Progress Kentucky, the bumbling liberal super PAC that did more harm than good for Democrats during its eight-month existence, is no more.In a letter sent out on Friday, the Federal Election Commission approved the termination report Progress Kentucky filed at the end of July.
All told, the group raised and spent less than $17,000, and was involved in several embarrassing episodes.
After forming in December, the group first made headlines by announcing its intentions to fund a tea party candidate to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Then, in February, the group issued several racist tweets about McConnell’s wife and her father’s business ties to China. The tweets prompted rebukes from both Republicans and Democrats.
But Progress Kentucky’s end really began in April, when a Jefferson County, Ky. Democratic Party official outed two of the group’s officials, Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, as the sources of a secretly-made recording of a McConnell campaign strategy session. The recording caught McConnell’s team discussing the possible use of actress Ashley Judd’s history of depression during the campaign if Judd decided to run. (She eventually decided not to.) But rather than hurt McConnell, the release of the audio to Mother Jones allowed the senator to claim he was the victim of a Watergate-style bugging operation perpetrated by the “political left.”
After it was publicly tied to the recording, Progress Kentucky effectively went dark and everyone involved lawyered up. The last activity on the group’s Twitter and Facebook accounts was April 11, and the group’s website is currently “down for maintenance.”
Morrison, one of the activists tied to the recordings, came clean about his involvement in the incident in a first-person account published by Salon in May. Morrison acknowledged making the recording, and wrote that Reilly, Progress Kentucky’s founder, was with him when the recording was made, but never wanted it released.
Morrison, who has moved to California to study at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, continues to maintain an account on a fundraising website, to pay for his legal fees related to a federal investigation of the recording incident.
Morrison and Reilly could not immediately be reached for comment by TPM.