“Kentucky Democrat” Press Is Quoting in McConnell Case Is Not A Democrat

Well, maybe he’s a Democrat, but I probably would be a more legitimate spokesman for Kentucky Democrats. So would you.

Jacob Conway is his name, and he’s no “Democratic official.” He’s just some dude. Some dude who was first called “a longtime local Democratic operative” by the Louisville NPR affiliate. Then he was identified as a “Democratic official” by The Louisville Courier-Journal, a “Kentucky Democrat” by TPM, and an “official with the Jefferson County Democratic Party in Kentucky” by HuffPo. Based on his supposed official position with Kentucky Democrats, he was interviewed on Fox News. In classic Daily Caller fashion, they promoted him from the county party to “a member of the executive committee of the state Democratic Party in Jefferson County, Kentucky.”

Jacob Conway is not some important Democratic official in Kentucky. He’s a goof, and the media should be embarrassed for falling for his self-aggrandizing schtick.

Seeing a member of a county party executive committee identified as a “Democratic official” seemed stupid to me. Democratic party organizations in a large county–Jefferson county has a population over 700,000–can have fifty or sixty members, so it seemed implausible that he would be an official spokesman for the county party, much less the Kentucky Democratic party. I was curious, so I did what apparently no political reporter in America is capable of doing: I did a Google search on Jacob Conway.

In 2007 Conway wrote on his blog that he supported Trey Grayson, the Republican Secretary of State who lost the 2010 Republican primary for Senate to Rand Paul.

In 2000 he was a Young Republican and in 2010 he still referred to John McCain as his “personal hero,” but though by 2012 he claimed “some would consider me a leader in our state’s party,” until the GOP convention, he wrote, “I wasn’t 100-percent sure I would vote to re-elect President Obama.”

It’s no surprise he’s not listed as an official on the website of the Jefferson County Democratic Party. Or, actually, the Louisville Metro Democratic Party, since there’s no such thing as a “Jefferson County Democratic Party” in Kentucky.

All of this was easily discovered in a short Google search, along with blog posts like this, by Progress Kentucky nitwit Curtis Morrison, in which he interviews Jacob Conway, or this one, where Conway was the only commenter on one of Morrison’s posts.

Jacob Conway is not an elected official. There’s little evidence that he’s on the executive committee of his county Democratic party, and even if he is, that would in no way establish him as a credible source or someone with authority to speak for any official Democratic organization. It’s almost a certainty that no reporters or headline writers who described Conway as a Democratic official checked whether that was true or meaningful. The national political press just accepted that some dude who claimed to be a “Kentucky Democrat” or a “party official” actually spoke for the Democratic party.

Clearly political reporters haven’t learned a damned thing from the Manti T’eo story.


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8 Responses to “Kentucky Democrat” Press Is Quoting in McConnell Case Is Not A Democrat

  1. Dana Houle says:

    There’s also this, the reliability of which I couldn’t establish, so I didn’t mention it in the post, but if what’s in it is legit, then Conway has some serious legal and mental health issues

    • A. Testaverde says:

      Jefferson Circuit Court
      Division 7

      For someone so focused so hardcore on googling, you should have easily been able to determine the story was reliable.

  2. PhilPerspective says:

    Clearly political reporters haven’t learned a damned thing from the Manti T’eo story.

    We also learned that the reporters in this case can’t, won’t and don’t use Google for simple look-ups.

    • Dana Houle says:

      I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but every time there’s something like this I can’t help getting upset. It’s just not hard to stop for a nanosecond and think “let’s make sure this guy’s not a crank or worse.” And it’s not even for source credibility. For instance, a few weeks before the election Amy Walter, then of ABC and now back at her previous position at The Cook Political Report, tweeted her surprise at a poll that showed Obama only losing white voters in Ohio by under ten points or so. There are a ton of problems with that, but here are a couple:

      A. She was surprised that there were state by state variations of white support for Obama (or any other Democrat for that matter). You’d hope the political director of ABC News would know such things.
      B. She tweeted it, revealing that she found something surprising, but then didn’t do even a few minutes of research online to see if that was a common phenomenon.

      There are obviously many, many good political reporters. But the number of bad ones, who can’t even do such basic searches, is still appalling.

  3. Well, if he has “mental health issues,” that explains his support for McCain.

  4. From his LinkedIn:

    Louisville/Jefferson County Democratic Party Executive Committee
    29th Legislative District Vice Chairman; Official Party Spokesperson Candidate Recruitment Sub Committee Chairman; Vice Chairman Communications/Technology Sub Committee; Member Events Planning Sub Committee
    March 2012 to Present
    I was elected Vice Chairman of the 29th Legislative District by the registered Democratic Party voters in the 29th KY State House District. I represent the geographically largest district in Jefferson County for a term of four years.

    I also serve as the party’s official spokesperson and field all calls from the media in addition to promoting our events and coordinating media appearances.

    Jefferson County Young Democrats
    Board Member
    January 2013 to Present
    I am the Director of Communications for the Louisville Young Democrat’s and am responsible for maintaining the organization’s website, promoting events with the media and coordinating all media appearances and inquiries.

    I was featured on WHAS 11’s show “Good Morning Kentuckiana” Election 2012 coverage giving predictions and opinions on the 2012 elections.

    • Dana Houle says:

      I’ve seen plenty of references to him being on the exec board of the county party (which he incorrectly calls the Jefferson County Democratic Party). But so far I haven’t seen any that were independent of him. Either he’s said/written it, or it’s mentioned in something where he was interviewed (like the one done by the ProgressKY guy).

      Even if that was all accurate–and so far there’s really no reason to take him at face value–it still leaves him as a tiny, tiny minnow in the ocean of Kentucky Democratic party politics, and not someone who can be assumed to represent any constituency or organization that has any influence within Kentucky Dem politics.

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