Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is likely to face a challenge in the 2014 Republican primary from Matt Bevin, a local businessman who has recently been courting Kentucky Tea Party groups and who has been the owner of Bevin Brothers Manufacturing since 2008, a bell-making company in East Hampton, Connecticut.
Bevin is currently a partner at the investment firm of Waycross Partners; he formerly was the CEO of Integrity Asset Management, another investment management firm. Bevin is already spending funds buying airtime for ads for his prospective run.
But Bevin and Bevin Brothers Manufacturing have problems that would likely be useful cannon fodder for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic candidate, to use against him.
In 2008, when Matt Bevin took over Bevin Brothers, they were struggling. In 2009, the town of East Hampton assessed eight liens against Bevin Brothers for failing to pay state/municipal taxes. The IRS also assessed a lien for failing to pay federal taxes. (Internal Revenue Service, Notice of Federal Tax Lien, 2009, Book #496, p. 141).
In 2011, Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Co. was listed as the No. 1 tax delinquent in the town of East Hampton, owing the town $116,684.
After lightning was listed as the cause for a 2012 fire that ravaged the factory where Bevin Brothers was located, Bevin spoke at a town council meeting and said, “The Bevins have been making bells for 180 years. [This company] is part of the fabric of the community. When it’s gone, it’s not coming back.”
Soon, one of the two most liberal members of the Senate, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, promised Bevin Brothers and PSI Plus, a company that resided within Bevin Brothers’ buildings and of which Bevin was a minority stakeholder, that they would receive federal and state funds in their rebuilding efforts. The companies each received $100,000 in June 2012.
Photo credit: Jessica Hill/AP/New York Daily News