Skip to comments.After attending pro-cockfighting rally, Senate candidate Matt Bevin says it's a state issue
Posted on 04/02/2014 3:50:24 PM PDT by smoothsailing
April 2, 2014
Matt Bevin, left, is challenging incumbent Mitch McConnell in the
race to be the GOP's nominee in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin believes the legality of cockfighting should be decided by states and not the federal government, his spokeswoman said Wednesday following a news report that Bevin attended a pro-cockfighting rally over the weekend.
"Matt doesn't believe this is a federal issue, and the state government can handle it," said Rachel Semmel, Bevin's spokeswoman.
The News Journal in Corbin reported Wednesday that Bevin, who is seeking to defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the May 20 primary, spoke to about 700 people at an event in Corbin last Saturday that was organized by Michael Devereaux, director of the Gamefowl Defense Network.
Bevin told the newspaper that he didn't know he had attended a pro-cockfighting rally, although organizers told the paper there was "never any ambiguity" about the purpose of the event, which was to rally support for changing laws that outlaw cockfighting.
Bevin said he though the event was a rally for states' rights. He spoke to the crowd in the morning before attending the county's Lincoln Day dinner that night.
"I was the first person to speak and then I left," Bevin said. "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."
Semmel's statement about Bevin's belief that cockfighting is a state issue came in response to a question about whether the candidate supports the controversial practice, in which two roosters often fight to the death in a ring called a cockpit. She did not respond to a follow-up question asking again whether Bevin personally supports the practice.
The McConnell campaign, which has repeatedly accused Bevin of dishonesty, was skeptical that Bevin didn't know the purpose of Saturday's event.
"Only Matt Bevin would go to a cockfighting rally and claim he didn't know what they were doing there," McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said.
As the Herald-Leader reported in February, McConnell enraged cockfighting enthusiasts when he voted earlier this year in favor of farm legislation that contained an amendment making it a federal crime to be a spectator at an animal fight. In response, a McConnell spokesman said a representative of the senator's would be willing to sit with the group and hear their concerns.
The new law makes attending a cockfight or dogfight a federal misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and $100,000 fine. It makes bringing a minor to such fights a federal felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The penalties included in the new federal law put serious teeth into what is already criminal activity, although Kentucky law enforcement officials have rarely cited individuals for the misdemeanor offense.
It is because they will start redefining what fighting is.
If they fight while in captivity about to get processed the animal rights nutcases will try to get them charged them with a federal crime.
Doesn't matter that Mitch does many things wrong.
Folks here will give up on Bevin for lesser things.
That’s a damn shame!
Exactly right.. one issue at a time and more importantly we have to sell the broader issue of states right’s first, not stupid independent issues like that this.
Maybe him and Michael Vick were friends?
"Dude -- Let's have a cockfight! ... Heh-heh."
I believe cockfighting is legal in Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Joe Ely does a great song about it called “Gallo del Cielo”.
Yeah McConnell is better.
Is this some big issue in Kentucky? I couldn’t care less.
The Feds involved in local chicken fights? What's next, they gonna try and tell me what kind of toilet or light bulb I have to buy?......oh wait......
Right or wrong, if the people who voted me to represent them want to fight chickens, then by God I'm gonna support them.........That is what a representative is all about.
Mitch said he wanted to hear their concerns.
Using your remarkable deductive reasoning supporting Hillary over stepping states rights wouldn't you be more comfortable using the bathhouses in San Francisco?
The issue is not a matter of opinion imo. The Founding States made the 10th Amendment to clarify that he Constitution's silence about issues, cockfighting in this case, means that such issues are automatically uniquely state power issues. If the citizens of Kentucky don't like the idea of cockfighting then they can outlaw it locally or deal with their state lawmakers to make it illegal statewide.
As the Herald-Leader reported in February, McConnell enraged cockfighting enthusiasts when he voted earlier this year in favor of farm legislation (emphasis added) that contained an amendment making it a federal crime to be a spectator at an animal fight.
Although I don't regard animal fighting as agricultural production, McConnell should know from the Constitution that the states have never delegated to Congress the specific power to regulate agriculture, or cockfighting for that matter. In fact, regardless what FDR's activist justices wanted everybody to believe about the scope of Congress's Commerce Clause powers in Wickard v. Filburn, these justices wrongly ignored that the Court had previously clarified in United States v. Butler that Congress has no delegated powers to regulate intrastate agriculture.
From the accepted doctrine that the United States is a government of delegated powers, it follows that those not expressly granted, or reasonably to be implied from such as are conferred, are reserved to the states, or to the people. To forestall any suggestion to the contrary, the Tenth Amendment was adopted. The same proposition, otherwise stated, is that powers not granted are prohibited. None to regulate agricultural production is given, and therefore legislation by Congress for that purpose is forbidden (emphasis added). United States v. Butler, 1936.
