Jim Bunning: Tea Party Darling

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


If you ever wondered what type of candidate the Tea Party movement would like to see elected to Congress, look no farther than Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning (R), the man who is single-handedly holding up unemployment benefit extensions and health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans. While the rest of his party is quietly trying to ignore him, Bunning is giving Tea Party activists in Kentucky much to love.

“We’re all in support of Sen. Bunning,” says Wendy Caswell, the founder of the Louisville Tea Party. She says Tea Party activists believe that Bunning is being fiscally responsible, and that’s a core Tea Party value. “He is kind of one of our models of a good representative of the people of Kentucky.”

Tea Party activists aren’t the only ones coming out to support Bunning’s obstructionism. The Louisville Tea Party website today posted several endorsements from other state Republican leaders, including both candidates running to replace Bunning, Rand Paul and Trey Grayson. Paul, who is one of the Tea Party activists’ favorite candidates, is also staging a rally in front of Bunning’s office this afternoon to show support for the senator’s position. Paul said in a statement, “Jim Bunning is being unfairly attacked for saying we should spend money already set aside for benefits rather than borrowing more. He deserves our support and he is going to get it.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest