If you’re a fan of political jujitsu and political jackassery, the Mitch McConnell/Mother Jones story has taken on the dimensions of a classic. To recap: On Tuesday, David Corn of Mother Jones published a taped recording from a McConnell campaign meeting, in which campaign staffers discussed secret plans to attack possible first-time candidate Ashley Judd on a host of vulnerabilities. McConnell’s campaign pushed back, calling this a “bugging” in the style of Watergate. Mother Jones responded, saying the magazine was “provided with the tape by a source who wishes to remain anonymous” and “it is our understanding that the tape was not the product of any kind of bugging operation.”
What had been a pretty lame package of revelations from a tape became a much better story about the possible illegal taping of a campaign office. (The lameness argued against the theory that a McConnell campaign mole had leaked it. Why blow your wad on 12 minutes of staffers making fun of a candidate who’d dropped out already?) On Thursday, a Kentucky NPR affiliate got a break in the story. Jacob Conway, a Democratic official in Jefferson County (Louisville), revealed that Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison of Progress Kentucky had “bragged to him about how they recorded the meeting,” which took place after a party at a new campaign office.