So why is McConnell helping to foster constitutionally indefensible federal farm legislation? Can anybody provide a link which shows that McConnell has proposed an amendment to the Constitution to the states which would grant Congress the specific power to regulate agricultural production if the states choose to ratify it?
This isn’t about McConnell. It’s about yet another neophyte candidate showing himself to be politically tone deaf.
It's an election. It's about McConnell vs. Bevin.
Its about yet another neophyte candidate showing himself to be politically tone deaf.
McConnell is a common example of a long time politician being tone deaf for years.
What Bevin has done pales in comparison to what Mitch has done.
“What Bevin has done pales in comparison to what Mitch has done.”
I don’t disagree... but it’s on Bevin to sell himself as the worthy alternative to McConnell. Conservatives can overlook it, but other voters won’t be so easily convinced... especially with this little incident having happened.
Certainly it’s a state issue but it’s not an issue a bright politician would want to highlight. Base stupidity. Now we will be stuck with McConnell or worse yet the democrat. Sheesh.
However...the fact he would attend a PRO-cockfighting rally can be made into another issue altogether.
Are you being serious? LOL.
Yes I saw that too in the article.
(excerpt from article)
So apparently it's ok for a Mitch rep. to talk to the group but if Bevin talks to the group it's not.
What are you blathering about????
read the article McConnell added the amendment to the bill....blame him.
I openly said it is a states rights issue. So what lots of things are states rights issues that shouldn’t be allowed anywhere in a civilized society. Your disgusting comment is unbecoming someone on FR talking to a fellow conservative.
Perhaps I overstepped as well and for that you have my apology. I know of no civilized person who wants cock fighting or dog fighting to be legal. Perhaps you do.
After reading the article, it definitely sounds like Bevin was set up, perhaps from someone inside his own campaign.
But, that probably isn’t going to matter. What a damn shame.
cock fighting rally? Is this a queer boxing association, or what? I’m just sayin.
Be very careful when hiring campaign staff-Vet your people thoroughly. And double check everything yourself when dealing with anything that sounds the least bit controversial.
He said he didn't realize it was a pro cock fighting organization. But he has to know that McConnell is going to use this against him .
He needs to explain himself and acknowledge that cock fighting is regarded as animal cruelty by most people-but that the citizens of the state of Kentucky are perfectly capable of making that determination for themselves.
Then Bevin needs to go on OFFENENSE against McConnell-i.e. it's laughable that Mitch calls Bevin a liar, when he lies and betrays Conservatives on a regular basis. Give examples.
How much "help" has McConnell given Obama and the democrats in reaching their (dem) goals? Give examples. And how much more damage will Mitch do if returned to D.C.?
He needs to constantly remind people of all of McC's attacks on the Tea party-Like wanting to punch them in the nose-What exactly did Mitch mean by that anyway?
I hope Matt doesn't give up. He still might have an outside chance-but he's going to have to make 100 times the effort he made before.
And it all depends on how fed up people are with McConnell, and if they want an Obama-enabler who hates everything the Tea Party stands for to hold political power in Congress.
Hoping/praying he can somehow pull this off.
Can not stand McConnell. He helps dems-hates Conservatives.
The fact Bevin said animal cruelty laws are best handled at the state level is a non-issue.
However, the fact Bevin was stupid enough to go to a "pro-cockfighting rally" -- and not realize it -- means his campaign is DOA. No serious U.S. Senate candidate would be caught dead speaking at such an event. These types of blood sports were banned in ALL 50 states well over a century ago, and the only places left where anyone publicly lobbies for them to be legal are third world countries like Peru. Creeps who want the legal "right" to tie a couple of animals to a pole and bait them into ripping each other to pieces so they can bet money on the outcome don't deserve the time of day. It would be similar to a candidate attending a rally in favor of legalizing female circumcision and excusing it by saying circumcision laws are a "states rights" issue.
I suppose its better this happened now that if he had gotten the GOP nomination in an upset, and ended up like Todd Akins in the fall campaign.
I understand his statement that it was a big crowd so he was going to speak. Corbin Kentucky is a famous Kentucky mountain town, the home of KFC. Chicken is in their blood.
In any case, three points:
1. He's right about cock fighting being a state issue.
2. He doesn't have enough money to now have to respond to this.
3. My sense is that he did it on purpose. Questionable publicity is better than no publicity, and free publicity is better than expensive publicity.
I completely agree. Toss him onto the Akin-Mourdock-O’Donnell-Angle pile. While I wholeheartedly support the philosophies of the TEA Party, way too many of their supported candidates commit unforced errors that prove fatal to their candidacies.
“Im waiting to donate when he appears with Tickle for the pro-moonshining rally”
One correction: cockfighting was not banned in all 50 states a century ago. It was legal in OK, LA and NM until a few years ago (and it still is legal in PR, a U.S. territory). The federal law in question covers the transportation across state lines of the animals and equipment used in cockfighting.
That is certainly possible. Bevin is 30 points down in the polls and can't compete in the money game. He's only got six weeks to catch up. He might be desperate enough to pull this stunt in an attempt to move the needle his way.
