Newly-unearthed documents contradict claims from Matt Bevin, challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell in the upcoming Kentucky Republican primary, that he always opposed the 2008 federal bailout while attacking McConnell for supporting it.
Politico reports Bevin was a supporter of the 2008 $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program and the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, based on a copy of an Oct. 28, 2008 report for investors of Veracity Funds, a company that Bevin headed as president. Written by Daniel Bandi, chief investment officer and vice president of the fund, and signed by Bevin, it praised the bailout:
Most of the positive developments have been government led, such as the effective nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the passage of the $700 billion TARP (don’t call it a bailout) and the Federal Reserve’s intention to invest in commercial paper. These moves should help to stabilize asset prices and help to ease liquidity constraints in the financial system… The government actions to date have been reasonably swift and substantial. The Federal Reserve seems to understand the magnitude of the problem and the underlying issues involved.
In addition, Bandi later signed a report on April 10, 2009 which supported the Democrat-backed $787 billion stimulus bill. He wrote:
Some of the positive developments include the numerous programs from stimulus to the various Treasury acronyms (TARP, TALF, PPIP) to the Fed’s aggressive balance sheet growth. To what degree is open to some debate, but our government has taken the challenge head on and has responded like no other country.
McConnell, conversely, voted against it.
Bandi later acknowledged to the Securities and Exchange Commission that both reports were accurate. Bevin was also in favor of the Federal Reserve buying commercial paper issued by banks.
Bevin campaign spokeswoman Rachel Semmel told Politico, “Matt has always opposed the TARP bailout and similar misuses of taxpayer dollars.” She added that Bevin was not responsible for the contents of the report, although he signed it, saying:
The investment commentary in the Veracity prospectuses were always written by the Chief Investment Officer of the sub-advisor to the Veracity funds. In his role as President of Veracity, Matt signed every prospectus. Matt’s signatures were a formality that were not intended to be an endorsement of the opinions of others. Accusations like these are ironic given that Sen. McConnell has been one the biggest champions of bailouts and misuse of taxpayer dollars in the U.S. Senate.
Bevin has been relentlessly attacking McConnell for the bailout, telling Breitbart News in November, “It was the government picking winners and losers. It was an abdication of free market principles. I had a problem with how it went down.”
Allison Moore, McConnell’s spokeswoman, said bluntly, “This is nothing short of a con man being caught red-handed in the middle of a sale. If it wasn’t clear that Matt Bevin isn’t who he says he is after his MIT debacle, it sure is now.”
In a previous controversy, Bevin had implied that he had attended MIT on his LinkedIn biography but in reality only attended a three-week seminar in a building owned by MIT. He modified his bio to clarify that he had not graduated from the school or any of its affiliated programs.
Bevin said of McConnell in the Breitbart News article, “So he will stop literally at nothing, including making up lies which is what he has been doing.”