney for Shawn Reilly, Ted Shouse, held a press conference Thursday, saying his client is completely innocent of any criminal wrongdoing.

“We have in the last three days provided what we know to be material support and information to the FBI in their efforts to locate Curtis Morrison, who is, if anyone, guilty
of criminal activity in this case,” Shouse said.

We called Morrison's cell phone, but didn't hear back from him.

McConnell's campaign manager declined to comment about the latest developments, deferring to the FBI.