Kentucky’s just across the river, but I think Bevin’s needing some kind of kickstart quickly. McConnell spent a fortune defining Bevin when Bevin first announced, and he’s just not been able to overcome it.
Best thing that happened for him recently is McConnell airing an ad with Duke University players that he confused for UK Wildcats....during March Madness.
If Mitch had been running against John Y Brown’s money that alone would have killed him. Kentuckians read the bible but worship the Blue.
It might have technically been “legal” in three states a few years ago, but its similar to the beastality laws I was arguing with some lefty gay marriage advocate about. He was claiming zoophiles had it better than gays because it was “perfectly legal” to have sex with a horse in a dozen states or something due to lack of bestiality laws there. While it was true there was no specific law in those states saying “no sex with a horse”, anyone who was caught doing so publicly could still be arrested and charged with other crimes (inhumane treatment, gross indecency, etc.) due to animal cruelty laws already on the books in those states. A few years back, some sicko in Florida had sex with a dog where its technically “legal” there, and he ended up in prison.
The same would likely be true if anyone had tried publicly hosting a public cockfighting match and having people bet money on it in the states where it was still “legal” due to a loophole. If they were caught, there would likely be a public outcry and they’d be charged with a related crime and be punished for their actions.
I’d also speculate that the most likely reason it was still legal until 2007 or so in those specific places was that state legislators simply weren’t aware that there was no specific state statute in effect banning it. Most first world countries banned blood sports like cockfighting, dogfighting, etc., by the time of the civil war.
Why do our candidates do stupid stuff?
Cockfighting wasn’t merely “technically not outlawed” in OK, LA and NM in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was openly carried out in such states. See http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=131142 It was a traditional recreational activity in those states and other parts of the U.S., and only recently was it banned.
I’ve never gone to a cockfight, not would I go to one, but it is not correct to equate cockfighting with dogfighting, bear-baiting and the like, which are activities that have been shunned by polite society for over a century.
If I lived in Kentucky, I’d cast a protest vote for Matt Blevin all the same.
If I lived in Tennessee, I’d absolutely cast a protest vote for Joe Carr.
If I lived in Kansas, I’d lean towards voting for Milton Wolf, but I’m not certain of that. Pat Roberts isn’t a RINO, but he’s an establishment hack who has been in D.C for over 40 years. Also, Kansas is a strongly Republican state.
Why do you believe that Milton Wolf is more conservative than Pat Roberts? Because Milton Wolf says so?
He’s courting TEA Party support and other conservatives. What’ll he have to gain if he double crosses them after the election? In any event, I think that Roberts should retire.
Bevin seems to keep going to meetings for groups that a smarter candidate would know better than to attend. Remember when Bevin attender that meeting of the John Birch Society?
Now, Ive always had a soft spot in my heart for Birchers, but they seem to have gone a bit kooky during the past few decades, and finding crazy stuff theyve said of late wont take Grimey more than 5 minutes of research. Bevin did not not show good judgment by speaking at their meeting (to put it mildly). But the most interesting part of the story is that, in Bevins attempt to brush off the controversy by saying that there were mainstream people there as well, he noted that the event was attended by staffers of both Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Thomas Massie ... i.e., the two Paulistinians in the KY congressional delegation (and two of only four Paulbots in Congress, with the others being Congressmen Amash and Bentivolio of Michigan). Oh, and the Rand Paul staffer who attended the meeting recently quit to join the Bevin campaign (despite Rand Paul supporting McConnell). This does nothing to quell my very strong suspicions that Bevin is a Paultard.
Post of the day.
Of the group cockfighting is the least offensive. Bear baiting is still allowed in South Carolina under a grandfather clause and I find it to be the most inhumane of the entire group.
You could say this is a death blow but Bevin didn’t have a chance anyway. The CLOSEST poll done on this race had him 22 points behind McConnell. The fact is would have taken a top notch and well funded conservative to topple Mitch McConnell. Random guys who have never run for office before do not beat Senate leaders.
As for Milton Wolf, he’s a cypher and there’s no rationale for supporting him. Pat Roberts is no Lamar Alexander or a Mitch McConnell either. He’s a reliable conservative Senator, this not someone we need to be primarying let alone with some gleep who bases his entire campaign on the fact that he’s a distant cousin of Obama and a doctor, not a politician. I wonder if he has Doctor McCoy’s endorsement.
... and McConnell doesn’t need to say a thing to enjoy a nice “win” here ... and he knows it!
He’s correct about it being a States’ issue, but he just kissed away any chance he had of beating Chinless. Unbelievably stupid to be willingly connected with the way wrong side of cockfighting. Attending a pro-cockfighting rally is probably dumber than what Todd Akin did. One would have to be a total fool to send him a dime now.
Gone with the wind from his lips.
He must be courting the latino vote.
LOL, that must be it! I think latinos are something like 3% of the population in Kentucky. If you want to win in Kentucky, you’ve got to get the latinos! B^)